Royal Ascot 2017 – Day 3 Preview

A winning Play for our Community Members at Royal Ascot yesterday in the shape of Highland Reel giving us a 28.25 points PROFIT for the season – view all our winning and losing Plays.

The stand side dominated proceedings throughout the day yesterday and it’s been noted in making today’s selections.

Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (2yo) (5f) (2.30): Fiercely contested and the winner will take some finding. Wesley Ward has already taken two wins this week and his McErin could make the week even better for him. A deeply impressive debut winner at Keeneland in April when he won by 7 & ½ lengths, but he was upset when beaten in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. He missed the break that day, meaning that he had to be rushed to the early lead, but if he breaks cleanly today in a different setting he could be too quick to catch again and he apparently has been working phenomenally according to his trainer.

Cardsharp is perhaps more exposed than a traditional winner of this but he had De Bruyne Horse going for a long way in the Woodcote before stamina kicked in and he was then an impressive winner of a neat Beverley conditions event. He gave weight in defeat to the Coventry fifth Aqbah here on his second start and can outrun his price.

Over this stiffer trip Frozen Angel might reverse form from the National Stakes with Havana Grey whilst Sentry’s defeat of Consequences and It Don’t Come Easy reads exceptionally well before you take into account the weight that he gave for having won first time out at York.

True Blue Moon took the Rochestown Stakes at Naas, although he will need to do more still to get involved here on a line through the third who was well beaten in the Windsor Castle. Sioux Nation is interesting – he’s only managed to win a Cork maiden from four starts, but the ground was of no use to him last time and his two length second to Brother Bear now reads very well in this context. Koditime didn’t get home at Newbury on soft ground but was taking on his Doncaster debut and is another who has to be considered closely.

Advice: 1 pt win McErin (5/1 Paddy Power, 9/2 general), 1 pt each/way Cardsharp (16/1 Paddy Power)

Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) (formerly The Tercentenary Stakes) (Class 1) (1m2f) (3yo) (3.05): Fiercely contested and classy. Mirage Dancer may want to go up in trip sooner rather than later but this course is certain to suit a whole lot more than Chester on his return in the Vase and he ought to take a serious step forward from that hugely promising run. The winner Cliffs of Moher of course underlined his improvement by finishing second in the Derby whilst he was conceding a run to the second and third, both of whom have strong form. A good 41 day break should also be a significant advantage.

Advice: 2 pts win Mirage Dancer (4/1 general)  

Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) (Class 1) (1m4f) (3yo) (3:40): The stunningly bred Mori has taken great steps forward with every start and she can make a bold bid to live up to her parents achievements. A good winner of the Height of Fashion Stakes, she had plenty in hands over Coconut Crème at Goodwood and the form was given another boost when Elias Mori took a Listed event at Newbury in good style to underline the form. She can keep improving – as she really does need to – and this trip ought to be just fine for her. Alluringly and Coronet are both the key form contenders although both have only had 20 days to overcome gruelling efforts in the Oaks. Naughty Or Nice, unbeaten in two starts so far and a game winner of the Yeats Stakes at Navan, looks a real stayer who needs respect and Astronomy’s Choice.

Advice: 1 pt win Mori (11/4 general)

Gold Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+) (4.20): Last year’s winner Order Of St George is the standout here and ought to take the beating following his very decent warmup in the Saval Beg stakes. However the market knows all about him at evens and with 13 other rivals this has a fine shape to it and it’s worth taking a couple to run big races for each/way purposes.

There can’t be a stayer in training that’s more popular than Big Orange and whilst this won’t be anywhere near as simple as the Henry II Stakes at Sandown, he has a big chance of serving it up to the favourite. A tremendously tough front running stayer, either his fourth in the Dubai Gold Cup or his win in the Henry II would give him a decent chance and he took the Goodwood Cup last season to boot.

Simple Verse took the Park Stakes last season before finishing third here on Champions Day and she ought to be involved in the thick of things here, having just been beaten by Dartmouth on her return in the Yorkshire Cup. She has always shaped as if she’ll stay.

One contender who definitely will stay is Sheikhzayedroad, who was third in this last year and then the Goodwood Cup before taking the Doncaster Cup and then winning on Champions Day. A lover of this course and distance, his two runs in the UAE should have put him spot on for this and he comes into his own going further than 2 miles. He has to be respected.

Torcedor beat Order of St George and do so convincingly in the Vintage Crop Stage, although he had the run of the race, fitness advantage and then 5lbs less to carry thanks to having no Group 1 win. However he’s 2-2 for Jessica Harrington and whilst he needs more improvement, everything looks set for a bold show.

Harbour Law was disappointing and greatly so on his return but the St Leger winner (second in the Queen’s Vase last year) can still do well as a stayer and he

Sweet Selection won the Sagaro, having taken the Cambridgeshire in great style last year, and she ought to go well too if stepping forward from that.

Advice: 1 pt each/way Big Orange (8/1 general), 1 pt each/way Sheikhzayedroad (12/1 general)

Britannia Stakes (Colts & Geldings) (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105) (5.00): Nigh on impossible. It remains to be seen how the track plays but it was standside or bust yesterday in the Hunt Cup and Sandringham, regardless of the draw. Bring drawn high is a likely advantage however and we have to consider that in our thinking.

Horroob would be a lot short for this had things gone his way when he ran on turf at Goodwood for the first time this season and that misfortune has allowed him to keep his mark of 90. Handed the widest draw of all in 12 – a death knell around the notoriously undulating Goodwood – he ran a blinder to get as close as he did that day and a straight course ought to suit him a whole lot more today. Having just got in, he catches the eye and makes a good amount of appeal especially given that there’s a lot of pace drawn around him which was so important to the results on the straight course.

Make it two on the near side with Colibri, who made a fine return in the Esher Cup at Sandown and can improve to take a hand here. Fourth that day, he was behind Atty Peresse, Much Applause and The Grape Escape, all of whom have finished second since, whilst Junatio Chico, one place behind, has since won a decent handicap at Epsom to boot. The overall form looks rock solid and he can improve from that which makes him an each/way play.

Advice: 1 pt each/way Colibri (12/1 Paddy Power*, 14/1 general), 1 pt each/way Horroob (18/1 Paddy Power)

1m4f (1m3f211y) King George V Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105) (5.35): Mark Johnston has won this on five occasions and looks to have a really strong chance to boot with his squad here. Mister Scaramanaga’s two runs at proper middle distance have bought two fine efforts, the first a fine second at Bath in what has turned out to be one for the strongest 3 yo middle distance handicaps of the season and the second when fourth in the Edinburgh Cup when just behind a next time out winner and ahead of a next time out second.

The step back in trip ought to be just fine for him and the form from his first run of the season is well worth reliving. He was ahead of stalemate and subsequent Dante winner Permian with another stablemate Sofia’s Rock just behind. Sofia’s Rock, who is shorter in the betting, was fourth that time and has won impressively twice since – and he can also go well.

Advice: 1 pt each/way Mister Scaramanga (16/1 Bet365), 1 pt each/way Sofia’s Rock (9/1 general)

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