Day 3 of Royal Ascot and following on from a day which could have been dubbed Pinstickers’ Paradise we have the day known as Laydees’ Day, for reasons which are a complete mystery to this writer.
Feature race is at 4.20 when the Gold Cup takes place over 2 and a half miles of somewhat soggy turf. Favourite is last year’s winner Stradivarius, trying to repeat last season’s heroics in mopping up all five of the top staying events and trouser a million squid in the process.
At 6-4 we are not sure of the value and, instead, select the young pretender to the throne, Dee Ex Bee, which can be backed each way at 11-2.
Named after the call sign for Dubai International Airport, Braveheart‘s 4-y-o has been a revelation since stepping up to staying trips, landing two Group 3s over 2 miles, including over today’s course. With the trainer convinced the extra distance and softer ground will both suit, this one will do for us.
Proceedings commence at 2.30 with the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes over the minimum trip and this race has a worthy favourite I Pat Twomey‘s Sunday Sovereign, currently at 15-8.
A victory over Tuesday’s winner Arizona was followed by a 7 length demolition job under a penalty and it will take something ultra smart to lower this one’s colours. A win bet is advised.
If there is a ‘lurker’ in the field it could be Charlie Appleby‘s Expressionist, which made its racecourse debut over this CD, winning with ease and put by for this race since. An each way saver at 12-1 would be prudent.
The Hampton Court Stakes at 3.05 has a field of 14 and our each way selection in this is King Ottokar, which is trading at 6-1. Charlie Fellowes‘ runner boasts a victory over yesterday’s Queen’s Vase winner Dashing Willoughby, before finding 12+ furlongs too far at Chester last time out. Back to the right trip this afternoon, trust ‘the doyler’ to bring him home in front.
The Ribblesdale Stakes at 3.40 is surely at the mercy of the Oaks third Fleeting, which looks to have the best form by miles, so we will have a lash at this even at a miserly 6-4.
And so to the handicaps, starting with the Britannia Stakes at 5.00, which, with only 29 runners, is an absolute breeze – not.
Two against the field to give us a run for the moolah – King Ademar at 8-1 and Eclipse Storm at an artisan 66-1.
The card closes with the King George V Stakes at 5.35, with a slightly more manageable field of 17 and here we pin our hope on Majestic Dawn, trained by Paul Cole. A six length winner of a Newbury maiden was followed by an unlucky 7th in the London Gold Cup, again at Newbury and this son of Dawn Approach sneaks in at the bottom of the weights on an attractive mark. Take the 16-1 each way, please.
More musings tomorrow.
Dee Ex Bee 4.20 Royal Ascot 2pts e/w @ 11-2
Sunday Sovereign 2.30 Royal Ascot 4pts win @ 15-8
Expressionist 2.30 Royal Ascot 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places)
King Ottokar 3.05 Royal Ascot 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (4 places)
Fleeting 3.40 Royal Ascot 6pts win @ 6-4
King Ademar 5.00 Royal Ascot 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (6 places)
Eclipse Storm 5.00 Royal Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 66-1 (6 places)
Majestic Dawn 5.35 Royal Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 16-1 (5 places)