Ascot takes centre stage today and for the rest of the week, minus the Royals but with the cream of equine talent very much on show.
Kick off event is the Buckingham Palace Handicap, a piece of cake to work out, with just the 24 runners careering down the straight 7 furlongs – oh goody.
Skinny price favourite is the John Gosden trained Daarik, the veritable ‘Group horse running in a handicap’. This 4-y-o has won 3 from 4 on AW tracks, the latest just 10 days ago at Newcastle off a mark of 97. Now off 104, its only try on turf was rewarded with last place in a Class 5 maiden at Nottingham in 2018 and, much as we hold the trainer in high esteem, it just can’t be a value bet at 3-1 (until it hoses up, of course).
We prefer to throw two minor darts at this event and our trusty pin has landed on Glen Shiel at 16-1 and War Glory at 33s. With six places on offer, we live in hope.
Mr Gosden also supplies the short priced favourite in the Ribblesdale Stakes at 2.25, with Frankly Darling currently trading at 6-4. Easy winner of a Class 5 Maiden at Newcastle 15 days ago, this daughter of Frankel is certainly full of potential now stepping up in class and trip.
However, for betting purposes, we think the same trainer’s Miss Yoda is a better bet at 6-1. Gutsy winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial 11 days ago, this daughter of See The Stars showed herself to be all about stamina and can give us a good run for our hard-earned under usual pilot Rav Havlin.
Aiden O’Brien supplies the first two in the market in the King Edward VII Stakes at 3.00, with Mogul trading at a shade of odds-on. However, we don’t quite see why Willie Muir‘s runner Pyledriver is a derisory 16-1 after the horse’s excellent come-back run and suggest an each way bet at the aforementioned price.
The Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at 4.10 has a good each way look about it, with a field of 10 and we recommend an interest in Amanda Perrett‘s 4-y-o Lavender’s Blue at 13-2.
Already a Group 3 winner, this filly finished last season with an unlucky fourth in a Newmarket Group 1 and could provide Rav Baby with another winner.
The card closes at 4.40 with the Ascot Stakes over two and a half miles and we think Ian Williams has a strong hand in this. Back Blue Laureate and Mancini each way at 12-1, sit back and enjoy.
Glen Shiel 1.15 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (6 places)
War Glory 1.15 Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 33-1 (6 places)
Miss Yoda 2.25 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 6-1
Pyledriver 3.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (2 places)
Lavender’s Blue 4.10 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 13-2
Blue Laureate 4.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Mancini 4.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)