Day two of the Ascot race-fest contains two versions of the Royal Hunt Cup, beginning at 1.15 with the ‘Silver‘ version for horses which failed to get in the main event.
On evidence from yesterday, high numbers are favoured in these straight course events, so forgive our being boring, but Ouzo, the favourite, has it all going for it.
Trap 24, Ryan Moore and 5lbs well in after just being touched off at Newmarket 11 days ago can be added to its win second time out last season, so, even at a relatively skinny 4-1 we recommend a bet.
The Hampton Court Stakes at 1.50 has First Receiver as favourite after a demolition job in a Kempton maiden two weeks ago. Visually impressive as that performance was, we prefer tried and trusted Group form in the shape of Juan Elcano.
Kevin Ryan‘s charge was placed in two Group 2s last season before reappearing to run a fine fifth in the 2000 Guineas behind Kameko and a certain Pinatubo, and that, mes amis, is the best form on offer. Likely to be well suited by the step up to ten furlongs this afternoon, this son of Frankel should be backed at 7-2.
At 2.25 the 3-y-os go handicapping in the King George V Stakes and two darts are about to be launched.
Once again, the market leader is a bit of a stand-out, with Kipps looking all over the winner at Haddock 11 days ago and competing off the same mark here. Has clearly trained on and is very well handicapped so should be backed at 4-1.
We also suggest a small bet on one of Braveheart‘s runners, Trumpet Man, which is available at a tasty 25-1. Bred to win the Derby, a mark of 84 may be a serious under-estimation now stepped up to a more suitable trip for handicap debut.
The Group 1 Prince of Wales’ Stakes at 3.00 sees the return to action of Japan, last seen finishing fourth in The Arc, behind Waldgeist and Enable.
At 6-4 and possibly running over the wrong trip we pass and prefer to back Addeybb at a more palatable 9-2. William Haggas‘s globe-trotting 6-y-o collected two Group 1s in Australia in the spring, winning both with aplomb and with Tom Marquand and the combination just might be good enough again.
The Royal Hunt Cup itself takes place at 3.35 – looks impossible, but needs must, so back Bell Rock at 6-1 and Pogo at 25s and hope for the best.
Last race on the card at 4.40 is the Copper Horse Handicap over 1m6f and it’s 9-2 the field of 16. With 5 places on offer, we suggest investments (each way) on Floating Artist and Alright Sunshine at 12-1 and 11-1 respectively could pay dividends.
Back with more musings tomorrow.
Ouzo 1.15 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 4-1 (6 places)
Juan Elcano 1.50 Ascot 2pts win @ 7-2
Kipps 2.25 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 4-1 (5 places)
Trumpet Man 2.25 Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 25-1 (5 places)
Addeybb 3.00 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (2 places)
Bell Rock 3.35 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 6-1 (5 places)
Pogo 3.35 Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 28-1 (5 places)
Floating Artist 4.40 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Alright Sunshine 4.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places)