The Billy Ocean song featured in ‘The Jewel of the Nile‘ provides an appropriate headline for Day 3 of Royal Ascot – but first, a few words about yesterday.

One of our stronger selections, Stunning Beauty, decided to replicate the famous Hamlet Cigar ad of yesteryear (if it’s ‘before your time’, try Google) and remained hooded and motionless in the stalls while the rest of the field headed off towards Swinley Bottom.

When it finally emerged, it was immediately pulled up by SDS and there followed a lengthy Stewards Enquiry to determine whether the horse should be deemed a non runner. Because of the Rule 4 implications affecting the winner and the placed horses, the jolly Stewards decided it ‘ran’, meaning we had a loser without a chance.

Some, but not all, bookmakers have refunded stakes in the form of a free bet, so please check your account to see if you’re one of the lucky ones.

And so on to today, when the feature race is the Gold Cup at 4.15, which sees Stradivarius attempt to equal Yeats‘ feat and win the race for the fourth time. The Gosden‘s 7-y-o is even money to do it, with Trueshan second in at 7-2, and herein lies the dilemma.

Strad‘s trainers say his chances will be seriously compromised by substantial rain, while True‘s trainer says his horse won’t run unless they get substantial rain. This makes it somewhat tricky, typing away at 10.00am, more than six hours before the race.

Tell you what we’ll do – swerve it and concentrate on the rest of the card.

Action begins, as usual, at 2.30 with the Norfolk Stakes, a Group 2 for the babies over 5f. Based on yesterday’s events, the only place you do NOT want to be is in the middle of the track, so we hope that SDS, on our selection Go Bears Go, will head for the far rail from Trap 5 and show the others a clean pair of hooves. Take the 15-2 each way.

The Hampton Court Stakes at 3.05 looks the ideal opportunity for One Ruler finally to strut his stuff this season, having been placed 6th in both the Guineas and The Derby in his two runs. This intermediate trip could be the key and he rates a sound each way bet at 5-1.

The Ribblesdale Stakes at 3.40 has Sir Michael‘s Noon Star installed as 2-1 favourite, but, having put in a somewhat laboured performance when beaten at Haddock and then missing her next scheduled appearance owing to a blood disorder, we’ve a mind to take this one on with Gloria Mundi.

Just two runs in her life for the Gozzies filly, a win and a close second, both over 10 furlongs, with today’s extra distance almost bound to suit. Added to that, a good draw and the services of Il Pazzo Italiano mean that the 7-1 should be taken.

The three races following the Gold Cup have a total of 77 runners in them and two are on the straight course. Oh well, if we must:

5.00: Dinoo and Laelaps both each way.

5.35: First Light and Kondo Isami both each way.

6.10: Persuasion and Whatharm both each way.

Hope springs eternal.


Go Bears Go 2.30 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (4 places)

One Ruler 3.05 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1

Gloria Mundi 3.40 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 7-1 (4 places)

Dinoo 5.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 33-1 (4 places)

Laelaps 5.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 50-1 (4 places)

First Light 5.35 Ascot 2pts e/w @ 6-1 (5 places)

Kondo Isami 5.35 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)

Persuasion 6.10 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (6 places)

Whatharm 6.10 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 33-1 (6 places)

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