Day 3 of Royal Ascot, traditionally called Laydees Day, is upon us, so stand by for the silly hats.

Prospects of a winner for Her Maj look very favourable, with her runner Reach For The Moon currently trading at 2-5 for the Hampton Court Stakes at 5.35 – we wouldn’t have the temerity to oppose the throne, so on to the centrepiece of the action, the Gold Cup at 4.20.

Predictably, Trueshan is a non runner on account of the fast ground, which leaves the way clearer for Stradivarius to attempt to emulate Yeats in winning this race for the fourth time.

Quick ground holds no fears for the Gosden‘s 8-y-o, who warmed up for this with a smooth win at York last month and, despite reservations about the Mad Italian‘s current level of jockey-ship, we must recommend a bet at 9-4.

We also have to have an each way bet on Princess Zoe, second in the race last year and impeccably prepared for this afternoon by Anthony Mullins. 7-1 is the best price available.

The card opens with the Norfolk Stakes at 2.30, which looks at the mercy of the favourite Walbank, currently a 13-8 poke.

David Loughnane‘s colt has looked a powerhouse in his two starts so far, the first of which was over this CD and Rossa Ryan should bring him home in front.

For safety’s sake, we also suggest an each way bet on Brave Nation, a six length winner of his only race and firmly in the ‘could be anything. Category. Take the 7-1 offered.

First of the big handicaps is next up at 3.05, the King George V Stakes, for which Post Impressionist is a worthy favourite at 100-30.

The Newcastle race in which Willie‘s horse finished second could hardly have worked out any better, with the third winning by 9 lengths next time out and the winner, our selection Eldar Eldarov, taking the Group 2 Queen’s Vase here yesterday. This makes an opening handicap mark of 89 almost derisory and, provided the fast ground is OK, this has to be a bet at the above price.

We’ll also put up two each way in this 19 runner affair, those two being London Gold Cup winner Israr at 7-1 and Deauville Legend at 14-1.

The Ribblesdale Stakes at 3.40 has just six runners and we can’t help but think that Roger Varian‘s representative Mukaddamah is over-priced at 7-1.

A staying on third behind Nashwa and Stay Alert at Newbury has been greatly enhanced by those two horses’ subsequent exploits and the step up to 12 furlongs can only help. Let’s go each way, shall we?

On to the fierce looking Britannia Stakes Handicap at 5.00, which only has 30 runners.

We suggest backing 10% of them – namely Wanees (6-1), Atrium (14-1) and Yanafis (18-1) and may fortune smile.

Finally to the 6.10, the Buckingham Palace Stakes, with a field of 29, headed by the Haggas Blot, aka Montassib, which was ultra impressive in winning at Goodwood on unsuitably soft going. No worries on that score this evening and, although drawn on the wing, we have to have a bash at it at 7-2.

The only other one we’ll put up in this is River Nymph at 20-1, on the grounds that one day everything will go right and it just could be today.

C’est tout, mes amis – jusqu’a demain.


Walbank 2.30 Ascot 4pts win @ 13-8

Brave Nation 2.30 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 7-1

Post Impression 3.05 Ascot 2pts win @ 100-30

Israr 3.05 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (6 places)

Deauville Legend 3.05 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (6 places)

Mukaddamah 3.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (2 places)

Stardivarius 4.20 Ascot 2pts win @ 9-4

Princess Zoe 4.20 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 7-1

Wanees 5.00 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 6-1 (4 places)

Atrium 5.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (4 places)

Yanafis 5.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 18-1 (4 places)

Montassib 6.10 Ascot 2pts win @ 7-2

River Nymph 6.10 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (7 places)

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