What are the best bets on day four of the royal meeting?
2:30 6f Albany Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) (Class 1) (2yo)
Presumably Ryan Moore had the pick of Just Wonderful and FAIRYLAND and that he has chosen the former filly has to be a positive for the daughter of Dansili, who made a successful debut at the Curragh in May when the stable runners were needing a run. However, Moore doesn’t always get it right and it must have been a difficult choice as Fairyland has looked a bit special in beating a couple of subsequent winners on her debut and more recently a victory against the boys in the Listed Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh. Her winning time was faster than that of her stablemate (same ground) and it was the way she took everything in her stride and accounted for some decent colts with the minimum of fuss that suggested she could be really good. She’s certainly a good spare ride for Seamie Heffernan and will be carrying my money at Hills’ 7/2. Mark Johnston’s unbeaten (2-2) Main Edition heads the British challenge and is very much respected.
3:05 1m4f (1m3f211y) King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) (Class 1) (3yo)
Aidan O’Brien has allowed four of his Derby runners to take their chance in this Group 2 in the last ten years and while all four made the frame, none were successful. That puts me off his Derby also-ran Delano Roosevelt, who was a lacklustre sixth at Epsom and is no bigger than 7/2 at the time of writing, having been chosen by Ryan Moore over stablemates Rostropovich and Giuseppe Garibaldi. John Gosden’s Raa Atoll and Charlie Appleby’s Old Persian are the leading British challengers according to the betting and both are respected as improving types. But Tim Easterby’s WELLS FARHH GO didn’t run too badly at all when sixth in the Dante when clearly in need of the run and last year’s Acomb Stakes winner is worth another chance over this longer trip, which is expected to suit and having proved he can handle faster ground. At 12/1 with Paddy Power, we can also back him each-way.
3:40 Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3yo)
A big field of 22 are set to go to post but Aidan O’Brien’s SIOUX NATION could be a class apart. The winner of last year’s Norfolk Stakes before going on to land a Group 1 at the Curragh, both on good to firm ground, he looks tailormade for this race and warmed up nicely when defying a penalty in a Group 3 at Naas, a race his stable won 12 months previously with subsequent Commonwealth Cup winner Caravaggio. He too was a son of American sire Scat Daddy, whose progeny seem well suited to the Ascot surface, and his big brute of a sibling is going to be hard to beat in what looks a much weaker renewal than we’re used to.
The main danger according to the betting is Charlie Hills’ Equilateral, who is taking a huge step up in class after winning a Doncaster novice last time but could be anything. Course and distance winner Invincible Army was only just denied in a Group 2 last time after getting outpaced at a vital stage and he should be well suited by the expected strong tempo of this race. The same comment applies to Sir Michael Stoute’s unexposed Eqtidaar, who rates the each-way value of the race at Betfair’s 16/1 with four places up for grabs, albeit at one fifth the odds.
4:20 1m (7f213y) (Rnd) Coronation Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo)
Billesdon Brook, Alpha Centauri and Teppal are all Classic winners this season, albeit the latter filly was a narrow winner of a muddling race for the French 1,000 Guineas and has more on her plate here. But they could all be eclipsed by Aidan O’Brien’s CLEMMIE, who was a strong ante post favourite for the 1,000 Guineas on the back of some strong juvenile form, including winning the Group 1 Cheveley Park on her final start of 2017. She failed to make it to Newmarket having met with a setback, instead reappearing in the Irish version (won by Alpha Centauri). Easy to back on that occasion, she travelled like the best filly in the race only to blow up and wasn’t given a hard race once it was clear she was making no impression. She will improve no end for that and can show that she is the class act in this field with Ryan Moore in the plate. UPDATE – the selection has taken a walk in the market – out to 6/1 from 7/2 -and that’s a worry as money usually talks when it comes to the stable runners. I’m halving my bet.
5:00 1m (Str) Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) (Fillies) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105)
Plenty of these can be given chances but a potential class act amongst them could be Charlie Appleby’s well bred POETIC CHARM, whose fitness level we are having to trust as she hasn’t been seen out since landing the odds in a Kempton novice last September. However, the stable can ready one for this meeting and I suspect she might have been targeted at this for a good while given she is on a good mark (96) and may be capable of making her mark at a higher level later in the season. A winner on good to firm on her racecourse debut at Newmarket before finding an easier surface against her when pitched into Group 3 company (still finished a respectable fifth), she has conditions to suit and also the services of William Buick, who is riding with plenty of confidence right now. I’ll be surprised if she is allowed to go off at bigger than the current 14/1 on offer, so get on each-way now!
5:35 1m4f (1m3f211y) Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+ 0-105)
Likely favourite Dashing Spice has paid the price for running away with a Epsom handicap, going up 11lb, and the next in the betting Thundering Blue has his stamina to prove for this far and might not want the ground this quick. So a chance is taken on last year’s runner-up APPEARED at a double-figure price. Roger Varian’s charge wasn’t as effective on soft ground subsequently and while he has been off for 301 days, he has won fresh the last two seasons, including a first time out success over course and distance last year. A high draw is usually preferred in big fields over this trip so he’s well berthed in box 18.
Royal Ascot 2.30, Fairyland @ 7/2 Hills
Royal Ascot 3.05, Wells Farhh Go each-way @ 12/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds, 1.2.3)
Royal Ascot 3.40, Sioux Nation 5/1 Ladbrokes
Royal Ascot 4.20, Clemmie @ 6/1 bet365
Royal Ascot 5.00, Poetic Charm each-way @ 14/1 bet365 (1/4 odds, 220.127.116.11.5)
Royal Ascot 5.35, Appeared each-way @ 12/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds, 18.104.22.168.5)
All odds were correct at time of posting.