ROYAL ASCOT DAY 3 (THURSDAY)

14:30 Ascot We kick off day three of the Royal Meeting with another Wesley Ward trained favourite looking to scoop the prize. We saw with Lady Aurelia on Tuesday that the US trainer is no slouch and Happy Like A Fool also ran a good race yesterday. He saddles McErin in this but after a third on his previous start we can’t be overly confident. Another hotly tipped horse in this contest is Havana Grey. Looking to make it three wins in a row the Karl Burke runner has barely put a foot wrong but despite being a listed winner this looks a huge task and a step up is needed. Another runner looking to make it three victories on the bounce is Nine Below Zero. Out of the colt Showcasing he’s got the credentials to do well and if he can emulate his half-sister Quiet Reflection he’ll put give his rivals something to think about. Of the rest Mark Johnston’s Cardsharp may out run his price. Nine Below Zero (E/W)

15:05 Ascot Mirage Dancer looks set to go off favourite and hopes to improve on his fourth placed seasonal debut. He’s likely to do better than his last run suggested but a lot is taken on trust and in such a competitive race I have to look elsewhere. Benbatl has been fancied heavily in all four of his starts and although he’s been pretty consistent he’s disappointed. You’ll get a good run for your money but he doesn’t look the most likely winner and place money may be the best he can hope for. The Ballydoyle team haven’t done all too well so far this week but Orderofthegarter is a horse I heavily fancied for this years Derby. Unfortunately he didn’t seem to like the 1m4f trip so a drop in distance looks a positive move. Although he finished sixth in France last time out that doesn’t tell the whole story and he seemed a tad unlucky. Hopefully this will be the revival that Aidan O’Brien’s team needs here at Ascot. Orderofthegarter (WIN) – NAP

15:40 Ascot If the betting is anything to go off then this looks a straight dual between Alluringly and Mori and in all honesty I can’t really disagree. Alluringly finished an impressive third in The Oaks and that looks by far the best form on offer. A previous defeat to Oaks winner Enable shows just how good she is but you have to question, aside from the winner, just how good a renewal of the Epsom classic it was. I’m therefore taking a chance with Sir Michael Stoute’s filly Mori. She has to improve on what she’s done so far but she continues to get better and better. A previous victory here at Ascot is a huge positive and if she handles the step up in trip looks the one to be on. Mori (WIN)

16:20 Ascot Seen by many as the showpiece race of the five-day meeting the Ascot Gold Cup takes centre stage. The odds-on favourite Order Of St George looks to retain his crown and it’s hard to bet against him but as we saw on day one Churchill went off as a well fancied odds-on shot for the same connections and failed to make the frame. The five year old may claim victory but in terms of any value to us punters we’ll have to look for an each way alternative. The likes of Big Orange, Sheikhzayedroad and Simple Verse all have more than worthy credentials and will surely play their part but with trainer Charlie Appleby in blistering form I’m going to side with Endless Time. The beautifully bred Godolphin runner looks far too big at a price of around 20/1. He’s beaten some of today’s rivals in the past and wont be put off by the firmer ground so a chance is taken here. Endless Time (E/W)

17:00 Ascot Afaak sprung somewhat of a surprise when winning up at Doncaster at 12/1 last time and I’m hoping he can do so again. There’s no question that he’ll have to improve on his previous outings but with a decent draw and an even better current price he’s taken to find place money, if not more. The biggest threats look to come in the form of Leaders Legacy and City Of Joy. Drawn at polar ends of the field they look to go close having both won their last two races. The booking of Ryan Moore for City Of Joy is an obvious positive and if our selection fails to find the winners enclosure expect one of the aforementioned duo to not be far away. Afaak (E/W)

17:35 Ascot We bring the third day of action to a close with what looks the most competitive race of the day. Atty Persse seems the worthy favourite and Roger Charlton’s charge aims to return to winning ways after his second placed effort last time. The addition of blinkers aims to improve the horse further and if so looks to have a fantastic chance. This being said however in a race this open I’m aiming for a bigger priced runner to carry our money. Master Singer and Bear Valley look to have enough about them to potentially throw down a decent challenge to the favourite and are worth checking out for in the betting. Majoris is the one that gets the nod though. As a two year old this Frankel colt was heralded as a potential classic winner but unfortunately failed to live up to such hype. I’m not put off by a fourth placed finish behind Enabled previously and the drier ground will also aid his chances. He needs to return to his best form but if he does he could make his 33/1 price look mightily silly. Majoris (E/W)