ROYAL ASCOT – TV TIPS (THURSDAY)

14:30 Ascot We kick off day three with a two year old contest, The Norfolk Stakes. Of the two at the forefront of the market both King Of Rooks and Log Out Island have brilliant chances but despite the laters course and distance win I can’t look past the Hannon favourite. King Of Rooks won nicely last time out and was a definite one to look out for this week. It’s a shame that the price is so short but I’m that convinced it should win that to say otherwise wouldn’t be my honest thoughts. Of the remainder Shanghai Glory could do well at a bigger price but of the others I prefer Ajaya. The William Haggas horse should improve leaps and bounds for its one and only run. The form of that race has been franked with both the winner and fourth place winning well subsequently. King Of Rooks (WIN) Ajaya (E/W)

15:05 Ascot Another group race awaits but this time for the older three year old generation. The current favourite is Time Test. The horse has done very little wrong finishing no worse than second in its career and the Roger Charlton trained Dubawi colt has a great chance. The yard are finally hitting form and the addition of Ryan Moore is undoubtedly a plus but I do worry about how good the horses it’s beaten are. It is a worthy favourite but hope to find better value elsewhere. A horse I really like is Peacock. It’d be great to see The Queen bag a winner this week and this could be one of her best chances. The horse hails from the top stable of Richard Hannon and it’s form behind Golden Horn now reads very well. Despite its win last time out and doing it well it looked a tad green but that doesn’t put me off as I think it probably has further room for improvement and could be an each-way bet to nothing. As for the other entrants it could be a blanket finish for third but considering the red hot form Dermot Weld’s horses are in I’m plumping for a speculative outsider in Don Camillo. The American bred colt will enjoy the quicker ground and although it needs to improve markedly may be worth a shot. Peacock (E/W if 9/2+) Don Camillo (E/W)

15:40 Ascot Despite this race having one of the smaller fields today it’s proving one of the trickiest to decipher. Pleascach has a good chance but considering Jim Bolgers yard are far from flying I can’t be with the horse at evens. Looking past the favourite and there’s four runners I could easily make a case for. Irish raider Curvy has won three on the bounce but this will be a marked step up in class and wether or not it can do so is a question mark it’ll have to answer. Both Pamona and Pandora also have decent chances and although they will be there or thereabouts may find one or two too good. I’m therefore going for the unbeaten John Gosden runner Gretchen. Obviously the horse only has one run to its name and will have to progress but the yard are doing well with this years Derby winner and this Galileo filly could surprise a few. Gretchen (E/W)

16:20 Ascot The showpiece race of the day sees fourteen runners line up for this years Ascot Gold Cup. A horse I have been very keen on all season for this race is the favourite Forgotten Rules. The unbeaten and lightly raced five year old has been aimed specifically at this race and will have a great chance and has to be my selection. The only downside is that there are five rivals that all have course wins to their name, the ever improving Trip To Paris and a couple of promising four year olds. I hope the favourite is fit and raring to go because it’ll need to be at its best but judging by the yards success in yesterday’s big race it should be ok. Of its rivals I fear Trip To Paris, Windshear, Simenon and Scotland the most and they should fight it out for the places. Forgotten Rules (WIN)

17:00 Ascot The penultimate race of the day sees a cavalry charge with thirty runners lining up in the Britannia Stakes. If yesterday’s Hunt Cup was anything to go by you don’t want to be drawn in the lower third of the runners so that should help us out a little bit. Although it maybe doing myself out of a winner I can’t go for a horse near the head of the market when there’s so many runners especially when all these three year olds are open to improvement. The two horses I’ve plumped for are currently priced at 20/1 or bigger and both drawn in the top half of the draw. The first of the duo hails will be saddled by John Gosden as Sugar Boy gets into the race off a low weight. The yard are doing brilliantly at the moment and with a win on good to firm ground over today’s mile trip it should go well. My other pick has an even lower weight. Mark Johnston always fires one in at Ascot and it could come in the form of Resonant. If you ignore it’s last run at Epsom it had won two on the bounce. A return to firm ground should be a positive and although I’m not sure if a drop back to a mile is a great way to go you have to respect this yard especially when jockey Silvestre De Sousa is riding winner after winner lately. Sugar Boy (E/W) Resonant (E/W)

17:35 Ascot The final race of the day is another big runner field and another three year old handicap. It looks like Sir Michael Stoute is trying his best to pick up this pot with three runners entered all of which have great chances. Despite Ryan Moore now residing as number one jockey to Ballydoyle he will still have been given the pick of Stoutes trio and I’m not going to disagree with him. Dissolution may be favourite but it looks the pick of the crop, not by a long way but should finish in the places at least. I also really like Luca Cumani’s King Bolete and if truth be told would be another selection if it’s price wasn’t nearly as short as the favourites. As such I had to pick between the two and a preference only went slightly to the Moore ridden horse. As an outside option I’ve also opted for the bottom weight. I’m not 100% certain what Andrea Artzeni’s situation is in terms of who he is retained by. If he has turned down the opportunity to ride Luca Cumani’s King Bolete in favour of Simple Verse it may be worth noting. Obviously she will need to improve but a close second behind Endless Time looks to be working out well and priced around 18/1 could be too big. Dissolution (E/W if 9/2+) Simple Verse (E/W)

by Rory Paddock

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