NAP OF THE DAY:
1700: Ascot Stakes: Coeur De Lion, 2pts win, 7/1 generally available
This long distance handicap has been farmed by jumps trainers and Willie Mullins in particular. Picking Willie’s best of five entries this year looks tricky with Meri Devie very interesting but not well drawn. He may well have one miles ahead of the handicap again, but if he doesn’t then this looks perfect for Alan King’s Coeur De Lion. He has improved as he sees more distance, and he has a favourable draw and a decent jockey.
Rest of the Day
1430: Queen Anne Stakes: Benbatl, 1pt win, 9/2 generally available
A Group 1 in name and number but shy of true star quality. Rhododendron’s Newbury win is the key domestic form, but for all that she is a doughty battler she comes up short more than she wins. Benbatl won at this meeting last year, had a good Spring season in Dubai, and could be an improved 4yo on this quick surface. He can win. Both Accidental Agent and Lord Glitters have a class edge carrying big weights in handicaps- that class edge inverts here but both still have each way claims.
1505: Coventry Stakes: Calyx, 1pt win, 5/2 generally available
A tricky cavalry charge of 2yos. Joint favourites Sergei Prokofiev and Calyx are wide apart and the draw could be crucial. Calyx has less to prove at the trip and may be the better suited to making his way home from 3f out should pace influences collapse. Sergei should stay 6f but may need a lead deeper into the race. Neither are massive value and Advertise could be the each way value. We just favour Calyx.
1540: Kings Stand Stakes: Lady Aurelia, 1pt win, 15/8 generally available
Another head-to-head embedded in a big field sprint. Lady Aurelia travels again from the US looking for a third Royal Ascot success and meets domestic big gun Battaash. Aurelia has to prove she is as good as ever, which is no given for a 4yo mare, but her evident love of course and conditions gives her the edge. Battaash can be unsettled by crowds but is the clear danger. The big guns take too much of the frame to allow each way room.
1620 St James Palace Stakes: Tip Two Win, 1pt win, 11/2 generally available
This is the leading mile race for 3yo colts at the meeting. A fascinating market sees the untapped and unbeaten potential of Without Parole as favourite. He certainly looks good but too short against a couple who have proven to have the quality he hints at. Romanised was a good winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas, which is comparable to the English equivalent on a line through Gustav Klimt. But the best form has to be Tip Two Win’s 2000 Guineas second place. He finished between Saxon Warrior, Masar and Roaring Lion who were all in the first four home in the Derby. That’s gilt edged form and he is probably priced on the unfashionable name on the horse box rather than the form.
1735: Wolverton Stakes: Spark Plug, 0.5pts each way 22/1 generally available (1/5 top 4)
This race has been upgraded to a listed event but with just 6lbs separating the field on official ratings it should be a close affair. Plenty of pace assured with Big Country drawn to attack from the front. The market rightly concentrates on the potential improvers, but we like an each way dabble on hold up fast ground horse Spark Plug under mercurial Jamie Spencer. He won a Cambridgeshire off a big weight and has mostly raced in small field events since. This big field and fast pace should help him deliver his best and he could sneak into the frame.
The Daily Yankee:
Benbatl – Lady Aurelia – Tip Two Win – Coeur De Lion
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