ITV Racing Tips Wednesday 20 June: Our Fancies From Day 2 Of Royal Ascot As Cracksman Returns
Well the first day of Royal Ascot certainly lived up to expectations. No one more so than the John Gosden’s two-year-old Calyx, a former eye-catcher, who stamped his class on a competitive Coventry Stakes to win impressively. He travelled well into the race, and finished off really well especially considering he only made his debut a week ago. I knew he was a future star after that debut, I’m even more sure of it now.
Even though he lost, Battaash ran a terrific race in the King’s Stand Stakes when beaten by Gold Point. He was forced to make all, as Lady Aurelia didn’t perform to the exceptional standard we’ve seen of her at this meeting, and to go so close for a long way was a huge run. I think there are many more huge days ahead of him.
Of course, I have to say a huge congratulations to Eve Johnson-Houghton and Charles Bishop who landed the Queen Anne with Accidental Agent. It’s a huge win for them, and it’s great to see them earn their day as Group One winners at Royal Ascot. I wish them all the best of success, and hope that they haven’t celebrated too hard with four more days of racing to go.
Onto day two and I always relish the Prince Of Wales Stakes, it always is one of the best races of the entire meeting - but I have to say this is a terribly underwhelming renewal. However I do think the mile-and-a-quarter division is going to eventually be really exciting later in the year, with the prospect of Roaring Lion, Masar and maybe even Enable featuring in Britain’s elite races.
That’s in the future and there are winners to be found from this afternoon’s racing.
2:30 (Queen Mary)
I have heard nothing but very good things regarding Chelsea Cloisters and she could represent one of the best bets of the week. Wesley Ward’s juvenile was seriously impressive when winning by eight lengths on debut, and was eased down at the finish that day. She is extremely talented and providing she handles the conditions of the race, I imagine her proving difficult to beat.
At a bigger price I think Snazzy could go well for each-way money. She won really well on debut when starting slowly, and having to lead didn’t suit her at York last time. If she had cover I do think she’d have won, and is capable of making the frame again today.
3:05 (Queen's Vase)
I am very intrigued as to why Ryan Moore is on Kew Gardens over Southern France, and if I am correct in thinking he was given the choice then my judgement of the race is different to the world’s best jockey! I was highly impressed with Southern France’s win at Navan, where he stayed on well to win by half-a-length when looking a bit big and I just believe there is so much more to come from him.
One of my previous eye-catchers King’s Proctor heads here too, and at 20-1 he is a huge price against some unexposed sorts. He needs to improve, but he can’t be completely ruled out quite yet.
3:40 (Duke Of Cambridge)
This is one of the races I am most looking forward to for the rest of the week, so take a look at my in-depth preview of the contest.
4:20 (Prince Of Wales)
If you read my column regularly, you will notice I have said this was the banker of the meeting over and over again and all I can say now is I hope you backed him at 5-4! His price has shortened, probably because the punters have realised how great he is, and that actually winning a Group One on a track you can’t run on is much more of a positive than a negative.
5:00 (Royal Hunt Cup)
In a big handicap like this you can make a case for quite a few of these, but my main selection would have to be the Wesley Ward-trainer Master Merion who will be ridden by Ryan Moore. He shaped very well when fourth in an American Grade Three race but the switch back to the turf should benefit him here.
Elsewhere I have always envisaged Afaak as a horse that can develop into more than a handicapper and he can run a big race for Charlie Hills. Cape Byron and Keyser Soze could go well at a bigger price.
I’m pretty sure the Jersey is one of the best Group Three races in the world, and it’s excellent to see a huge number of entries. Hard to choose but I think James Garfield could run a big race for George Scott. He ran an excellent race in the Guineas before going pretty well in the Sandy Lane which looked a fine race. Elsewhere Expert Eye has a fair chance on last season’s form, and Could It Be Love boasts classic form.
At the very bottom, take a look at Arbalet who is a massive price. His form figures over 7f reads 131 with the third coming in the Solario at Sandown behind subsequent classic winners Masar and Romanised. He could be big each-way value.