Five of these are unbeaten and my preference of them is VINTAGE BRUT. He was really good at Sandown in a Listed race in May and can handle step up into Group Two level. He was bought for £280,000 on Monday and can take this. Shang Shang Shang was impressive on debut at Keeneland but Wesley Ward’s horse’s haven’t been running brilliantly this week and he has a similar profile to Ward’s runner in the first on Day 2 who really disappointed. Konchek was beaten a half length by Vintage Brut last time and will struggle to reverse the form but has place claims.
Hampton Court Stakes
WADILSAFA is a son of Frankel and he won his maiden well last time out by three and a quarter lengths after coming second in his only two year old start. The fifth horse in that race won the Esher Cup so that race is a good form line. Godolphin look to have three good shots in this but the one who looks the best is Key Victory, who won his first two before coming eighth in the Prix Du Jockey Club in France. Nordic Lights was fifth in the Dante and National Army could be anything. Hunting Horn is highest rated yet has put in some average runs since breaking his maiden and this may be on the firm side for him.
Wild Illusion has 9st3lbs to carry and that may be a problem for her. She ran well in the Oaks but the fourth horse in that race is preferred due to the penalty. MAGIC WAND was a runaway winner of the Cheshire Oaks beating Oaks winner Forever Together. She’s back at that trip and on ground she prefers. She has a really good chance of winning this but unexposed Sun Maiden could be a huge danger. She won last time out by twelve lengths and has a nice pedigree being by Frankel out of Midsummer. Perfect Clarity, Athena and Dancing Brave Bear are all each way contenders.
Ascot Gold Cup
Order Of St George won this race two years ago and it looks a highly competitive race this time around. He his highest rated and has won his last two like my selection VAZIRABAD. He won the Dubai World Cup in March for the third time in Dubai and this will be his first start in the UK. He won’t have any quibbles with the trip and looks a big contender. Stradivarius is a very progressive sort and won the Queen’s Vase last year really well. He is going for the in form combination of Dettori and Gosden and has a chance by he is yet to tackle two miles three and was a length behind Order Of St George and a half length behind Torcedor in the Long Distance Cup here in October. Torcedor is also one to put on the shortlist after winning well in the Sagaro Stakes and was fifth in this last year.
This race is a mind-field for punters. CRACK ON CRACK ON is likely favourite after a good performance in the Silver Bowl beating Completion, Finniston Farm and Simpson. He will be coming out of stall 17, which may be the wrong side, but they’ve been coming down the middle in some of the races so there shouldn’t be an issue regarding the draw. Last year’s winner won of 8st9lbs and Corrosive, ridden by Josie Gordon, has that weight and has a good chance to land the spoils and break women jockey’s drought at Royal Ascot. His stable companion Curiosity is also fancied to go well with James McDonald in the saddle. He was second last time out behind a hot favourite and had Sam Gold back in third. Also of that ownership, Ostilio has been really consistent but will need to step up.
King George V Stakes
Charlie Appleby has two in this and my selection- CROSS COUNTER– is one of them. He has an okay draw in eleven and was crying out for a longer trip when second on turf debut over 1m2f. He will have improved from that. Appleby’s other runner, Dubhe, won a handicap last time out by four lengths beating Communique and has a good chance for the boys in blue. Mark Johnston has six runners in this and Communique is probably he best bet of them all. Kevin Blake from ITV Racing is a very good tipster and selected Downdraft of Joseph O’Brien’s as his best bet of the meeting so he deserves a look into. Last time out, he won on turf debut by a neck and him and the second went five and a half lengths ahead of the third. The step up in trip will help him and he’s a solid each way bet.