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The 2018 Royal Ascot Carnival kicks off on Tuesday night with an absolute belter of a card, with three majors, headlined by a clash between sprinting stars Battaash and Lady Aurelia in the King’s Stand (1000m).

Race 1. (23:30) Queen Anne Stakes 1600m

Back Me

I think e/w, you can’t go wrong with 10 Recoletos (Bet Now: $6.00). Dominant Group ll winner at Saint Cloud first up before going to Prix D’Ispahan, a Group l, at Longchamp and he proved far too classy for them here. Ran fourth behind Cracksman in the Champion Stakes last year so we know how good he is and I think the mile is his go.

Danger

15 Rhododendron (Bet Now: $4.00) has to be respected here for Aidan O’Brien. Thought he was entitled to do a bit more first up at Longchamp behind Cracksman before bouncing back to his best form with a tough win in the Lockinge at Newbury where he was all out late but clung on. Certainly good enough to win. Just think, at the moment, he’s well found in the market.

Long Shot

13 Yoshida (Bet Now: $15.00) is the very interesting runner. American raider for William Mott who comes here off the back of a Group l win at Belmont Park in the US where he had the suck run behind the speed before presenting on the turn and eventually wearing them down. Hard mile will be no issue for him…does he have the class?

Race 2. (00:05) Coventry Stakes 1200m

Back Me

8 Cosmic Law (Bet Now: $12.00) looks a solid e/w play for me. Richard Fahey has been going really well with his two year olds this season and Cosmic Law might well be the pick of them. He bolted up in the Woodcote at Epsom during the Carnival, and did with it something in reserve. That form has generally held up well here in the past and around double figures, I can entertain him.

Danger

The signs are there that 20 Sergei Prokofiev (Bet Now: $3.75) could well be the next superstar for Aidan O’Brien. He’s won the two of three, both which have been in Ireland. Not sure he has beaten much, which is the query, but the manner in which he has done has been very sharp. Trust the eye or trust the form being no good? Leaning towards the former.

Long Shot

Very hard for a horse to win their second career start at Royal Ascot but 1 Advertise (Bet Now: $13.00) looks a nice type for Martyn Meade. He was a bit tardy to begin with on debut at Newbury but he quickly balanced, got a nice run behind the speed and let down well to score. Clearly a much harder assignment here, but he has clear upside.

Race 3. (00:40) King's Stand Stakes 1000m

Back Me

Looks a two horse race between Battaash and 10 Lady Aurelia (Bet Now: $2.62). I’m just leaning the way of the latter. Her two wins here have been unbelievable and I think she can win at the Carnival for a third straight year. Resumed in the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland in the US where she sat outside a brutal speed and the eventual winner had the drop. Seems to save her best for here and her work since that resumption has been unbelievable.

Danger

Enormous respect to 1 Battaash (Bet Now: $3.75). Produced one of the wins of the year at Chantilly last year before being tipped out. Had a wind operation prior to resuming at Haydock where he lumped the big weight and his class got him home. He can a real pig in the yard in terms of attitude, so if he can relax in the yard and down to the gates, he’s the obvious threat.

Long Shot

3 Bucchero (Bet Now: $51.00) perhaps for a first four spot. Go back to the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint last year and this bloke was very unlucky not to finish close when fourth. Got badly held up when looking for the run and by the time he was out, game over. Beat home Lady Aurelia that day, who was off her game. Still, $34+, he might well be a touch of overs, certainly for the place.

Race 4. (01:20) St James's Palace Stakes 1600m

Back Me

Happy to be with 7 Tip Two Win (Bet Now: $6.50) here. He resumed in the Guineas at Newmarket where he was a $51 chance but despite that quote, I thought he ran a beauty in behind top class colt Saxon Warrior, and also make note he didn’t really handle the dips and dives that Newmarket track has. That’s the slight concern here, but does have upside and comes out of the right form race.

Danger

5 Romanised (Bet Now: $6.50) looks a key threat for Ken Condon. He might have been $26 when winning the Irish 2000 Guineas last time out but make no mistake the win was outstanding, dominant and the look is there of a top class horse in the making. First time he stepped out beyond 1400m and he lapped it, and he really should have given he’s related to a couple of two mile winners. Definite chance here.

Long Shot

Couple of these come through a Listed race at Sandown a few weeks back, won by the fav Without Parole. I think the value from that race to here clearly lies with 2 Gabr (Bet Now: $17.00) for Sir Michael Stoute. He was first up that afternoon and got a long way out of his ground but I liked the way he closed off to run second. He’ll be strong late and does have more upside.

Race 5. (02:00) Ascot Stakes 4000m

Back Me

12 Lagostovegas (Bet Now: $11.00) interests me here. Willie Mullins trains this galloper, who is predominantly a jumper but we know how good Mullins is at getting these horses to fire big time on the flat. He did have a flat run in October last year when ridden by Ryan Moore and ran a beauty to run third. He’ll stay all day and firm ground no issue.

Danger

15 Stratum (Bet Now: $6.00) is another one for Willie Mullins who is currently the fav. He has had three runs for the stable, winning the first start before a runner up effort. He then went to Balinrobe in what looks to be a strong hurdle and didn’t jump the cleanest but was okay when fourth to Good Thyne Tara. Distance clearly no issue and is in the right stable.

Long Shot

19 White Desert (Bet Now: $15.00)is a Teofilo gelding for Charlie Appleby who comes here off the back of a win over 2800m at Wolverhampton. Admittedly, he beat a weak field, but he led all the way and the way he charged to the line, I think the extra trip will be no issue. Should get a lovely run from the gate and is a definite threat.

Race 6. (02:35) Wolferton Stakes 2000m

Back Me

13 Sharja Bridge (Bet Now: $7.00) gets the nod for me in the get out. Roger Varian trains this Oasis Dream colt, who resumed over 1800m at Newmarket where he had the suck run behind the speed and loomed large to win, but Oasis Charm just packed too many punches late. Lost a front shoe also, so there was a tiny excuse. Up to 2000m looks ideal and this clearly looks a target race.

Danger

9 Laraaib (Bet Now: $7.50) is an Owen Burrows trained Pivotal colt, who resumed over 2000m at Sandown in a Group lll where he attempted to lead all the way, and he gave a solid enough kick, but was no match late for a high class animal in Poet’s Word. That form does read very well for a race like this. Just has to overcome the sticky draw.

Long Shot

8 Kidmenever (Bet Now: $15.00) is well known to Australian punters. Charlie Appleby brought him to Melbourne last year for the Spring carnival where he tried to qualify for the Caulfield Cup via a Herbert Power win, but he was awful behind Lord Fandango. He then went to the Eclipse at Sandown and just got the win. Back home after a two run Dubai prep, where he won the second start quite impressively. He’s certainly capable if he brought his best.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Three Number 10 Lady Aurelia

NEXT BEST: Race One Number 10 Recoletos

LONG SHOT: Race Five Number 12 Lagostovegas

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