The Royal Ascot Carnival continues on Friday night, highlighted by the Group l Commonwealth Cup (1200m).
Race 1. (22:15) Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes 1000m
Going the way of 9 Keep Busy (Bet Now: $7.50) in the opener for John Quinn. Won a Listed event at France back in November on very testing ground, so she ticks that box for here and thought her resumption at Sandown was quite good behind Lazuli. She’ll be decent odds, draws the right part of the track and should be fine on rain affected ground.
7 Art Power (Bet Now: $3.00) looks one of the hardest to beat. Resumed on the All Weather at Newcastle and gave her rivals a proper spanking, winning by 5.6L and running sharp time for the meeting. On breeding, should be fine on wet ground and two back did bolt up at York on a track rated soft so she’s clearly likeable here.
6 Will To Win (Bet Now: $17.00) has done little wrong in her career to date. Most of her racing came during the Winter when last in work and that’s when she put together a sequence of wins. Last run at Lingfield was good back in March and she appears to have above average ability. Just a matter of whether or not she handles a wet track.
Race 2. (22:50) Albany Stakes 1200m
Roger Varian has had a great Royal Ascot Carnival and I think that can continue here with 10 Setarhe (Bet Now: $8.00). Thought it was a big win on debut at Newmarket. Was tardy to begin with and asked to chase from a fair way out but as the race went further, she got better and was an impressive winner. Stable won this race last year and I think potentially, this girl is better.
Always have to respect Wesley Ward and he has 4 Flying Aletha (Bet Now: $9.50) going around. Debuted over 1000m at Gulfstream Park back on May 21 when showing really good early toe to lead the field and she gave nothing else a look in, winning comfortably and ran solid enough time. 1200m on testing ground the obvious query, but always on guard with the stable.
13 Ventura Vision (Bet Now: $51.00) is a horse the SP Profile fans will love. Started $1.60 on debut on the Chelmsford All Weather but she was never a winning chance. Was off the bit from a fair way out due to a solid tempo but to her credit, she didn’t throw in the towel and actually kept finding in a good effort. De Sousa sticks and $1.60 there vs $26+ here, she could well be worth a small each way ticket.
Race 3. (23:25) Norfolk Stakes 1000m
On top is 13 The Lir Jet (Bet Now: $7.00). Michael Bell trained juvenile that debuted over 1000m at Yarmouth in what looked a hot race on paper but he blitzed them, sitting near the speed throughout to give them a spanking and actually broke the track record. I don’t care where or when, if a 2YO can break a track record on debut, they’re above average. Happy to be with him.
4 Eye Of Heaven (Bet Now: $2.75) looks a smart customer. Debuted over 1000m at Newmarket when sent out a short priced favourite and he lived up to the expectations with a rather slick performance to win in good time and seemingly did it with something in hand. Frankie remains on and is one of the hardest to beat.
6 Golden Pal (Bet Now: $9.50) is a Wesley Ward trained colt that debuted over 900m at Gulfstream Park when somewhat run off his legs early but picked up late and charged to the line to finish a close up second, beaten as a $1.50 favourite. On breeding, the wet track should be okay and you’d like to think he’ll take great improvement from that.
Race 4. (00:00) Hardwicke Stakes 2400m
2 Anthony Van Dyck (Bet Now: $3.75) looks the winner here surely? Derby winner from last year who hasn’t quite gone on with it since, but did resume in the Coronation Cup and was a definite pass mark when second to Ghaiyyath, with Stradivarius in third, and we all saw what he did last night. Wet ground, class, has the recent run under the belt…really keen on him.
If this was 2000m, you would be very tempted to have 7 Elarqam (Bet Now: $3.25) on top. He ran second at his last outing in the Brigadier Gerard, pushing Lord North all the way, who of course smashed them in the Prince Of Wales and looks a star of the future, so that form is A1 for a race like this. The question being, will he run a strong 2400m?
4 Defoe (Bet Now: $7.00) won this race last year. Is he going as well 12 months on? I’m saying no, but I think just forget he went around in the Coronation Cup. That was too bad to be true the way he gave in under pressure. He is a horse who loves wet ground and at his best, he is certainly up to these. One to watch from a market perspective.
Race 5. (00:35) Commonwealth Cup 1200m
14 Kimari (Bet Now: $7.00) ran so well in the Queen Mary last year and I think 12 months on, she can take this out, noteworthy that Frankie has been booked to steer. This girl hasn’t raced since April 4 in a high class race at Oaklawn Park back in the US where she was run off her legs early and copped a check on the turn, but balanced up and her last 100m was outstanding. It was on the dirt, but the track was bottomless there, so wet weather here is no issue, nor is a strong 1200m. I think she’s hard to beat.
Just how good is 6 Pierre Lapin (Bet Now: $5.50)? 2/2 to start her career for Roger Varian, the second of those wins coming back in September when winning the Mill Reef in a breeze at Newbury. He’s a half brother to former top sprinter Harry Angel, who ran second in this race back in 2017. He looks a beauty and is hard to beat.
9 Royal Crusader (Bet Now: $11.00) is a Charlie Appleby trained colt who has done little wrong in three career outings. Won well on debut at Newmarket and in two runs since has been solid, including last time out back in October when second in a Group lll at France on very testing ground. Draws the right part of the track and in a leading yard.
Race 6. (01:10) Queen’s Vase 2800m
Not the strongest of races but for the sake of a tip, on top is 9 Born With Pride (Bet Now: $3.25). Won on heavy ground on debut at Newmarket over the mile in what has turned out to be a strong form race. Then resumed at Kempton Park and was just fair behind Berlin Tango but the form out of that race stood up big time earlier this week and is bred to handle the trip.
2 Berkshire Rocco (Bet Now: $4.75) is an Andrew Balding trained three year old that should appreciate the step up to 2800m. Resumed over 2300m at Lingfield and worked to the line quite well when second to English King, with a gap to third, which is always a good sign. That winner is being talked up as a Derby prospect, so you’d like to think that’s good form for this.
6 On Guard (Bet Now: $17.00) has the John Gosden polish and should be respected. Showed good ticker when resuming with a win over 2300m at Yarmouth. Did he beat much? No, but liked the way he toughed it out, especially for a horse who isn’t bred to get this kind of trip, so up to 2800m a query, but have to respect the stable.
Race 7. (01:40) Duke of Edinburgh Stakes 2400m
Throw at the stumps in the get out via 14 Indianapolis (Bet Now: $11.00). James Given has a small stable but his runners are firing at the moment, with two winners from five runners. This horse was formerly with Aidan O’Brien but didn’t really fire a shot so is now with Given and showed good promise when last in work, potentially a horse to watch out for in a race like the Ebor. Is a winner on wet ground, has upside to come and is a winner at the track/distance.
9 Durston (Bet Now: $6.00) looks the most obvious. David Simcock trains this galloper, who can get a bit keen in the run at times, but there looks to be good speed here, so he should relax in the run and prove hard to beat. Last start did beat subsequent Group l Technician, who was terrible in the Gold Cup last night, but that form line still reads well for this.
3 West End Charmer (Bet Now: $7.00) will be near the speed throughout. Was nearly a year between runs when getting the job done at Newmarket, leading most of the way in an impressive return under William Buick, who is on for this as well. Only run on wet ground, he was terrible at Chester, so if you like him, you want the track to dry out.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Four Number 2 Anthony Van Dyck
NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 14 Kimari
LONG SHOT: Race One Number 9 Keep Busy
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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