The Royal Ascot Carnival continues this Thursday night with the highlight of the entire week being the draw card, the Ascot Gold Cup (4000m), featuring Stradivarius and the Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter.
Race 1. (23:30) Norfolk Stakes 1000m
14 Ventura Rebel (Bet Now: $13.00) for me in the opener. He won the 2YO Prelude at this track and it was outstanding the way he won, outpaced early before picking up late and charged to the line to beat a well touted Wesley Ward runner Lady Pauline. Will likely be run off his legs again and there is more depth to the field but have to be impressed by what he produced last time.
Wesley Ward doesn’t have Lady Pauline in this race but does have 8 Maven (Bet Now: $17.00) stepping out after a narrow but decent enough debut win at Aqueduct, and usually that sort of form is much better than the Keeneland 900m scampers that Ward often dominates. Very hard for a juvenile to travel and be successful, but the stable do it so well during this Carnival.
2 Air Force Jet (Bet Now: $9.00) is an interesting runner. Joseph O’Brien trains this colt, who comes here off the back of a narrow but strong maiden win at Navan when near the speed throughout and looked in a bit of trouble but found plenty late when challenged and got up to win. There are whispers from the UK that this horse has improved big time since last run and note he’s been a significant firmer in early betting.
Race 2. (00:05) Hampton Court Stakes 2000m
Going the way of 6 Fox Chairman (Bet Now: $4.33). He was an impressive debut winner at Newbury, with two winners to come from that race. He then went to Chester and was good late when third to Circus Maximus, with that horse winning the St James Palace on Tuesday, so that form clearly reads well for this and do like the booking of De Sousa, who can really lift one home.
3 Cape Of Good Hope (Bet Now: $6.00) is an Aidan O’Brien trained colt who has had two runs back from a spell. Resumed with a win in the Derby Trial but unfortunately didn’t get to the big day. Instead, he went to the French Derby and was far from disgraced in running fourth. That form should hold up well for a Group lll and third up, he should be ready fitness wise.
14 Roseman (Bet Now: $9.00) is a son of Kingman for Roger Varian who does have some good form next to his name. He ran second to King Of Comedy last time out and that form was franked in the St James Palace with that horse running a close up second to Circus Maximus. Tricky draw for him given he likes to race near the lead, but if he gets over without spending too many petrol tickets, he’ll take some beating.
Race 3. (00:40) Ribblesdale Stakes 2400m
I think the best version of 3 Fleeting (Bet Now: $2.20) would see her too good for this field. She was awful first up in the 1000 Guineas but made amends for that with a closing third in the Oaks at Epsom. 2400m should be perfect for her and that placing is clearly better than any form line going around here. If she repeats that effort, she wins. Just getting a tad short in betting now.
8 Queen Power (Bet Now: $4.50) is a progressive filly for Sir Michael Stoute who is heading in the right direction. Distance probably beat her two back over the mile before stepping up to 2000m last time and she was most impressive, with the extra ground being to her liking. That should be the case once again up to 2400m and looks one of the main threats to the fav.
4 Frankellina (Bet Now: $8.50) is the one that represents a bit of value at near double figures. Bad start cost her dearly at York before going to the Oaks at Epsom where she got back and closed off well to run sixth. She was three lengths behind Fleeting in the Oaks so that’s the margin she needs to make up but she does have upside so doing that is certainly not out of reach.
Race 4. (01:20) Gold Cup 4000m
Thought the price gap between 6 Cross Counter (Bet Now: $3.75) and Stradivarius was too great so have to go with the Melbourne Cup winner. He was outstanding in winning on the first Tuesday in November before going to the Dubai Gold Cup where he wasn’t afforded the smoothest and most economical run, but class came to the fore and he drew clear. Seems to be getting better and better and I have no issue with him at the trip.
Clearly enormous respect to 4 Stradivarius (Bet Now: $2.25), regarded by most as the best stayer in the world as it stands right now. Won this race last year and comes into the 2019 edition in winning form having won the Yorkshire Cup in very impressive fashion at York, knuckling down when asked to win well. He’s nothing flash when winning, but he just gets the job done and is the obvious and only other serious winning chance.
8 Dee Ex Bee (Bet Now: $7.00) was a bit frustrating to follow last year, showing promise but not getting the job done. His 2019 form has been sharp, winning 2/2, the latest coming in the Henry ll Stakes at Sandown when much too good for his rivals. Trip will be okay for him I think. The two concerns are that he has no turn of foot and this is a significant step up in grade/depth. But he’s in form.
Race 5. (02:00) Britannia Stakes 1600m
Good lord…to say this is tough would be an understatement. I’ll go the way of 22 Tulfarris (Bet Now: $26.00) for Charlie Fellowes. He has placed in both runs for the new stable, the latest coming over the mile at Doncaster when off the speed and chasing hard when second. These kind of races are always tough to sort out, but for the sake of a tip, he is one of a stack of ways you could go.
2 Motafaawit (Bet Now: $13.00) is 2/2 this time in for the Richard Hannon stable. Won over 1400m here last time when near the speed throughout being given clear air to take the lead and despite being challenged in the straight, he found plenty and was too good. Draws to get a really good run off the speed and hard to knock the way he’s gone about it this time in.
21 King Ademar (Bet Now: $11.00) is a son of Scat Daddy who has finished runner up in both runs back from a spell. Both runs have come over 1700m at Nottingham, the last start seeing him race keen in the run and was entitled to drop away but he kept finding and was really good in defeat. Pace should be genuine this time around so doubt he will be pulling and can win.
Race 6. (02:35) King George V Stakes 2400m
Throw at the stumps in the get out via 19 Majestic Dawn (Bet Now: $26.00). The London Gold Cup is a form reference here and I thought he was very good in defeat after being tardy away, which pretty much sealed his fate. His win prior to that at Newbury was dominant and with a clean get away, he will run a much improved race and will likely start $40+. I think he’s worth an each way speck.
1 Constantinople (Bet Now: $4.50) is the class runner of the field for Aidan O’Brien having been a last start Group lll winner over 2000m at the Curragh. Have to go back to 2001 and Beekeeper as the last topweight to salute in the race but we know that horse came out and ran very well in the Melbourne Cup so with that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see how he goes.
18 Eminence (Bet Now: $23.00) is a stablemate of Constantinople who is a winner of a handicap on soft ground, similar conditions to what he’ll face here and being by Sea The Stars, the step up to 2400m will be ideal. His two runs back from a spell have been pleasing enough and I think $20+ is definitely worth something small on him each way in what looks a tough race.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Three Number 3 Fleeting
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 6 Cross Counter
LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 19 Majestic Dawn
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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