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Royal Ascot Friday preview

Unsurprising that day three went awry on the punt after feeling a dangerous level of confidence in the morning. When the first one just about gets knocked down with zero protection from the stewards, the clouds of doom were moving into position... 

Fairly quick on the form study for day four, saving myself for being on track on Saturday!

R1 14.30 Albany

18 fillies entered here for the 6f Group 3 race for 2yo fillies, those not quite good/speedy enough for the Queen Mary yesterday. Unsurprisingly, the market is dominated by a Coolmore and a Godolphin filly followed by one from Amo Racing. And pretty handy fillies they are too. But that's not where the value lies.  

Powerdress won early in the season, defeating the very speedy Yahsat at Newmarket on debut. That filly was backed heavily yesterday in the QM (16/1 into 15/2) and while she only finished midfield, her lead-up runs justified the support. 

So Powerdress it is. Prefer Mawj of the favourites pair, while Beautiful Aisling, Believing, Elvenia and Sydneyarms Chelsea could throw some juice into the exotics.


R2 15.05 Commonwealth Cup

This is bloody hard. There's virtually nothing between several of these - Ehraz, El Caballo, Flaming Rib, Go Bears Go, Tiber Flow, then you have Perfect Power with the best run in the Middle Park last year beating many of these, and Twilight Jet bringing the Irish form.

I seriously don't know. Group 1s at level weights aren't supposed to be like this! I'll probably end up backing whatever is the highest price of that group and a couple of quid as a Hail Mary on Sam Maximus.

Cracking race, not a clue. Take several for the multi-leg exotics.


R3 15.40 Duke of Edinburgh

Contact is flying of late, two wins in a row and the previous start he was runner-up to Get Shirty who won the Copper Horse on Tuesday. Going up 6lbs after his win at Haydock doesn't look enough to stop him.

Down the bottom, Ajero is a handy hurdler (winner of five from 10), but a maiden on the Flat (second in each of three runs) running into some pretty handy ones. Two starts back, he was a length and a half behind Francesco Clemente - a 3yo unbeaten in two starts, who beat Secret State (King George V winner yesterday) on debut, and holds an Arc entry. Coincidentally, the other two horses to have beaten him on the Flat run today as well (Sea The Casper at Redcar and Nathanael Greene at Goodwood - I'm on the double!). 

Brilliant Light makes up my trio, Godolphin + Tudhope since 2020 has resulted in nine firsts or seconds from 12 starts. At 25/1, that's worth a look.

Contact, Ajero, Brilliant Light


R4 16.20 Coronation Stakes

Great field, not sure which formline to trust in England or France so I'll plump for the alternative angle, the two American fillies. Pizza Bianca, a Breeders' Cup winner, and the 3-from-3 undefeated including a G2 and G3, Spendarella. Firm turf won't phase them and double figure odds compensate for the travel risk.

Pizza Bianca & Spenderella.


R5 17.00 Sandringham

29 three year-old fillies down the straight in a handicap. In the last five years we've had 20/1 and 2x 33/1 winners. I'm not even gonna start...


R6 17.35 King Edward VII

Small field, decent race. Changingoftheguard and Grand Alliance back up from the Derby. The only other runner this week out of the Classic has been Nahanni and he ran poorly on Wednesday which adds to my confirmation bias against Derby runners backing up.

Ottoman Fleet looks classy winning the Listed Fairway Stakes at his second start. Lysander went close in the Cocked Hat against the promising Lionel. The Haggas-trained colt hasn't seen dry turf in three starts but on breeding that shouldn't be an issue. Savvy Victory has been consistently in the prizemoney but with only one win from seven. 

The dart I'm going to throw here though is for Dark Moon Rising who ran fourth in the Dante, closer to Desert Crown than those backing up from the Derby. He'll be up on the pace, maybe even lead if the O'Brien opts to take a sit instead, and might just keep on going. He kept on OK in the latter stages at York when trying to take a sit and accelerate, racing prominently on a solid pace might pay dividends for him here.

Dark Moon Rising EW.


R7 18.10 Palace of Holyroodhouse

A lot of the form here ties in closely with the Commonwealth Cup, so I'll probably have a better idea of who to back later in the day. A few that stick out early are Manaccan (form through Twilight Jet and Wings of War), Tippy Toes (first four from the Sandy Lane) and Loves Me Likearock.


BETS

Nothing concrete for the day, might try to play it fairly quiet with a few EW bets and numerous exactas and trifectas. (Easier said than done!). Good luck...


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