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Royal Ascot Wednesday preview

Close but no cigar for me on day one. I did flag a couple up in the placings (including Bradsell), well done if you backed any of those.


Tricky race to start with 28 lightly-raced fillies and most of the favoured runners are drawn the grandstand rail, which seemed to be the slower side on day one.

Balsam, Beautiful Diamond, Bundchen, Crimson Advocate, Cynane, Got To Love A Grey, Juniper Berries, Midnight Affair and Relief Rally are all drawn 14 and above. It might mean nothing (the last nine editions have had winners drawn high) but I'd at least want to back one or two in the lower half of the draw.

Born To Rock, drawn here in 12, won sweetly on debut at Yarmouth but the form hasn't amounted to much, with disappointing next runs from the three immediately behind her, while Gaiden, drawn 10, has run nice placings behind Relief Rally and Got To Love A Grey, and it wouldn't take a big step forward (or better luck) to overturn those placings. At 28/1, she's worth a look each-way. Out Of The Stars could have more in the tank, she missed the start badly on debut at Kempton and still won. Archie Watson, who trained a winner and a second on Tuesday, both at this sort of price, applies the cheekpieces to focus her mind on the job.

Of those on the high side of the draw, there's at least plenty of speed there with the three American fillies. Juniper Berries caught my eye in her two runs to date - she bolted in at Bath on debut, then refused to settle when favoured in a small field at Salisbury and still ran a courageous second. In a big field full of pace here, she should be much better suited. Trainer Eve Johnston Houghton can win this type of race, she took out the Windsor Castle with Chipotle two years ago, and there's a decent price to be had.


Good luck deciphering this one. Take at least one on each side and give yourself a chance, if there is any sort of draw advantage to be had. 

Born To Rock, Gaiden, Juniper Berries, Out Of The Stars


A big field of fillies & mares, with the handicap factor to complicate matters more. 

Adelaise was a big run last time at Curragh in a Premier Handicap, she was blocked until late and flew home to ran third, behind Dunum, a leading chance in the Royal Hunt Cup later on the programme. Her talent is undisputed, it's ger running style that worries me. Slow to start, gets back, needs luck. Not one to back at short prices in a big field handicap. 

Her stablemate Yerwanthere won her first two starts then ran into constant trouble in a Listed race at Naas, running seventh, just ahead of Villanova Queen who found her own trouble. Talented, but again, a bit risky in a big field. Gets the services of champion Kiwi jockey James McDonald..

Completing the possible stable trifecta is Indian Wish who carries more weight but might be the best of the lot. A recent purchase from France, she was close up in a small field on her Irish debut then won a Listed race impressively at Gowran Park last time. Not sure who got first pick here or whether it came down to relative weights, but Declan McDonogh on a normal week would get first choice.

Crystal Caprice is always well supported but last time at Ayr she finished behind Angels Wrath at level weights. That horse ran 2.5L second behind Indian Wish, also at level weights, the start before. Thus the price anomaly (7/1 Crystal Caprice, 16/1 Indian Wish) makes no sense.

Tamarama will have the Frankie factor which wasn't a plus on day one. She ran terribly last year in the Sandringham but has won twice on AW since. Not at the price.


Could it be the Joseph O'Brien trifecta? Keen on the outsider of the three, she's earned her weight and the awkward draw pushes her price out a bit. It's generally not such a bad thing on the round course, gives her room to get out.

Indian Wish EW, Adelaise, Yerwanthere


Oh yay, another fillies' & mares' race.

Not much to go on here, seems to be queries on all of them, whether it is distance, time off, winning strike rate or the difference between their runs on AW and turf. 

One which may surprise at a decent price is Rogue Millennium, dropping down to a mile for the first time. Jumbly probably wins but on the short side.

Rogue Millennium, Jumbly, Prosperous Voyage


Aidan O'Brien has got his stars firing and this is the best of his older brigade. Luxembourg won the G1 Irish Champion Stakes last October and then won the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup three weeks ago. He might not have won the classics like his connections initially hoped, but he has staked his claim as a damn good older horse over this distance.

Bay Bridge, Adayar and My Prospero ran the trifecta in the British Champions Stakes last October  while Mostahdaf can poke his nose up into the frame on his best.

Luxembourg, Bay Bridge, Adayar


It doesn't get any easier. No detailed analysis here, you can make cases for all of them if you are prepared to forgive certain gaps in their form.

My darts landed on

Ghaly, Dunum, Koy Koy, Dawn Of Liberation, Perotto


As mentioned earlier, Aidan has them firing this week so top pick here will be Peking Opera, son Joseph has a strong hand while never underestimate a Johnston 3yo stepping up in trip.

Peking Opera, Etna Rosso, Hadrianus


Not as up to date on 2yo form as in previous years, will be catching up during the day.

Two to definitely be on - Indian Wish and Gaiden each-way at big prices. 


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