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Royal Ascot Day 3 summaries - first half

ROYAL ASCOT THURSDAY


A much better day on day 2, back in the black after backing Leovanni, Doha and Aviation Time.

Short summaries for most of the card...


NORFOLK STAKES

Looks very hard to beat Whistlejacket here. A full brother to Little Big Bear, he left Arizona Blaze for dead last time in the Listed First Flier Stakes at the Curragh, afer a nice second on debut behind Cowardofthecounty. The latter went OK on Tuesday, not really franking the form or dismissing it. Saturday Flirt won very impressively for Wesley Ward on debut at Keeneland, coming from back in the pack, which is unusual for a hypercharged US juvenile. Shareholder might be the better one on the Wathnan Racing pair, he only scraped in against Moving Force with a 7lb weight advantage but bear in mind they got James Doyle to go to Beverley on a Saturday to ride this one on debut - there must be something in the tank for the €460k recent breeze-up purchase. Alternatively Moving Force is a big price in comparison with the weight turnaround for the margin of a head.

WHISTLEJACKET, Saturday Flirt, Shareholder, Moving Force

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KING GEORGE V STAKES

Form for this race will closely line up with the Hampton Court later on the card, not sure why they have them on the same day.

Fouroneohfever looks like a tough horse, winning three handicaps in a row for trainer George Boughey without blowing his handicap mark. Stable and jockey are in great form. Gilded Water only won a maiden at Chepstow last time, but by a long way and he is a half-brother to a Sydney Cup winner. He's had the snip, so there was no point rushing him for a Derby, and stepping up another 2f should be ideal for him. And wouldn't everyone go ga-ga about it if the King & Queen had a winner here.

Naval Force is a curious runner. Raced three times in Ireland, he beat Chantilly and The Euphrates on debut (both much higher rated now) and won an Auction race at Roscommon last time. All three of his runs have been on wet tracks, he might improve for hitting firmer ground. At a big price, that's a gamble I'm prepared to take. Lots of other chances, Warda Jamila might be able to sneak a place, while East India Dock down the bottom has shown enough to be in the finish off a lightweight. No particular knocks against the other favourites, just looking for ones I rate as over the odds.

FOURONEOHFEVER, Gilded Water, Naval Force, Wanda Jamila

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RIBBLESDALE

This is regarded as an Ascot version of the Oaks. Run slightly later and on a proper raxcecourse, not a goat track, it can throw up different results.

Port Fairy went close behind Forest Fairy at Chester but didn't go to Epsom, yet has Ryan Moore, the stable's no.1, aboard here. So you have to think she is still highly regarded and will relish the wide open spaces. Rubies Are Red was the eye-catcher in the Lingfield Oaks Trial but was never going to win at Epsom as she couldn't handle the mild undulations of the Lingfield turf. Decent price here, completely disregard the Oaks run. For third I'll throw in my Oaks tip, You Got To Me. She beat Rubies Are Red at Lingfield then ran a nice enough fourth in the Oaks. Diamond Rain is exceptionally well-bred and could be anything but I'll swerve at the price, and Kalpana has shown promise but the form of her most-recent second hasn't worked out.

PORT FAIRY, Rubies Are Red, You Got To Me, Diamond Rain

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GOLD CUP

Kyprios sets a high bar here. He hasn't been stretched in his Irish preps this season but what has he had to beat? Expect him to be finely tuned for this. Some are railing against him on a firm track, suggesting his very best was on a wet track. That might be true, but for British/Irish stayers, that's nearly always the case! Odds-against is good value.

The rest I find very even - literally any of them could run into the placings, so I'll be throwing roughies in like Prydwen, Caius Chorister and Sweet William into my trifectas.

KYPRIOS, Prydwen, Gregory, Caius Chorister


Day 3 - latter half of card

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