Royal Ascot Day 3 Picks – The Top Three

Without trying to sound too much like Racing Twitter, today was tough, very tough.

The day started well with a nice place at 9/1 with TARRABB in the Kensington Palace Fillies’ Handicap, but a disappointing effort from QUEEN AMINATU in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes and PEROTTO’s lack of importance in the Royal Hunt Cup ended the day on a negative note.

That gives us a P&L of -2.2 points from day two, annoying, but not outright horrendous.

Stick around though as day three includes one of my top three bets of the week, a 66/1 shot, and a 25/1 play in the competitive Britannia Stakes.


Gold Cup (4:20) – Coltrane @ 7/2 with William Hill – 2pt WIN

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As much as the Gold Cup can be a tough contest to work out, this year, in my mind, didn’t take too long to work out.

While it may not be groundbreaking news to you all, COLTRANE is a very good horse and deserves his big day in the sun.

That being said, deserving a race doesn’t mean you have to back the horse, but in this case, he looks like the obvious bet.

On last season’s form alone, his fourth in the Goodwood Cup behind Kyprios, Stradivarius, and Trueshan would be good enough to win this race before you even begin to consider the idea that he has progressed in the 11 months since.

Although plenty of others in here are also improving types – Eldar Eldarov, Emily Dickinson, Courage Mon Ami – Andrew Balding’s six-year-old is no different and in a year that is lacking big guns, he could be the one to take up the mantle.

The 7/2 with William Hill looks like a very fair price in a field that he can hopefully get the better of.


Britannia Stakes (5:00) – Bless @ 22/1 with BetVictor – 1pt EW

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No French runner has ever won the Britannia Stakes, though that hasn’t stopped me from backing their sole representative in the shape of BLESS at 22/1 with BetVictor.

Firstly, I will preface this selection with the fact that three-year-old handicaps at this stage of the season are always a nightmare, let alone on the straight course at Ascot with a potential draw bias to deal with.

However, with jockey Stephane Pasquier flying over to take the ride, this Toronado colt can go close off a mark of 93.

Looking through his French form, he nearly beat Marhaba Ya Sanafi, a future French 2000 Guineas winner and French Derby third, three starts ago at Chantilly off level weights.

Furthermore, a look into his second-last run at Longchamp reveals he only finished a head behind Mario Baratti’s Angers, a Seabhac colt who would go on to bolt up by six lengths on his next start in the Group 2 German 2000 Guineas.

Even his two-year-old maiden victory at Chantilly in November 2022 has seen the form franked thanks to Duc De Kent, who would go on to win two races after that and finish second in a Listed event on his latest start.

That is some very solid form behind Bless’ chances, and despite his last three races occurring on softer conditions, his pedigree (by Toronado with Le Havre as the damsire) would suggest there is improvement to come on better ground.

Whether the ground is too rattling quick for his liking or the draw bias is still favouring high draws tomorrow is the danger, but that is accounted into his odds of 22/1 and I’m very intrigued to see how Fabrice Chappet’s three-year-old can perform in the Britannia Stakes.



Buckingham Palace Stakes (6:10) – Toimy Son @ 66/1 with William Hill – 0.5pts EW

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Regular readers of The Top Three column will recognise that I put up TOIMY SON for the Victoria Cup at massive odds last month.

My case for her last time out revolved around her returning to seven furlongs on soft ground with Cristian Demuro booked to do the steering off a mark of 102.

Unfortunately, she never really got into the race from the centre of the track.

However, and rightly so, the handicapper dropped her three pounds for the disappointing effort and with Oisin Murphy back on board, she is one I’m hopeful for at a bit of a price.

My one worry is the ground. Her pedigree and previous form suggest that softer conditions suit her better, however, there have been murmurs that the David Menuisier team wanted to try her on quicker ground and with the first-time blinkers applied, at 66/1, I will take the chance at her returning to form.

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