We are over the hump and on the downhill run to the end of this glorious meeting as it’s Royal Ascot Day 4.
For the first two selections yesterday, COLTRANE was a tough pill to swallow in the Gold Cup and BLESS drifted across the track which didn’t aid her chances. TOIMY SON missed the break in the last race and despite staying on at the line, David Menuisier’s charge couldn’t regain the distance.
Anyway, it was a tough day, but hopefully, we can have some more success today.
Albany Stakes – Soprano @ 13/2 with William Hill – 1pt EW
The opening race of the day is the Albany Stakes for two-year-old fillies over six furlongs, a race that is always competitive, but it’s SOPRANO that gets my vote of confidence.
George Boughey hasn’t had the best of weeks at Ascot so far, but this Starspangledbanner filly by Lealas Daughter, a half-sister to three-time Grade 1-winning Obviously, gives him his best hope of a winner.
Having been bought at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales in October for 100,000GNS, he made his Newmarket debut a winning one over five furlongs, a race he was hurried along in from two furlongs out.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) May 5, 2023
However, the turn of foot he showed once he got going was impressive and with his 49-day break from the track, it seems connections have had this race over six furlongs in mind for a while.
In what isn’t a vintage crop for the Albany, Soprano could be the best of the lot.
Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes – Aimeric @ 10/1 with BoyleSports – 1pt EW
Roger Varian has yet to have a winner at Royal Ascot 2023, however, day four is where I’m hoping that changes as AIMERIC will be carrying my money (the instant curse) at 10/1 with William Hill.
This Frankel half-brother to none other than Aclaim, the 2017 Prix de la Foret winner turned sire standing at Manton Park, has raced seven times on the track, winning on three occasions.
The most recent victory came 21 days ago at Doncaster, his first run after a wind and gelding operation.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 16, 2022
That return to form was promising to see as he once beat El Habeeb in a maiden at Chester over 1m4f, a horse who is now rated 110 and ran an eyecatching race behind Coltrane in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last month.
The handicapper only brandished him with a four-pound rise in the weights for his run last time out and if he can continue to improve on his second run after a wind-op (the age-old cliché), then off a mark of 96, this four-year-old is an interesting way into the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes.
Sandringham Stakes – Jackie Oh @ 9/2 with BetVictor – 2pt WIN
An angle into handicaps I always like to follow is the class horse at the top of the weights.
In this year’s race, JACKIE OH is the one that can hopefully continue Aidan O’Brien’s incredible form this week.
Having been supplemented into the Irish Guineas for €50,000, she ran a great race behind Tahiyra and Meditate last time out despite the massive hike in class from a Listed event to Group 1 company.
A pulsating finish to the feature Group 1 @Tattersalls1766 Irish 1,000 Guineas as Tahiyra shows her class and asserts inside the final furlong to land back-to-back renewals of the race for the @chrishayes24 and Dermot Weld combination ???? pic.twitter.com/K9DhOhfxyn
— The Curragh Racecourse (@curraghrace) May 28, 2023
She seemed to enjoy the better ground last time out and by Galileo out of Jacqueline Quest, a 1000 Guineas runner-up, she has good relations to Line Of Duty (Breeders’ Cup Turf Juvenile winner), Secret State (110-rated Godolphin four-year-old) and Onassis (two-time Listed winner for Charlie Fellowes).
Hopefully, she will be able to defy her mark of 102 and can continue O’Brien’s streak of Royal Ascot success.
Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes – Rocket Rodney @ 22/1 with William Hill – 1pt EW
And finally, this series is called ‘The Top Three’, but with the difficulty of splitting these four selections, I’m including them all on the P&L.
In the finale over five furlongs, ROCKET RODNEY looks wildly overpriced at 22/1 with William Hill.
Keeping this short and sweet, he looked brilliant in the preliminaries before last year’s Windsor Castle and gave Little Big Bear a great race WHEN beaten by a neck; that form is worth its weight in gold and could receive another boost if O’Brien’s stable star obliges in the Commonwealth Cup.
WHAT A RACE! ????
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) June 15, 2022
He also beat Eddie’s Boy three times last season, a subsequent Group 3 winner, and even put four lengths between himself and Rumstar, another subsequent Group 3 winner, in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown in July.
If you can ignore his last run of the season on ground that didn’t suit and his seasonal reappearance when he needed the run, returning to a favourable course and distance should benefit his chances and the handicapper has dropped him six pounds in two runs.
Off 99, with all of that Group-level form, George Scott’s Dandy Man colt is a great each-way chance in the last.
Other fancies for the day (not including on P&L):
- Little Big Bear 11/10 & Shaquille 9/1 (3:05)
- Arrest 7/2 (5:35)