Put Your Faith In The Angel At Ascot

Caravaggio is sure to be top of many ‘banker’ lists ahead of Friday at Royal Ascot, yet it may pay to look elsewhere.

There’s no doubting his class and Aidan could hardly be more bullish about his chances, after a pleasing reappearance.

However, the same could be said about Harry Angel. He’s been heavily backed every time he’s set foot on the course, which suggests he obviously shows something at home, and his last performance was simply jaw-dropping.

He pulled hard when being just touched off by the reappearing Blue Point (giving him four pounds) on his seasonal reappearance and it would be no surprised to see the form reversed.

Godolphin now own the pair, after forking out a hefty some following Harry’s last visit to the track. He made all at Haydock, never seeing another rival, moving readily clear of Second Thought and Mubtasim, who since ran a stormer to finish third in the Jersey.

Harry’s Angel is a horse on the upgrade and at 7/2, he looks worth a small interest.

Selection:

1pt win: Harry’s Angel (Commonwealth Cup) @ 7/2

Magic Mori Can Turn Heads At Ascot

We’ve enjoyed a solid start to Ascot and hopefully this will continue across the next three days.

Thursday sees the Ascot Gold Cup take centre stage and given Aidan O’Brien’s misfortune so far this week (gutsy Highland Reel apart), there has to be a slight concern about steaming into Order Of St George.

It looks a fairly messy race and this means I’ll be leaving it well alone but will be hoping for a Big Orange win.

The one and only punt for Thursday comes in the Ribblesdale, in the shape of Mori.

She finished a respectable fifth on debut at Newbury – after going off favourite – and she showed the benefit of the run, winning smartly at Ascot next time out.

She was punted off the boards before her cosy Listed win and she has the scope to progress even further.

She’s a Frankel filly out of Midday, so big things were always going to be expected. Good ground is ideal and she looks an attractive proposition stepping up in trip against the AOB-trained fav, who finished third in the Oaks last time.

Selection:

1.5pt win: Mori (Ribblesdale) &@ 10/3

Enjoy The VIP Treatment At Royal Ascot

Wednesday brings a host of interesting races to get stuck into, with the best punting race of the day sure to be the Royal Hunt Cup.

A cavalry charge down the straight mile at Ascot often bring about thrills and spills and you’re sure to hear many a hard luck story on Twitter come Wednesday evening.

Given a mention of hard luck story, the selection does come with somewhat of a warning. Frankie Dettori is very much a ‘marmite’ jockey. You either love him or you hate him – usually dependant on how well he’s timed his ride.

On his day, there are very few better judges of pace and this will be a necessity with EL VIP in the Hunt Cup. Jamie Spencer is on Banksea in the big race, meaning Dettori will be needed to produce the colt on the final furlong, similar to his last performance at Newcastle.

Dettori has only ridden the 4yo twice in seven runs, which is somewhat of a surprise given he’s number one rider for the owner, and both of those returned rather lacklustre efforts at Haydock.

However, his early campaigns over a longer trip didn’t quite go to plan and he was certainly in need of the run at the Merseyside track earlier this year.

He looked a different horse all together come Newcastle recently. He was strong in the betting, travelled ominously well and when the gap came late, he shot through and won well going away.

This effort suggested he would relish the straight Ascot track and being buried behind a wall of horses. He’s obviously a risk factor, given he will need luck to get his run, yet there’s no doubt there’s plenty more to come from the son of Pivotal and at 14/1, he looks worth a second glance, especially given Afjaan no longer runs for the same owners.

Elsewhere on day two, LE BRIVIDO is of huge interest in the Jersey Stakes. Dream Castle looks sure to be suited over this slightly shorter trip, after somewhat disappointing in the Guineas. However, there have to be questions about his willingness to battle it out, should it come to it, following his displays at the tail end of his last two races.

Daban should frank the Winter form by running her race but the French raider stands out on his three runs thus far. A cosy debut win was followed up with a battling performance over six, next time out, suggesting speed won’t be an issue over the seven.

He then ran a huge race in the French 2000 Guineas, only just being beaten by Brametot, who followed up with a French Derby win and is currently second favourite for the Arc. That short-head second, finishing three lengths ahead of Rivet and Orderofthegarter was a solid bit of form and with so much pace in the race, the fact that he definitely gets a mile, will play into his hands over the seven at Ascot.

He will be able to track Dream Castle and when push comes to shove, Le Brivido can repay Andre Fabre’s faith at a nice price.

1pt EW: El VIP (Hunt Cup) @ 14/1

2pts Win: El Brivido (Jersey) @ 4/1

Get off to a Blessed start at Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot begins on Tuesday, kick-starting five days of pomp, pleasantry and punting.

Ribchester & Churchill are the two hotpots on day one and although they both look rock-solid favourites. However 5/6 and 8/11 shots are not for everyone, so the other races could be where the value lies.

The King’s Stand Stakes is the meat in the Sandwich of the Queen Anne (Sky Bet offer is superb, yet again) and the St James’s Palace Stakes, so it’s sure to be a proper betting race, with punters (and bookies) looking for salvation amidst the odds-on shots.

Lady Aurelia heads the market and after apparently impressing Ryan Moore in a piece of work earlier last week, the money has come again, forcing her into a best price of 3/1. Her latest victory was not too impressive on the bare bones but there is sure to be more to come and it is hard to forget her previous victory at the track.

Marsha’s latest victory at Newmarket, giving weight away, was a monstrous effort, which suggests she is certainly a Group One filly. However, it is the next horse in the market that looks to be worth a chance.

SIGNS OF BLESSING was relatively unfancied when he arrived from France for the Diamond Jubilee, going off 25/1 before only just getting reeled in, in the shadow of the posts, eventually finishing a neck and short-head back in third.

After winning a Group One at Deauville, he returned to run a monster at Ascot in the Champion Sprint Stakes, finishing a close fourth after getting caught late. He gave Profitable almost a stone and a two length beating on his final start, which was simply jaw-dropping and the only real negative could be the ground

His best work has come on Soft but the Ascot clerk is sure to water in an attempt to get any firm out of the ground. Freshly watered, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue and it’s hard to see him not running a huge race.

He’s drawn just five stalls away from Lady Aurelia, so it will be an interesting tactical battle for the lead but it’s hard to see him out of the placings and there are sure to be extra place offerings on the day,

Elsewhere on day one, it could pay to side with ENDLESS ACRES at a big price. Thomas Hobson is sure to prove popular for the majestic combination of Moore and Mullins, yet Charlie Fellowes’ horse could be worth a second glance.

He missed the Chester Cup and ended up bumping into a well-backed Mark Prescott horse at Newmarket, finishing a fair second, with the pair well clear of the field. This will have put him spot on for Ascot, which will have been the long-term goal and at 20/1, the lightly raced son of Champs Elysees is worth a small interest.

1pt EW: Signs Of Blessing (King’s Stand) @ 7/1

1pt EW: Endless Acres (Ascot Stakes) @ 25/1