It’s been a rather ‘near-miss’ week, with only one of our each-way doubles getting placed each day.
However, it shows we’re in the right ball park, and you have to keep the faith as my favourite day of the week comes up!
The first main selection comes in the shape of Alive Alive Oh, in the Ribblesdale Stakes.
The filly has only raced three times, and has become more and more impressive with each passing run.
She began with a respectable third behind Irish 2000 Guineas winner Magician, before going on to notch two wide-margin victories, with the last being in a listed race.
The daughter of Duke of Marmalade has the pedigree to suggest she will stay the distance, and if she does, the forecast rain will be no problem.
The Lark will be a big danger, after a solid run in the Oaks, arriving late on the scene under a typically patient Jamie Spencer ride. She is a guaranteed stayer, and should be fighting out the death, yet she was beaten fair and squad previously by Winsili who re-appears on Thursday.
The form of that race has worked out well, and with John Gosden’s filly bypassing the Oaks for a crack at Royal Ascot, you can be assured she will arrive here fresh.
The best-priced 11/2 does appeal from an each-way perspective, but it looks as though Tommy Stack’s filly Alive Alive Oh, will have enough of a turn of foot to safely see off the field, providing she does stay.
That is the win single sorted, so now for a bigger priced potential surprise package in the big race of the day, the Gold Cup.
There is sure to be plenty of support for the Queen’s filly Estimate, who is currently a very warm favourite.
However I’m taking a punt on the very aptly named Top Trip, who is an unknown over the longer distance, but looked every inch a stayer when just going down a nose in the Yorkshire Cup.
Francois Doumen initially stated he would look after his colt, and shy away from Ascot, so the U-turn intrigues me, and clearly suggests he thinks his charge can land a blow.
He finished his race very well over an inadequate distance last time out, and the extra six furlongs will hopefully allow the 4yo to settle early on, and ensure he doesn’t get outpaced like he did for a stage last time out.
Mickael Barzalona has form in the race, having finished runner up on Opinion Poll when un-fancied in 2011, so he knows how to get the best out of underdogs.
In what looks a very open race, the 20/1 looks a fair price, on a classy sort firmly on the upgrade.
2 points win: Alive Alive Oh @ 5/2 (Various)
1 point e.w: Top Trip @ 20/1 (Ladbrokes)