Mick Fitzgerald: It’s Crystal clear to me that this 11/4 shot is primed for a big Friday at Royal Ascot

A 63/1 treble for Fitzy on Tuesday and he's back to give Paddy another caning as we power into the weekend

Mick Fitzgerald 1900

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The Group 3 Albany Stakes (2.30pm) kicks things off and I really fancy Irish challenger Alpha Centauri. Jessica Harrington’s strong filly has been really impressive in her two runs so far and looks like she wouldn’t be out of place over jumps! She has bags of speed and hopefully the ground isn’t too firm for her. Her last win at Naas had some cut in the ground, but she did win on good to firm ground before that.

Aidan O’Brien’s Clemmie should leave her debut run behind her and hit the frame. She was not knocked about at the Curragh and is a beautifully -bred sister to dual Guineas winner Churchill, who won at Ascot last year, having been beaten first time up!

Photo finish at the Curragh

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The Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes (3.05pm) is for horses who have either run in the Epsom Derby or were considered for the race at one time.  I was working at York and got to see Crystal Ocean in the flesh when third to Permian in the Dante Stakes.

He is just the type Sir Michael Stoute does really well with. He didn’t run in the Derby but is definitely a horse with a future. The fact he didn’t run at Epsom sways me to select him.

Salouen had no luck-in-running at Epsom, but Sylvester Kirk’s charge could be a bit of value to hit the frame here also.

The two shades of Blue to go head-to-head in the Group 1 6f Commonwealth Cup (3.40pm) where Ballydoyle’s Caravaggio and Godolphin’s Harry Angel face off. Clive Cox’s stable has already had a winner here this week and the team are quietly confident they can beat the favourite with Harry Angel who broke the track record at Haydock.

However, the O’Brien runner bolted up in the Coventry Stakes last year and can go in here again. With track records tumbling at Ascot this week, the clash of these two speedsters could lower it again.



If there was to be a shock, I am tempted by Bound For Nowhere each-way. I watched him work with Tuesday’s King Stand Stakes winner Lady Aurelia at Keeneland and he’s a flyer.

The Coronation Stakes 4.20pm is a chance for Winter to establish herself as the best female three-year-old miler in Europe. There are some who think the fillies are better than the colts this year. Winter has been so impressive in both her 1,000 Guineas wins and will be tough to beat. The French filly Precieuse is pretty smart and her action suggests, that she may well prefer faster ground than she has run on in France and could be the value to chase the winner home.

Sets the standard

Mark Johnston’s Time To Study sets a good standard in the 1m 6f Queens Vase Stakes at 5pm and his trainer has won this event three times in the last 10 years. Of the others, connections believe that the race will suit Stradivarius and he’s a strong contender for the places.

The Queen’s Mainstream should definitely be in the shake-up for the closing race the 1m 4f Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (5.35pm)  for the Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore combo. If Tom Queally can get Cape Cova to avoid racing in snatches throughout this contest, he could be a fair price to hit the places.

Good luck!

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What do you think?