Ruby Walsh: My thoughts on Saturday’s racing at Royal Ascot

As we move towards the final day of the Royal Meeting, Ruby makes his picks for Saturday's action...


14:30 Ascot

Natalies Joy will be all the rage for Mark Johnston, with Joe Fanning riding, and could be the pick of his three.

Charlie Appleby’s Beyond Reason will also be a big runner too, but I like number six, On A Session.

It stayed really well to win over 6f the last day in France, and the step up to 7f will suit. At 8/1 it’s a great each-way price.

15:05 Ascot

A small but select field in this one. Ryan Moore is riding for Sir Michael Stoute on Crystal Ocean, who’s sure to be a short-enough price favourite.

Idaho comes back after winning the race last year, while Aidan also pulls out Cliffs Of Moher, but I think the former can shake up the favourite.

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15:40 Ascot

I think Van Beethoven’s form could be very good. He was beaten into second by Fairyland at the Curragh last time out, with Land Force third in the same race. The latter ran a blinder yesterday and was just touched off in the first race.

Van Beethoven could be the one at 7/1 or 8/1.

16:20 Ascot

Merchant Navy wasn’t fancied on his first start for Aidan O’Brien, when he won at the Curragh.

He could have improved a fair bit since then. For me, he’s the one. He came from Australia and won on that first start, and he’ll handle the ground here. He’s perhaps the best bet of the day.

17:00 Ascot

I don’t have a really strong fancy for anything here. To be perfectly honest I might tell you to wait for the 17:35.

But if I was pushed to back something, I’d go with Wesley Ward’s Undrafted. It has won at the meeting before, and he ran well at Belmont Park on his last time out. He’s in handicap company and Frankie Dettori rides.

17:35 Ascot

Thomas Hobson is definitely the strongest. He was second in the same race last year, and ran a blinder in the Melbourne Cup from a very bad draw. He’s been in training quite a while and is working well. We’d be fairly strong on him and think he has a great chance.

Pallasator will be the danger. He has been revived since he went to Gordon Elliott, and had a good campaign over hurdles. He’ll be a runner.

Renneti is Renneti. It depends on what sort of a day he’s having, and Meri Devie never got into the race on Tuesday and was dropped out of a steadily run race. She’ll run better but she has to improve.

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