Matt Chapman: I’m backing this 14/1 shot on a ‘Whim at Royal Ascot

Matt's giving it large about John Gosden's Whimbrel in the 5pm.

Matt Chapman Cheltenham


The feature race on Friday is the Group 1 Coronation Stakes over nearly a mile at 4.20pm. There is no doubt HERMOSA is the one to beat, and her form is staring us in the face after wins in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and at the Curragh.

She travels and stays strong. I am worried about Jubiloso, though, who could be anything. She has over 14lbs to find on ratings, but might be much better than her current mark suggests.


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The day begins with the Albany Stakes, a Group 3 race over 6f for juveniles at 2.30pm. My fear is that the American horses won’t get home over this trip, but there is no doubt NAYIBETH looked super special on her debut at Keeneland where she won in a lightning time. Whether she can see out another furlong and a half for Wes Ward, only time will tell.

But she looks exciting.

Next is the ‘Ascot Derby’, the Group 2 King Edward VII over 1m 4f. No chance of me being clever here with JAPAN the obvious selection after his third behind Anthony Van Dyck in the Epsom Derby. His rider lost his whip on that occasion and without that he might have been even closer. A great chance to score for Aidan O’Brien.

The Group 1 Commonwealth Cup comes up for three-year-olds over 6f at 3.40pm. Ten Sovereigns is a worthy favourite and will take some stopping. But the suggestion is to have a few quid each-way on JASH, who was behind the favourite in the Middle Park as a juvenile. Jash returned over 7f and only scraped home, but he’s much better than that and is very hard to kick out the frame for trainer Simon Crisford.


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The Sandringham Stakes, is a handicap over 1m at 5pm. I’m taking a chance on a big-priced runner here with no weight in the shape of WHIMBREL. My hope, trained by John Gosden, got off the mark over two furlongs further last time, but with a strong pace likely, the trip is not expected to be a problem. She’s improving and stays strong. With just 8st on her back, I will take her to run a huge one as an each-way bet with Paddy paying 6 places.

And finally another handicap, the Duke of Edinburgh over 1m 4f at 5.35pm that ends the card. I tipped CORGI to win at this fixture last year and he ran a cracker to finish second in the King George V for Hughie Morrison. He returned this term with a fabulous run at York, travelling well and keeping on to the line, on his first effort since a wind operation.

Has good place claims in a race where Paddy is paying 5 places. So best of luck and hope for some more Yeeehaaa’s. You hear me Paddy?

*Prices and terms correct at time of publishing

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What do you think?