It’s great to see full fields for the handicaps at Royal Ascot this week and I am going for a bit of value in the opening event. GREENSIDE ran a hell of a race in October on the track and he looks the play to at least hit the frame in a race where Paddy is paying the first 6 home. Daarik is the obvious choice at the head of the market, but jockey Jim Crowley rides Mokhaayel for Richard Hannon, and he woul d have had the choice of the owners’ runners in this contest.
Circus Maximus returns after his win in the St James Palace Stakes last year, to try win on the straight track at Group One level. He is versatile ground wise and deserves to be at the top of the market. However, I prefer the Group One Lockinge Stakes winner at Newbury last year, MUSTASHRY.
He beat a very good field when winning over a straight mile then and looks a value bet think this lad is a great value bet at the prices. Again, jockey Jim Crowley has chosen to ride the owner’s Mohaather. Again, he is talented but the worry is that he has a lot of speed and this stiff mile could just find him out.
John Gosden and Frankie Dettori won this race last year in the same colours of Frankly Darling. This filly won nicely at Newcastle over 10f and the step up in trip is a perfect fit for this daughter of Frankel. It’s hard to get a handle on Aidan OBrien’s fillies as Ennistymon scraped home at Leopardstown and Passion was only fourth at Navan on return. I’m siding with FRANKLY DARLING to give John Gosden a third win in four years in this contest.
Mogul is all the rage to win the King Edward VII and if he is to be the Ballydoyle’s leading contender for the Epsom Derby then he really should be winning this. He was only fourth behind Kameko at Newcastle in the Vertem Futurity Stakes last year, but he certainly looked like the type to improve. Mohican Heights cost £520k at the sales before Royal Ascot last year and looked a horse with a big future when winning at Salisbury. He is one that could serve it up to the favourite.
BATTASH will be delighted there is no Blue Point to contend with this season and this looks the perfect opportunity for him to get that elusive victory at Ascot. Equilateral has always been talked about as a sprinting star, but is yet to deliver the goods. If he runs a career best he’s capable of hitting the frame at a price on Tuesday. Battaash all the way for me though.
Nazeef beat Billesdon Brook at Kempton last time out but I really like Queen Power here for Sir Michael Stoute. She won at Newbury over 10f , but I’m worried about the drop back to one mile. LAVENDERS BLUE is a good value play. She has plenty of speed so jockey Rab Havlin can sit and time his run to perfection.
She can nab this valuable prize for owner Benny Andersson from the pop group ABBA.
This 2m4f contest is like a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham! I’d been concerned about Verdana Blue staying 2m 4f on the Flat as she barely stays past two miles over hurdles.
I’ll take an each-way punt on BLUE LAUREATE. Ian Williams had a Royal Ascot winner last year and with her second-place finish at Haydock under his belt is primed to run a big race.
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
13:15 Royal Ascot – Greenside
13:50 Royal Ascot – Mustashry
14:25 Royal Ascot – Frankly Darling
15:00 Royal Ascot – Mohican Heights
15:35 Royal Ascot – Battash
16:10 Royal Ascot – Lavenders Blue
16:40 Royal Ascot – Blue Laureate
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