Horse Racing Tips: Frank Hickey’s super selections at Royal Ascot on Wednesday

Our tipping guru Frank Hickey returns to help you get your nose in front at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

Frank Hickey Racing 2021

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

14:30 Eve Lodge (NAP)

Eve Lodge is by Ardad who has made an incredible start this season as a sire, firing out winners left, right and centre and Eve Lodge looks among the best of his progeny to date. Eve Lodge is trained by Charlie Fellowes who rarely has his juveniles fully tuned on debut, so she can have her debut effort at Ascot marked up.

Held up off a sedate pace, she was spotted staying on really strongly to nearly grab second behind the re-opposing Get Ahead. On inspection of the sectionals, Eve Lodge ran a really fast final furlong, suggesting she has well-above average ability.

She then went to Lingfield and won as she liked without coming off the bridle, beating a previous winner. The set up of this race will really suit. She has Jamie Spencer on board, probably one of the best riders of the straight track at Ascot and looks to have pace drawn right next to her.

Wesley Ward’s speedball Twilight Gleaming and Quick Suzy are both likely to blaze off in front and give Eve Lodge a perfect tow into the race. Fellowes has been very positive about her chance in recent days and I am really excited about her chance too.

She’s my nap of the week.

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15:05 Wordsworth

Aidan O’Brien has won this race five times in the last eight years and he looks to have excellent claims with Kyprios, Arturo Toscanini and Wordsworth representing him now and it is the latter that I like.

He is a full brother to Kew Gardens, who won this race in 2018, so he is certainly bred to appreciate the test of stamina. He made his debut last August at the Curragh over a mile where he looked all over the winner, until caught close home by the talented High Definition.

He then had a break and returned at the Curragh in April where he got off the mark upped to 10 furlongs. Sent off a short price for a Listed event over 1m 5f next time at Navan, he was beaten a neck by his stablemate Sir Lucan.

While that was a little disappointing, he is still very lightly raced and open to plenty of improvement. He has the potential to develop into a proper St Leger contender.

15:40 Double Or Bubble (each-way)

Lady Bowthorpe is likely to be very popular in the market after her excellent second in the Lockinge Stakes with Palace Pier winning the Queen Anne to boost that form. She deserves to be favourite but I don’t think she is as far clear of this field as the prices suggest. She was only a neck ahead of Queen Power on her previous start in the Dahlia Stakes and she is now 2lbs worse off.

At the prices, I would look for an each-way alternative and Double Or Bubble looks progressive enough to side with. She has only had four starts in her whole career but has won her last three, including a course handicap last season off 85, but it was her reappearance that really marked her down as a big improver.

That was over seven furlongs at Newmarket but she annihilated the field that day off a mark of 91. She still needs to improve to feature here but to put it in context, Lady Bowthorpe was only rated in the low 80’s this time last year. Double Or Bubble is by Exceed And Excel who is a sire that does really well at Ascot and with Paddy paying 4 places, Double Or Bubble makes plenty of each way appeal.

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16:20 Armory

I think last year’s winner Lord North is very vulnerable this year, with this looking a stronger renewal and he isn’t the most consistent. Love is the intriguing one, winning three Group 1’s last season. She  hasn’t been seen since last August and that lack of a recent run could be telling now, particularly with this race having the potential to be tactical and Armory coming in off the back of an impressive win in a tactical renewal of the Huxley Stakes at Chester.

Sectionals say he was value for further that the three-length winning distance and despite being Aidan O’Brien’s second string, he has plenty of ability. This may well be when he finally wins his Group 1.

17:00 Beat Le Bon (each-way), Astro King (each-way)

The draw could be key and if Beat Le Bon was drawn high I would be very confident in his chance but the low draw does complicate things. He has some fancied horses and pace drawn around him, so he might get away with it.

He is a high-class handicapper when getting his conditions, which are a strong pace, on fast ground, over a mile. He gets those conditions and comes in off the back of an excellent second at Doncaster recently, where he was held up off a sedate pace but finished with a rattle to be narrowly beaten.

He got a massive sectional upgrade suggesting he was extremely unlucky not to win, but he gets to run off the same mark again. If the draw doesn’t hinder him, he has excellent each-way claims.

Because of the uncertainty of the draw, I am going to play one high also in Astro King. He is a four-year-old on the up and beat Finest Sound at Nottingham in April. The sectionals tell us he was unlucky not to follow up in the Thirsk Hunt Cup. He has gone up 3lbs for that but he is surely still very well treated off a mark of 98 and he could be well positioned in stall 27.

17:35 Ernie’s Valentine (E/W)

This race looks wide open and while I respect Wesley Ward’s runner Ruthin who could be in a different league, I just can’t let Ernie’s Valentine go unbacked at a huge price with Paddy paying 5 places. Related to Montatham and Troubador who are both useful, Ernie’s Valentine was well supported on debut at Leicester in what looked a nice maiden for the track.

He was impressive in the way he won and I’m sure he will improve. It is difficult to have a strong opinion in this type of race but at the price, he definitely looks worth taking a chance on.

Frank’s Royal Ascot tips

14:30 Eve Lodge (NAP)
15:05 Wordsworth
15:40 Double Or Bubble (E/W)
16:20 Armory
17:00 Beat Le Bon (E/W), Astro King (E/W)
17:35 Ernie’s Valentine (E/W)

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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