Royal Ascot Tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s super selections for Wednesday

Day Two of the five-day fiesta and Mick Fitz has your back.

Mick Fitzgerald Royal Ascot 5

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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 Queen Mary Stakes – Maria Branwell (each-way)

There’s lots of big reputations on display. Wesley Ward has a good record with his two-year-old sprinters and his charge Love Reigns looks a little flying machine. She bolted up at Keeneland over just under 6f and looked really strong then. Irad Ortiz was on board that day and retains the ride. She sets a good standard but there was no depth to that race, so she is not guaranteed to have it all her own way.

MARIA BRANWELL looks an each-way player at the prices. She won nicely despite showing her inexperience at Sandown. That performance was all the better because it was against the colts. They will go hard here and as long as she doesn’t miss the break badly,  she has to be there or thereabouts at the business end.

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15:05 Queen’s Vase – Hafit

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Queen’s Vase over 1m 6f threw up a surprise. Nahanni arguably has the best form on offer prior to getting very upset at Epsom and blowing his chance before the race even started. He might do the same again.

His stablemate HAFIT is the selection. He ran very well at Newbury with cheekpieces on behind Walk of Stars and then finished third to Martel in Listed company at Longchamp, but was a long odds-on favourite. The market may provide a more telling guide to his chance.

15:40 Prince Of Wales’ Stakes – Shahryar

SHAHRYAR, Japanese-trained son of Deep Impact, was really impressive in the Shima Classic on World Cup night in Dubai. If he was trained in the UK I’m convinced he’d be a short-price favourite for this.

There was no fluke about his win and it would be a red letter day to have a Japanese winner at Royal Ascot. The market leader Bay Bridge was impressive at Sandown in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes winning very comfortably. That was a long way ahead of anything he has shown in the past, so maybe we should exercise a little caution. He could be a star, but at the prices, I’d like to see him do it again first.

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16:20 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes – Mother Earth

Last season’s 1,000 Guineas winner, MOTHER EARTH, finished behind the all-conquering Baaeed at Newbury last time and there was no disgrace in that, having won earlier at the Curragh on her seasonal reappearance.

She has previous form with Saffron Beach who she beat in the Fillies Classic before Jane Chapple-Hyam’s runner got her revenge in the Sun Chariot Stakes last October. Mother Earth wears cheekpieces now for the first time to help her focus and they can make the difference this time.

17:00 Royal Hunt Cup – Dark Shift

I was working at Ascot when DARK SHIFT finished down the field in the Victoria Cup. He looked like he needed then and that was confirmed with a comfortable success in a Nottingham handicap after. He races here off a 5lbs higher mark now but is still putting 2lbs well in with the handicapper. This is a mad dash up the straight but he has what it takes. Astro King ran a hell of a race last year to finish second and it would be no surprise if he went well again.

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17:35 Windsor Castle Stakes – Little Big Bear

Aidan O’Brien’s LITTLE BIG BEAR looks the perfect fit for this race having finished second on debut and then won easily at Naas on Royal Ascot Trials day there. Château impressed me when getting up close home at Beverly, overcoming trouble-in-running from what looked an impossible position.

18:10 Kensington Palace Stakes – Angel Power

ANGEL POWER, daughter of Lope De Vega, last won in Italy two years ago, but she has been keeping very good company since then. This fillies handicap could be tailor-made for her and jockey Harry Davies is good value for his 5lb claim to ease the weight burden. She handles good ground too as it was good to firm when she won in Rome.

Mick Fitzgerald’s Royal Ascot Day Two Tips

14:30 – MARIA BANWELL
15:05 – HAFIT
15:40 – SHAHRYAR
16:20 – MOTHER EARTH
17:00 – DARK SHIFT
17:35 – LITTLE BIG BEAR
18:10 – ANGEL POWER

*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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