The nature of many tipping columns is fraught with danger when it comes to Royal Ascot, and the inclination to be patient and wait for rainfall/draw biases etc can sometimes lead to overthinking.
So much of how day three will pan out will be dependant on the rainfall that they get during the morning and early afternoon, and it is hard to completely dogmatic about selections. But I have plumped for a few that I think will have the least potential for inconvenience, whatever happens.
The opening race is the Norfolk Stakes, and could be used as a nice reference point for later races on the straight track, and what was clear yesterday (and using this morning’s GoingStick readings) was that being near either rail is best. Being down the middle looked akin to running in treacle for those lumbered with that track position in the closing stages. I like a few drawn very low or very high in the Norfolk, so no bet overall.
On to the Hampton Court Stakes at 3.05pm, and there is a good bet to be had here. Once again, I am making use of the different markets available, and recommending taking the 6/1 each-way with Bet365 or BetVictor about Roman Empire, in the market ‘without favourite Mohaafeth’.
Roman Empire was clearly employed as a pacemaker for stablemate High Definition in the Dante at York, but for a lot of the race looked as if Hollie Doyle may have slipped them. Only fading late on, Roman Empire ran a cracker, and given the round track at Ascot has been very much favouring prominently ridden horses, and with the lack of other obvious pacesetters, Ryan Moore could once again be seen to good effect from the front. As he very much was on Love yesterday.
Mohaafeth does look a superstar, but Roman Empire is improving and will be advantaged by the race tactics I feel, so must be backed at 6/1 each-way in the market ‘without favourite Mohaafeth’, and I also wouldn’t put anyone off taking double figure prices to win the race itself.
The Ribblesdale Stakes at 3.40pm has another solid looking short priced favourite, in the shape of Noon Star, and once again I am looking to take advantage of the ‘without favourite’ market. John and Thady Gosden’s Loving Dream was only 2½ behind Noon Star at Wetherby, and then was unlucky to be squeezed out of the placings in the Lingfield Oaks Trial.
At 25/1 each-way with Bet365, in the market ‘without favourite Noon Star’, Loving Dream is a wild price about a horse who is very closely matched with the outright 9/4 favourite of the race. You can also get 40/1 in the outright market about Loving Dream.
The middle of the card was tricky from a betting perspective, and most of the horses I liked in the Britannia Stakes at 5.00pm were drawn low, which was obviously not inconvenient yesterday, but given the GoingStick reading is slightly better on the stands side again, I’d just be slightly wary.
The final bets of the day come in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at 6.10pm, and with the prospect of most of the pace being amongst the high numbers, and potentially the best ground there, I am siding with two against the field.
Bielsa at 16/1 each-way from stall 25 and Volatile Analyst at 18/1 each-way from stall 32 are both way bigger than they should be with SkyBet, who offer a generous 7 places on the race. Bielsa has long been crying out for a little luck in terms of track position, and also will be suited by going up to 7f. While Volatile Analyst was a wildly impressive winner at York last time, and finally looks to be maturing into the horse he suggested he could become as a two-year-old.