ANOTHER big day at Royal Ascot. Graham Johnstone (@GraemeJ_83) gives us his best bets.
15:40 Royal Ascot | Channel 4
The inaugural running of the Commonwealth Cup is upon us and it has attracted a classy looking field of 18 three year old sprinters.
Limato has been the long time favourite for this race but he arrives here with his reputation dented after his he was defeated for the first time in his career by Adaay at Haydock three weeks ago.
Though that was only a prep race for here and the ground was slower than ideal, I’m not sure Limato is deserving of his position at the front of the market. Yet to race in a Group 1 he is encountering the best young sprinters around here, most of whom have top grade experience, and after disappointing in his last race I’m looking elsewhere.
Hootenanny won at this meeting last year impressively landing the Windsor Castle over a furlong shorter. He went on to win the Breeders Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. He won his seasonal reappearance effortlessly and must be high on the shortlist. Trainer Wesley Ward has a great record at this meeting in my opinion he will start favourite given his connections and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him.
Anthem Alexander and Tiggy Wiggy renew rivalries here with the score currently 2-1 to Tiggy Wiggy. The one time Anthem Alexander did beat her rival was on this course last season, and she impressed me on her seasonal return. I’m not sure if Tiggy Wiggy has progressed since last season and I expect Anthem Alexander to level the scores here. If you can find a match bet between the two then I would expect Ed Lynams’ inmate to win that.
Of the bigger prices I think Home Of The Brave is a big each way price. He came sixth in the 2000 Guineas tiring close home, but it was his seasonal debut that made me see him as a potential sprinter. He won the Free Handicap at Newmarket and he was very impressive. He showed explosive speed that day, going well clear two furlongs out and keeping on for a diminishing length and 3/4 win.
He is a naturally pacey horse and I expect him to race prominently throughout. He stays further than this and I could see him running into a place at 14/1. I’ll be backing him and Hootenanny to win another race for the race winning machine Ryan Moore.
16:20 Royal Ascot | Channel 4
I said on Thursday that the Irish 1000 Guineas was a hot race. The form was slightly let down but I stand by what I said. The runner up that day Found is in action here and I am all over this filly.
She ran three times last season, winning her maiden on debut before coming third in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh. She looked inexperienced that day and on her next visit to the race track she was an impressive winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc weekend. She was slow to come to hand this season and never made her intended seasonal debut in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, for which she had been antepost favourite.
When she did return she was disappointing in a Curragh Group 3, but she put up a much improved showing in her second race, the Irish Guineas. She was second to Pleascach that day, and though Pleascach was second on Thursday she ran a good race and I fully expect her to win good races later in the season.
Found never had the smoothest of passages that day and in my eyes she is a filly right out the top drawer. Her trainer and jockey are throwing up winners right left and centre this week and I plan on playing the majority of my Solow winnings on found winning the Coronation Stakes.
15:40 Royal Ascot – Hootenanny to win (10/3 Bet365)
15:40 Royal Ascot – Home Of The Brave each way (20/1 Skybet)
16:20 Royal Ascot – Found to win (7/4 William Hill)