WHAT a performance from Big Orange! So strong and gritty with a truly magnificent ride from James Doyle. A lovely 8-1 winner to get us back on track. Mori losing in a head bob was absolutely sickening but that's racing.
We go again for day four and this shouldn't take me too long – there are some absolute crackers on this card and it's just a question of finding good enough prices and a betting strategy that works because most of them are shorter prices than my usual bigger-priced selections.
2.30pm – The Albany Stakes
Clemmie and Fairyland are the interesting horses here. I'm kicking myself because Clemmie was 8-1, I popped out for the evening and by the time I have gotten round to writing this she is 11/2 and shorter in places. She was huge value at 8-1. Bonkers. In a way the drop in price just confirms what I thought – she is well regarded by Ballydoyle (Aidan O'Brien's stable), will improve for her second run and for the increase in distance. FAIRYLAND runs for Wesley Ward and you would normally think that six furlongs is a big question mark for his sprinters because they tend to be speed demons that can hardly stay five furlongs at times never mind six. However, the vibes from the US experts is strong – they say Fairyland is different from the usual Ward two year olds and that she will actually improve for six furlongs. Now that she has drifted remarkably to 7/1 with Paddy Power (still 4-1 in a few places) I think a nice each way bet is in order. The favourite Alpha Centauri is very well thought of but is just a bit short for me. Clemmie might drift a bit and if so I might have a nibble each way on her too.
3.05pm – King Edward VII Stakes
It's likely that Crystal Ocean has some improvement to come but at the prices I am keen on PERMIAN. Regular readers might remember that I made a case for him in the Derby at Epsom but he ran way below par that day. His form prior to that was very solid and I am willing to forgive him that run.
3.40pm – Commonwealth Cup
The two Godolphin-owned runners – Blue Point and Harry Angel – look like they are very good but CARAVAGGIO is something special and can win this. Let's do a double with Winter to for a bigger price. I am also interested in the US horse BOUND FOR NOWHERE who is a much bigger price than he should be given the claims that he has been outperforming Lady Aurelia at home. I am taking him each way at those prices.
4.20pm – Coronation Stakes
WINTER wins this. Miles ahead of the rest on form and barring injury or illness she should do this easily. 1-2 is prohibitive but we'll do a double with Caravaggio.
5.00pm – Queen's Vase
Silvestre De Sousa had a bit of a stinker on day three by his own high standards with his ride on The Sky Is Blazing where he got the pace all wrong. He will be switched on today and can make amends with TIME TO STUDY who should the sort of battling qualities you need in a race like this when winning last time out. He's not quite Big Orange but has some of the same qualities and it will take a strong horse to pass him if Silvestre gets the pace right.
5.35pm – Duke of Edinburgh Stakes
The Queen and Sir Michael Stoute have a runner here called MAINSTREAM who has been bubbling along nicely for the last year or so. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he has been aimed at this race by Stoute, hoping to give the Queen a winner at her beloved Royal Ascot. Now whilst I'm not the most loyal of subjects and would be keen to see her pay some tax to the exchequer I am perfectly happy to weigh in with a gamble on one of her horses. SkyBet have lost their marbles and are offering 6 places each way on this race so don't look a Royal gift horse in the mouth and take this one each way. He can't finish out of the frame surely?
In the same race there is one other piece of potentially cracking value in SHABEEB who has been dropped 2 lb in the weights for recent average performances but those were on soft ground and I think he wants firmer ground. If you ignore those last two runs he is quite progressive so 33/1 could be a mad price. Let's have small each way on him to cap off a busy day and hopefully put the icing on the cake.
- 2.30pm – Fairyland – 2pt each way at 7-1 with Paddy Power (paying 4 places)
- 3.05pm – Permian – 2pt win at 15-2
- 3.40pm & 4.20pm – 4pt double – Caravaggio at 10-11 and Winter at 8-15 with Betfair
- 3.40pm – Bound for Nowhere – 1pt each way at 10-1 with Bet365 (1/4 odds 3 places)
- 5.35pm – Mainstream – 2pt each way with SkyBet at 5-1 (paying 6 places)
- 5.35pm – Shabeeb – 1pt each way with Betfair at 33-1 (paying 5 places)
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