The Rest Of The Royal Ascot Card – Saturday


Not a race I like at all, and if it wasn’t Royal Ascot, I doubt I would give it the time of day – Group One or not. If I had to have a bet (and I don’t), then a little each way on Believing may pay out if the four-year-old filly has recovered from her efforts when fourth in the King Charles III Stakes on Tuesday. Beaten a length and a half at the line when keeping on well over the five furlongs, the sixth here looks ideal, and if Danny Tudhope can plot a good course late on she may get up in the shadow of the post. Mill Stream heads the market after winning despite seeing daylight at the last possible moment at Haydock and he can go well but overall, I see this as more of a race to watch than one to seriously bet in.

Believing each way 17/2 William Hill


One of the trickiest handicaps of the week and one where we will have another go at analysing it statistically using the last 15 years (14 runnings) in the hope they point us in the right direction. Only one of the last 14 winners came from a stall lower than nine which surprised me, and only one has been older than five. All bar one were officially rated higher than 97, and all bar one were rated 109 or lower. Sadly that only gets rid of  20 (including the early reserves) but 10 will hopefully be that little bit easier to work with.  Of those remaining, only Flaming Rib and Rocket Rodney have won a handicap off their current marks or higher, suggesting that IF they are at their peak they have the best chances, and as the first named is now having his third start after being gelded, I’ll take the risk each way to pennies at a price around the 28/1 mark.

Flaming Rib each way  33/1 William Hill


One last handicap thank goodness and this time and with only four races of history to work with where do I start? Winners at 5/2f, 13/2, and two at 20/1 tell us nothing useful at all, but the winner has to be in here – somewhere. Dambuster ran on well to win on soft ground at Beverley and is bred to be more effective on this surface as a son of Kingman, but the Andrew Balding yard have seen too many reverses already this week, and others appeal more.  Old Faithful looks the sort to need coaxing to the front under Ryan Moore, winning his last two by a short-head and a neck, and there is every chance he has more to offer off his current mark, but Hand Of God may land the odds for Harry Charlton and William Buick. He ran on well over the stiff mile at Sandown and loos all set to be even better over the mile and a quarter here, though whether he tries to make all and repel all challengers once more is an interesting question.

Hand Of God to win  3/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, and Boylesports


A marathon to end the week and the return of last year’s winner Dawn Rising, who clearly has no stamina questions to answer. Last time out over a mile and three-quarter he was five lengths behind runner-up Queenstown in a race taken by Gold Cup winner Kyprios, and as he faces the Aidan O’Brien gelding on 4lb worse terms here, I have to fancy the chances of the Ballydoyle runner. He would be the first four-year-old to win since 2008, and his stamina does have to be taken on trust, but a length defeat to an all-time great last time out means I cannot desert him here regardless. Tashkhan is best in at the weights on official ratings and is another to consider, alongside the lightly raced Uxmal who may have more to offer.

Queenstown to win 16/5 Bet Victor

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