The Rest Of The Royal Ascot Card – Wednesday


Highbury was adrift of Birdman on his debut but he showed the benefit of the experience next time out when quickening up in the style of a decent anima to win his maiden by over seven lengths. With trainer Aidan O’Brien winning four of the last nine runnings and two winning favourites in a row in this contest, the son of Galileo ticks a lot of boxes assuming he still heads the market by the off. Birdman is an obvious danger and arrives unbeaten and the temptation was to suggest him each way, while those looking for an outsider could do a lot worse than Andrew Balding’s Mina Rashid who is on an upward curve and could be the surprise package here.

Highbury to win 100/30 most bookmakers


Not a race I like one little bit and I for one would not fall over in shock were we to see a long priced winner. The Gosden team have won two of the last four runnings and have the early jolly here in Laurel, a lightly raced Kingman filly who was put in her place last time out when tenth of 12 in the Locking e Stakes 2023. Not seen since, her supporters will have to take her race fitness on trust after 396 days off, and I cannot back her at 100/30p for that reason alone. She may make a fool of me (won’t be the first) by winning easily, but there may be better value to be found elsewhere. Novus only has to find a three pounds on official ratings yet the Moore’s daughter of Dandy Man trades at 16/1 as I write and if I have a bet (doubtful), then a couple of quid each way on the Goodwood second looks as good a bet as any.

Novus each way 16/1 most bookmakers


If the “real” Auguste Rodin turns up here then he ought to win this and do so in comfort, but the reality is he either runs well – or flops. Last time out was the exception to that rule when he was second to White Birch in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh, but I refuse to believe that was him at his peak and hope he will be spot on this afternoon. The winner of the English and Irish Derby last year, alongside the Irish Champion Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita, he may not be the world beater we were once told he was, but it would be a nasty shock if he failed to win here.

Auguste Rodin to win 7/4 most bookmakers


Even thinking I can find the winner of the Royal Hunt Cup (30 runners over the straight mile) would be folly, but we will give it a go nonetheless. Beshtani has to have some kind of chance after the ex-French gelding made a promising debut over here when a nose second to Two Tempting at Epsom over this trip. That was his first start since October 2023 so he is entitled to come on for the run, and better still, the winner went on to take a valuable Sandown handicap off 5lb higher to frank the form. The selection gets to race off the same mark this afternoon which looks generous to me, and if he gets a clear run and is drawn on the right side (sadly we won’t know the answer to that until after the race), then he has a solid each way chance.

Beshtani each way 10/1 Bet365, Ladbrokes, and Coral


Another wide-open contest sees the Saeed bin Suroor trained Summer Of lo e head the early betting – at 9/1 – but I have been looking elsewhere and quite like the each way chances of Joseph O’Brien’s Adelaise, an unlucky fourth here last year and the winner of a listed contest on the all-weather last time out. She will love the fast ground and the straight mile here, and although rated 12lb higher for this season’s renewal, her trainer seems fairly bullish and she should give us a decent run for out money.

Adelaise each way 18/1 William Hill, Bet Victor, and Unibet

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