Day two of Royal Ascot on Wednesday features the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and the tough puzzle of the Hunt Cup for punters to solve.
Read below for tips for each race and remember you can live stream every race from Royal Ascot when logged into MansionBet.
1.15 Silver Royal Hunt Cup Handicap (1m)
With the extra races this year we have a consolation contest for those that haven’t made the Hunt Cup line-up. This promises to be just as tough but it’s hard to escape the claims of recent Newmarket second OUZO at
6/1 for Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore.
That was an improved showing on his seasonal bow and there’s a strong chance of more to come from an unchanged mark. He was only just denied by Bell Rock, who himself has leading claims in the Hunt Cup itself later on the card.
Also worth paying attention to is Roger Varian’s filly SALAYEL at
10/1. She was very promising in four starts after joining the trainer last season and should make further progress this summer. This big field may suit, given she can get plenty cover and play her hand late.
1.50 Hampton Court Stakes (1m2f)
FIRST RECEIVER (
9/4) comes for this Group 3 prize on the back of a smooth maiden win at Kempton at the start of the month. That was just his third start and it has to be noteworthy that Royal Ascot’s leading trainer Sir Michael Stoute has scorned the handicap route to have a crack at this prize.
In the Royal silks of Her Majesty and with one Frankie Dettori booked to ride, this looks a plan worth paying attention to. The New Approach colt also has plenty scope to improve for the trip and develop into a genuine group-race performer.
There’s no shortage of pace angles in this line-up and that should play to the strengths of RUSSIAN EMPEROR (
7/2) for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, who was undone in a messy Leopardstown race on his return but should offer much more today.
2.25 King George V Stakes (1m4f)
Having travelled like the best horse on his handicap debut at Haydock this month, KIPPS somehow managed to get beat. That owed much to inexperience but he rallied strongly when headed and lost in a head-bob only. From an unchanged mark, expect him to be wiser here and Hughie Morrison’s charge is almost certainly ahead of the assessor at this stage.
A viable alternative could be the William Haggas-trained CONVICT at
9/1. He was progressive last year and signed off with a convincing Newmarket win on his first attempt at a mile and a quarter. The yard is in form and he surely has more to come going up in trip.
3.00 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1m2f)
He missed out on The Derby last year only narrowly but JAPAN (
10/11) was a convincing winner of the King Edward VII here afterwards.
He added a pair of Group 1 triumphs afterwards, including mowing down Crystal Ocean to win York’s Juddmonte International before going on to run a fine fourth in the Arc.
He’s back for a four-year-old campaign and sets a clear standard for his Prince Of Wales’s Stakes rivals to aim at, while it’s highly probable there is more to come and he can justify 10/11 favouritism.
Headman and Addeybb are respected but failed stallion BARNEY ROY was in fine fettle out in Dubai in the spring and could yet be the chief danger to Japan.
3.35 Royal Hunt Cup (1m)
As tough a puzzle as punters may face this week and one where caution is advised. That said, BELL ROCK (
8/1) looked an improved performer on his comeback at Newmarket and, with a 5lb to shoulder, is fully expected to be in the mix for Andrew Balding and champion jockey Oisin Murphy here.
Jim Crowley won this last year on Afaak and had a strong hand to choose from again with Hamdan Al Maktoum saddling three.
Top weight ALRAJAA has the potential to make up into a group-race performer and has to be afforded maximum respect for the red-hot John Gosden stable despite his burden.
4.10 Windsor Castle Stakes (5f)
US trainer Wesley Ward knows how to win major sprint prizes and he has a strong track record at this meeting. Few are better with a precocious filly and his once-raced Gulfstream winner SUNSHINE CITY at
5/1 is expected to have a leading say here.
Frankie Dettori gets the leg up and the trainer hasn’t been playing down her chances of giving him a third Windsor Castle win.
These are a talented bunch and plenty can be given a chance but there was much to like about the debut win of MIGHTY GURKHA (
8/1) at Lingfield for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle. Juveniles from this yard are hugely-respected and he has the speed to be a key played dropped to 5f.
4.40 Copper Horse Handicap (1m6f)
After ending last season with a Redcar success on his first attempt at this distance and a romp on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton (2m½f), progressive stayer SELINO (
11/1) was snapped up by Qatar Racing.
James Fanshawe’s gelding looks an exciting proposition over this distance and remains relatively unexposed. The handicapper has had a decent crack at him, but he might have plenty more in his locker on his first start for new connections with Oisin Murphy taking over.
RANCH HAND (
13/2) is easily forgiven a blot in the Cesarewitch on his final run last season and, based on his previous Haydock win over this trip, is one for the shortlist.