It has been a tricky week so far at Royal Ascot but we will hope for better on Day Three. With rain forecast the ground may ease and that could bring some of the soft ground performers into play.
Scroll down to check out my selections ahead of an excellent card.
2.30 NORFOLK STAKES (GROUP 2) (Class 1) (2yo) Winner £47,360 16 runners 5f Good To Firm ITV4 (STALLS Centre)
David Loughnane has a very interesting runner here in GO BEARS GO who created quite an impression first time out over course and distance.
This horse was ridden by Rossa Ryan on his debut when he made all and quickened away to win in tidy fashion. He had attracted plenty of market support prior to his debut having been 20/1 in the morning and backed into an SP of 6/1.
The form has worked out a little bit with the runners who had been behind him on that occasion finishing placed on their next starts.
The fact that he has won over the course could also be the key to success here.
Should go close with luck in running.
3.05 HAMPTON COURT STAKES (GROUP 3) (Class 1) (3yo) Winner £44,400 10 runners 1m1f212y Good To Firm ITV4 (STALLS Inside)
Frankie Dettori and Joseph O’Brien team up with SNAPRAETERA and, with rain forecast, he could be one to keep a close eye on in the market.
He will likely have to improve and show that the trip is within his compass but the ground should suit and I think he could surprise a few at a big price.
He got the better of Lustown Baba in a listed contest at Naas and, if he could show anything like that form, then he could get into contention.
He had a solid two-year-old campaign, having finished behind the likes of Mac Swiney in the Futurity and High Definition in the Beresford.
That form should mean that he is entitled to go close and he looks a solid each-way proposition here.
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3.40 RIBBLESDALE STAKES (GROUP 2) (FILLIES) (Class 1) (3yo) Winner £98,335 13 runners 1m3f211y Good To Firm ITV4 (STALLS Inside)
Hollie Doyle landed a big-priced winner with Amtiyaz on Tuesday and could be in line for another winner aboard the Richard Hannon trained ARISTIA.
This filly was very green on debut at Newbury but got up in the dying strides to see off Darlectable You. I watched the race back on a couple of occasions and she looked green in the run and looked to be learning all the time.
She stepped up in grade for her second start in the Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes (Listed Race) and she ran a race full of promise finishing third behind Eshaada. She had Gloria Mundi just in front of her and Twisted Reality behind her but for some reason she is a very big price this time around.
I think she will improve for the step up in trip and there should be more to come.
With luck in running she could run on into a place.
4.15 GOLD CUP (GROUP 1) (BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES) (Class 1) (4yo+) Winner £213,017 13 runners 2m3f210y Good To Firm ITV (STALLS Inside)
The feature of Day Three and, while Stradivarius looks to hold all the aces, I am going to take him on with PRINCESS ZOE who will appreciate every drop of rain that falls.
She has been a credit to her trainer and owner and has landed some nice pots, including the Prix Du Cadran on heavy ground at Longchamp.
She ran a race full of promise last time at Gowran Park and it looked to me as if she was coming back to form.
The step back up in distance is sure to suit and the weight allowance she gets is also sure to work in her favour.
She will have to improve again to challenge the likes of Stradivarius, but I think she could be staying on strongly close home and give the favourite the most to think about.
Will be hard to keep out of the frame.
5.00 BRITANNIA STAKES (HERITAGE HANDICAP) (COLTS & GELDINGS) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105) Winner £40,500 30 runners 1m Good To Firm ITV4 (STALLS Centre)
George Boughey has taken all before him in the two-year-old division this season and looks to have a very strong chance here with the progressive AIR TO AIR.
This horse has landed his last two races with the minimum of fuss and looks nicely weighted here to continue that progress.
He travelled really well under Jamie Spencer last time at Doncaster and quickened away to win impressively.
He has gone up 8lb for that win and, with Jamie Spencer keeping the mount and getting down to his lowest weight in the last twelve months of 8-7, I think this horse is well fancied.
He looks like he is the type to continue to improve and will travel well off the pace and give Jamie an armchair ride and hopefully arrive there on the bridle.
Will be tough to keep out of the frame here.
5.35 KING GEORGE V STAKES (HANDICAP) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105) Winner £35,100 19 runners 1m3f211y Good To Firm ITV4 (STALLS Inside)
Ben Robinson and Brian Ellison team up here with a new recruit for the yard in TASHKAN.
This horse got his head in front last time out for his new yard having arrived from the stable of Emmet Mullins and looks like it was a very shrewd purchase.
He kept on strongly last time at Haydock and won going away in tidy fashion. He has gone up another 11lb in the ratings but the step back up in trip is sure to suit and any rain that falls should be in his favour.
He landed quite a punt for Emmet Mullins and team at Navan on his final start in Ireland under Ross Coakley and showed that he had plenty of ability on that occasion.
I think he looks the type to improve again and, with luck in running, he should go close.
6.10 BUCKINGHAM PALACE STAKES (HANDICAP) (Class 2) (3yo+ 0-105) Winner £33,501 29 runners 7f Good To Firm ITV4 (STALLS Centre)
Many of ye that follow my previews know that much of my attention over the winter months centres around Dundalk.
On this occasion Dundalk form will be scrutised as the Pat Flynn trained WHATHARM takes his place here.
This horse landed three on the bounce on the all-weather at the end of December into early January but showed that there should be better to come on the grass when running a very respectable race last time at Cork behind Hightimeyouwon.
He doesn’t look to be ground dependent and the forecast rain might just blunt the finishing speed of some of the others. He is drawn in stall 16 so Conor Hoban will have a choice to make as to which side he is going to go.
I would suggest a small each-way play to end the day but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go very close.