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Royal Ascot Tips – Thursday

Prior to Osaila’s win in the last race yesterday, this had been a Royal Ascot to forget for Richard Hannon, but fortunes can change quickly in racing and having got that success under his belt you couldn’t get much of a price from the bookies about him completing back to back victories as two of his colts totally dominate the market for day three’s opener, the Norfolk Stakes.

Norfolk Stakes

Although King Of Rocks is the shorter of the pair in the market, we prefer LOG OUT ISLAND, who won over course and distance on his one and only start so far and the form of that race couldn’t be working out better.

With the front two dominating the market, there is some each way value elsewhere and as a backup selection it was a difficult choice between FRENCH ENCORE and Jazz Legend. Narrow preference is for the former who travelled well to win a novice race under a big weight at Bath last time out.

Paddy Power will refund losing stakes on this race, up to £50, if your horse finishes second or third.

Log Out Island (win)2.30 Ascot15/8Paddy Power
French Encore (ew)2.30 Ascot33/1Bet365, Sky Bet

Tercentenary Stakes

The Tercentenary Stakes is up next and Roger Charlton’s TIME TEST looks one of the bets of the meeting.

Charlton nearly grabbed a winner for us in the Hunt Cup yesterday courtesy of Temptress and compensation hopefully awaits here as this three year old colt looked a horse to follow when winning over this trip at Newbury last time. The likely fast run race should really suit him as he has a devastating turn of foot.

Of the rest, CAPE CLEAR ISLAND is fancied to chase the main selection home. He is having his sights lowered somewhat here having suffered trouble in running in the Prix du Jockey Club last time. Faster ground this afternoon will play to his strengths and he looks to have solid place claims.

It is also worth keeping an eye out for two at bigger prices. Librisa Breeze didn’t beat anything of note last time out but is completely unexposed, whilst Restorer has a big race in him this season but may prefer some cut in the ground and / or need the run.

Paddy Power are offering 4 places for each-way bets on this race (just 3 elsewhere).

Time Test (win)3.05 Ascot9/4Bet365, Paddy Power
Cape Clear Island (ew)3.05 Ascot14/1Bet365, Ladbrokes, Sky Bet, Titanbet

Ribblesdale Stakes

There is a warm favourite in the Ribblesdale too – Pleascach – but we prefer a different Irish raider, and another Aiden O’Brien runner, WEDDING VOW. She is a maiden coming into the race, but is well bred and a combination of first time headgear and a longer trip have persuaded us that she is the value in the line-up.

Another runner from the Emerald Isle, Curvy, is feared, but the unexposed GRETCHEN is the other one to back.

John Gosden is having a fine Royal meeting and his record with fillies over recent seasons has been exceptional. This horse lacks experience having only had one (winning) start to date, but it is eye-catching in itself that Gosden has chosen to pitch her in at the deep end here.

Wedding Vow (ew)3.40 Ascot16/1Sky Bet
Gretchen (ew)3.40 Ascot9/1Bet365, Paddy Power

Gold Cup

The day’s big race is the Gold Cup and this year’s renewal is a real conundrum as the favourite, and arguably most exciting horse in the race, Forgotten Rules, probably needs softer ground to be at his best.

Free Eagle proved yesterday that you take a Dermot Weld runner on at you peril, but given those concerns we are going to side with MIZZOU, who looks a fast improving young stayer.

There are no going concerns for him and his course win over 2m in the Sagaro Stakes last time out marked him out as a likely big player here.

With very few of these having ever tried this trip before there is always the possibility of a shock and horses like Havanna Beat, Scotland and Windshear cannot be entirely ruled out, but of those at double figure prices we like French raider Bathyrhon and Irish runner SIMENON. Given the concerns over the former’s temperament for the big occasion, narrow preference is for Willie Mullins’s runner, who has already finished 2nd and 4th in this race.

His loves Ascot, and his effort last time out suggested a return to form was imminent and should have put him spot on for this. Mullins has had a year to remember already and this would be the icing on the cake for arguably the best handler in the business across either code.

Mizzou (ew)4.20 Ascot11/2Bet365, Paddy PowerLadbrokes, Coral
Simenon (ew)4.20 Ascot12/1Bet365, Sky Bet, Ladbrokes, William Hill

Britannia Stakes

The day’s big betting heat is likely to be the Britannia Stakes and the effect of the draw is a massive unknown.

In yesterday’s Hunt Cup, the far side was the place to be with all the pace drawn low. However, it may just have been that the better horses were on that side, so it would be foolish to write off those with high berths on the evidence of that one contest.

Of the runners closest to the stands’ side here, we like the Queen’s CAPEL PATH, who will surely show improvement for the step up in trip, whilst a strongly run mile should also suit EMIRATES AIRLINE, who ran out of gas over 1m 2f on his last start. Prior to that he romped home on the all weather and the first time hood is an interesting angle.

Finally, BARTEL shouldn’t be ignored despite hailing form a slightly less fashionable yard. Ed Vaughan has his horses in good nick and with stamina in his pedigree he too should relish the extra furlong.

If the far side is the place to be then the most interesting contender could prove to be Amazour, provided he stays the trip.

Sky Bet and Paddy Power are both offering 6 places for each-way bets on this race.

Capel Path (ew)5.00 Ascot11/1Bet365
Emirates Airline (ew)5.00 Ascot33/1Bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill
Bartel (ew)5.00 Ascot25/1Sky Bet

King George V Stakes

Our selections in the final race on Thursday are:

Space Age (ew)5.35 Ascot16/1Bet365, Ladbrokes
Keep In Line (ew)5.35 Ascot28/1Bet365BetVictor
Taper Tantrum (ew)5.35 Ascot10/1Bet365BetVictor, Ladbrokes