Royal Ascot Friday Preview

The opening race on Day 4 of Royal Ascot is the 6f Albany Stakes for two-year-old fillies.

At the time of writing Wesley Ward has had a frustrating meeting and Kimari would surely have won the Queen Mary had the rains not arrived on Tuesday and Wednesday. There was still the prospect of a heavy shower on Thursday, but the hope is that the ground is no worse than good to soft this afternoon with a dry forecast.

Daahyeh beat Queen Mary winner Raffle Prize at HQ on debut and that is the best form on offer and she is the worthy 4/1 favourite with BetVictor. I am going to take a chance, however, on the Kevin Ryan maiden Galadriel (2.30) who has been in my notebook since running fourth in a York listed contest on debut. That debut run was on fast ground over the minimum trip, but today’s extra furlong should suit this daughter of Dutch Art who is the each way recommendation at 16/1 with BetVictor who are paying four places.

There is no question that Derby third Japan – 5/4 favourite at BetVictor – has the best form on offer and he has the beating of Pablo Escobarr (3.05) on a line through Anthony Van Dyck, but I hope to see the William Haggas’ colt reward each way support at 9/1 with BetVictor. The selection, who is 9/2 in the market without the market leader, is proven on soft ground and I have long thought he was an ideal type for the race although I appreciate Japan brings classic form into the race.

Ten Sovereigns (3.35) would have been nap material on fast ground but there should be no excuses if conditions have dried out to good to soft and I would be disappointed if last year’s Gp 1 Middle Park winner didn’t return to winning ways having failed to get home in the Guineas on his reappearance. The selection is 5/4 at BetVictor and I do feel he is a top-class sprinter in the making. He would be odds on if this were fast summer flat-racing ground.

Hermosa is drawn out on the wing in the second Group 1 of the day the Coronation Stakes but this duel classic winner is a worthy favourite, but I feel at 10/11 with BetVictor she may be worth opposing with an each way alternative.

I know there are a number of work-watchers at Newmarket who feel Jubiloso (4.20) is out of the very top drawer and Sir Michael Stoute’s unbeaten filly is the each way recommendation at 4/1 with BetVictor. The selection has won both her starts to date and was hugely impressive when coming home clear over 7f at Newbury last time. This represents a huge step up in grade and trainer Sir Michael Stoute usually steps his horses up in grade step by step. Not on this occasion. Aussie jockey James McDonald gets the ride.

My two against the field in the Sandringham are Desirous (5.00) and I’m Available (14/1 with BetVictor) with marginal preference for the former who impressed when winning at Goodwood on her handicap debut. The selection has been raised 6lbs for that fluent win, looks to have a cracking draw in stall 25 and can reward each way support at 8/1 with BetVictor who are paying five places. Jamie Spencer has ridden the last two winners of this famous handicap including for Ed Walker last year. I know there are many who feel Hotsy Totsy has an excellent chance of providing him with the hat-trick.

Fujaira Prince (5.35) was just touched off at York last time but is lightly-raced and open to further improvement over a mile-and-a-half on ground with a bit of give. The handicapper has raised Roger Varian’s five-year-old by 4lbs for that effort, but I feel he might still be ahead of the handicapper. The each way selection is 6/1 with BetVictor who are again betting each way five places.

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