EMOTIONS were running high after Nature Strip turned the King’s Stand Stakes into a rout on Tuesday as predicted in my Unibet blog and I was so pleased for the Chris Waller team. Nature Strip was given a fantastic reception by the Royal Ascot crowd.
If Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori win the Ascot Gold Cup for the fourth time then Royal Ascot 2022 will have the most emotional reception for this brilliant horse on what looks like his last appearance at Ascot in the race of the meeting.
Enjoy whether at #Royal Ascot2022 or watching #athome on ITV Racing.
The Wine Tipster
2.30 Ascot – Norfolk Stakes Group 2 (5f)
Walbank stormed clear at York on his second start (finished second on debut) when beating Beautiful Sunrise by 7 lengths in admittedly only a four-runner race last month when heavily odds-on. Walbank still looked green and rewatching that performance looks to be open to significant improvement and he can take the Norfolk.
Pillow Talk stepped up from her Nottingham success to score in Listed company at York, beating Yahsat in a race that certainly had some depth to it. Interestingly, she goes here with the three-pound fillies’ allowance and if Pillow Talk improves again then she is right in the mix.
3.05 Ascot – King George V Stakes Handicap (1m 4f)
Israr can take another step forward after his Newbury victory last month over Surrey Mist (reopposes today) in a deep handicap. Rewatching this race clearly shows how Israr will definitely come on from his fourth career start, as he looked inexperienced when making his winning challenge. This well-bred individual has a good chance.
4.20 Ascot – Gold Cup Group 1 (2m 4f)
Stradivarius can strike in the Ascot Gold Cup for the fourth time in a renewal that has asked questions of his rivals. As of Wednesday morning, Trueshan must be a huge price to run with the quick ground and Kyprios has talent, and is improving, though he does have to prove himself at this trip having not run further than 1m 6f. On seasonal debut Stradivarius, did very well at York considering that trip was on the short side for him and this eight-year-old showed too that he still loves the game. Importantly he will have the right ground here to show himself at his best as he is clearly not as effective in the softer conditions as his trainer John Gosden has consistently stated.
5.00 Ascot – Britania Stakes Handicap (1m)
Tranquil Night (nap) went straight in my notebook after winning his first handicap at Newmarket at their Craven meeting with any amount you like in hand, and with second home Outgate (tipped up for Chester) also winning easily at Chester at the weekend under top weight, it makes the form look even stronger. Pedigree suggests he could be top class in time, and an 11lb rise for the Newmarket win hardly looks enough given the strength of the form. I have been looking forward to his next appearance since his Craven success in April.
Koy Koy has Ascot form, having finished second here last season ahead of a victory at Newbury. He then finished a good second on handicap debut to Outgate (see Tranquil Night) at Chester last month in a good contest and if this progressive type settles well then he has strong each way claims.
6.10 Ascot – Buckingham Palace Stakes (7f)
Vafortino for smart trainer Kevin Phillapart De Foy is improving, and although the assumption is that another 5lb on his back could stop him following up his Victoria Cup win last month (in effect he’s 7lb worse as jockey Benoit de la Sayette can only claim 5lb here) as there’s not much pace on he’s very well positioned to take advantage from stall 20 and he could easily follow up again over what is very much his trip. Had no issue with quick ground there and he remains relatively unexposed for the yard, having only had the two starts after leaving Joseph O’Brien.