2:30 Royal Ascot: Ahern to build on impressive debut win

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Cay Verde will be all the rage to win the Norfolk Stakes, especially after some of the other Royal Ascot results earlier this week, but Ahern was thoroughly impressive on debut and can build on this with another victory at 9/2.

In his last two starts, Cay Verde has beaten Hototo, who won the Windsor Castle Stakes on Tuesday and then defeated Dylanbaru, who was third in the same race earlier in the week.

This is clearly solid form and as a result he is set to be sent off the 3/1 favourite.

However, in a race where the majority of the leading protagonists will want to be ridden close to the pace, Ahern can pounce with a late charge.

He has only raced once to date, but defeated a field that had all previously won beforehand, including Satsuma, who ran with credit in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Meanwhile, this success was on a softer surface, with many of today’s rivals largely unproven on the ground.

Ahern should additionally be suited by the stiff finish at Ascot and the booking of Johnny Murtagh is a good one.

Furthermore, eight of the last 12 winners had only run once or twice prior to Royal Ascot, which bodes well for Ahern, but not Cay Verde.

Of the remainder, Gale Force Ten may be fancied from the Aidan O’Brien yard, but although he has won on soft, his pedigree suggests that he wants it firmer.

Mister Marc chased home Dawn Approach last time, but looked one-paced in the process and Richard Hughes has chosen Annunciation instead.

Reckless Abandon won well on debut, but the form has barely been franked since, so Morawij looks the each-way option at 10/1, particularly as trainer Roger Varian is three from three with his two-year-olds this season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.