If the markets are to be believed then nothing can stop Winter being crowned this year’s Coronation Stakes winner on day four at Royal Ascot.
Aidan O’Brien’s dual-Guineas heroine is the star name in the feature race although at the prices we’re prepared to look elsewhere. Besides, she’s not the only Ballydoyle hotpot set to shine in Berkshire.
Unbeaten colt Caravaggio can further showcase his precocious talent in a Commonwealth Cup renewal that’s shaping-up to be the race of the entire five-day extravaganza.
But should you be rushing in to back O’Brien’s runners or are there viable alternatives elsewhere?
Here’s our look through another cracking card…
Quite simply, if the Caravaggio we’ve all come to know and love turns up and performs his usual star turn then he wins.
Last year’s runaway Coventry Stakes winner continues to impress with his two victories since coming by a combined eight-and-three-quarter lengths.
One of those was in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes and this three-year-old’s top-level pedigree is undoubted.
Godolphin’s new recruit Harry Angel dotted up in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last time out while Blue Point had his number in the Pavilion Stakes over course and distance.
But neither of the boys in blue, nor Wesley Ward’s Bound For Nowhere, should be able to get close to the jolly.
American trainer Ward might not see his Commonwealth Cup hopeful get the better of Caravaggio but he could well see his Albany Stakes chance Fairyland get the yard off to a flyer this Friday.
Her taking debut win on the dirt at Keeneland is hard to translate but the manner in which she made all to score by three-and-a-quarter lengths suggests this two-year-old has plenty of promise.
Jessica Harrington’s Alpha Centauri has the added experience of two wins under her belt, most recently in a Listed contest at Naas.
But with Ward’s stable in fine form and his filly very likeable we’re swerving the current market leader.
On to the lucky last and it’s Star Storm who stands out for us in the tricky Duke of Edinburgh handicap.
He justified favouritism to take the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge stakes over course and distance back in October 2015.
Tougher assingments followed before a moderate stint on the All-Weather at the back of last year and then a more promising run on Turf at this course last time out.
The George Wood-trained five-year-old finished runner-up on fast ground in the Listed Buckhound Stakes and a repeat effort won’t see him too far away here.
The Queen’s horse Mainstream ticks a lot of boxes, not least the fact that Sir Michael Stoute has a decent record in this and that 10 of the last 11 winners have come from a double-figure stall.
But we’re prepared to take on Her Majesty and have a punt on a horse with definite place claims.
ITV Racing Tips:
14:30 – Fairyland
15:05 – Crystal Ocean
15:40 – Caravaggio
16:20 – Hydrangea EW
17:00 – Belgravia
17:35 – Star Storm EW
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing