Joseph O’Brien may be the favourite to scoop the top jockey accolade at Royal Ascot, but 7/4 may be on the skinny side and so William Buick and Johnny Murtagh look better value at bigger prices.
With the yard of father Aidan O’Brien flying, it is almost certain that Joseph will enjoy a strong book of rides over the five days of the meeting.
However, Joseph will not be able to call upon Camelot for a success as he is being aimed at the Irish Derby instead of Royal Ascot, while it has not been confirmed if St Nicholas Abbey will take up his entry in the Hardwicke Stakes.
At present, Aidan’s top three early chances seem Power in the St James’ Palace Stakes, So You Think in the Prince of Wales Stakes and Fame And Glory in the Ascot Gold Cup.
But Power is unlikely to run to his best if the ground stays soft at Ascot, while Jamie Spencer is favoured to get the ride on Fame And Glory because of his retainer with the horse’s owners.
Therefore, although he is likely to be among the winners, it will not be plain sailing to get the minimum of four or five that will be needed to challenge for top jockey honours.
Ryan Moore is 4/1 to ride the most Royal Ascot winners for the third year running, but Sir Michael Stoute’s yard is not in prolific form, while his association with the O’Brien team is not as strong as in previous years.
Richard Hannon’s cluster of two-year-olds will benefit Richard Hughes, but Buick and Murtagh look the value calls at 10/1.
John Gosden’s horses are in good form and Buick will have plenty of chances of victory through runners including The Fugue, Nathanial, Starscope and Thought Worthy.
Murtagh has no obvious clear rides, but often secures favourable mounts in the handicaps and these could provide a few winners.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.