Royal Ascot Tips: Cracksman toppled and O’Brien off the mark?

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The opening day at Royal Ascot brought shocks, surprises and an 87/1 treble for Ladbrokes’ very own Frankie Dettori.

Day two promises equal drama, with five Group contests, the return of Cracksman and the hotly anticipated 30-runner Royal Hunt Cup to get stuck into.

You can follow all the action on ITV with Ed Chamberlin and co. And we’ve previewed all six races below…

NAP – Nelson – 3:05, Ascot

If it’s a winner in the Queen’s Vase you’re after, Aidan O’Brien is your man. The Irish trainer has landed three of the last five stagings of this race, including two of the last three.

That makes Nelson an enticing proposition this afternoon. The second of O’Brien’s three runners in this 1m6f contest, the Frankel colt showed great promise as a juvenile and returned to the track with a Group 3 success in April.

His latest run at Leopardstown was disappointing, but that can be put down to doing too much too soon. Donnacha O’Brien knows how to get the best out of the three-year-old, and while there’s uncertainty over his ability to stay the trip, his dam’s results give us plenty of hope.

NB – Hawkbill – 4:20, Ascot

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Charlie Appleby is a man in form. The Newmarket-based trainer has been racking up winners left, right and centre over the last 12 months.

It was a similar story at Royal Ascot yesterday as Blue Point got up ahead of fancied pair Lady Aurelia and Battaash to land the King’s Stand Stakes.

24 hours on and we think Appleby could have another shock in store with Hawkbill. The five-year-old was disappointing on unfavoured soft ground in the Coronation Cup, eventually coming home one-but-last and 25l behind Cracksman.

That run is merely a blot on an otherwise impressive copybook. Back-to-back victories in Meydan – including a Group 1 success – and a 1/1 record at Ascot exemplify his class.

With the ground in his favour, and Cracksman showing signs of weakness last time out, we think that the Godolphin runner can outrun his odds in a big way in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. A return to 1m2f could also help his chances.

Lively Longshot – Kynren – 5:00, Ascot

With seven of the last eight runners of the Royal Hunt Cup returning a double-figure price, history suggests it could pay to look further down the field for the winner of this 30-runner 1m beast.

So it’s Kynren who gets the nod from us. The four-year-old is always there or thereabouts in these big handicaps and is yet to finish outside the places in six career starts.

A solid third in the Spring Mile Handicap on his reappearance was followed by a runner-up berth in the Whitsun Cup last time out. Could it be third time lucky for the son of Clodovil at Ascot?

ITV Racing Tips:

2:30 Ascot – Chelsea Cloisters

3:05 Ascot – Nelson (NAP)

3:40 Ascot – Hydrangea

4:20 Ascot – Hawkbill (NB, each-way)

5:00 Ascot – Kynren (Lively Longshot, each-way)

5:30 Ascot – Society Power

All Odds and Markets correct as of date and publication

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