15:05 Royal Ascot – All eyes on Battle of Marengo in King Edward

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Royal Ascot’s richest Group 2 race will see Battle of Marengo attempt to return to form, after his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Derby.

Prior to Epsom, the Aidan O’Brien-trained horse won five races in succession, including two Group 2 races, and despite carrying an extra 3lbs than the rest, the absence of his three Epsom conquerors justifies a price of 8/11.

Worth noting is the fact that nine favourites have won this race in the last 16 years.

However, the Irish have struggled in the King Edward VII Stakes of late and you have to go back to 2004, when that man again, Aidan O’Brien, was successful with Five Dynasties. But that was the Emerald Isle’s only winner in 35 years.

This race has been dominated by four trainers over the past decade with two wins each for John Gosden, Mark Johnston, the sadly departed Sir Henry Cecil and Sir Michael Stoute, but only Stoute has an entry this time around.

His upwardly mobile colt, Hillstar (9/1) will be ridden by the in-form Ryan Moore but this grade could be a big test.

The same of which could be said about Contributor at 12/1, who was second to Irish 2000 Guineas winner Magician at Chester but doubts still remain at this level.

If the ground is good or faster, then the Luca Cumani-trained Greatwood (9/1) could get back on track after a poor performance at York last month, but perhaps the most interesting option in this 1m4f race is Mutashaded.

The son of Raven’s Pass is totally unexposed and has won both of his races so far.  With this race historically suiting late-season developers, Paul Hanagan’s mount is worth an each-way shot at 8/1 to confirm his potential.

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

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