Royal Ascot Bets of the Day: Back Angel to Harry the favourite in the Commonwealth

What will the penultimate day of Royal Ascot serve up for the BotD boys?
What will the penultimate day of Royal Ascot serve up for the BotD boys?

The column found a winner with Alan Dudman's selection of Coronet at 15/2 yesterday - and the Bets Of The Day team return for day four of Royal Ascot with a host of tips for a brilliant afternoon in store....

Alan Dudman


NAP 15:05 Ascot - Back Crystal Ocean @ 5/2


I am playing towards the very head of the market here with Crystal Ocean - who will get a chance to excel over 1m4f in the King Edward VII Stakes.

He shaped liked the best horse in the Dante earlier in the season, and whilst it was surprising connections did not let him take his chance in a rather open Derby at Epsom, he still has plenty more to give.

The three-year-old looked briefly outpaced on York's flat track over 1m2f, and that race has a decent feel to it with the second that day (Benbatl) winning at Ascot yesterday. His trainer Sir Michael Stoute said afterwards: "A mile and a half will suit him better. "

Stoute has won this race with the selection's half-brother in Hillstar, and a return to quick ground over a distance for which he is bred to excel makes him the standout bet. After all, his dam has produced several winners at middle-distances and he's made for the job.


Next Best 17:00 Ascot - Back Alqamar each way @ 25/1


I was hoping Alqamar was going to be a decent price for the Group 2 Queen's Vase - and I was not disappointed when I saw the 25/1 on offer via the Sportsbook on Thursday night. Although obviously frustrated at missing the 33s; he is a massive price for a dangerous lurker.

On official ratings he has a lot to find from a handicap win last time at York - off a staggeringly low mark of 76. He made a complete mockery of that rating when picking up impressively in soft ground to pulverise a field. He sported cheekpieces for the first time on that occasion and relished the step up in trip to 1m4f.

He goes up a further two furlongs today, which again should suit.

Despite his impressive win coming on soft going, I have no worries with quicker ground as he seemed to act on the surface when he finished three lengths behind Eminent in a Newmarket maiden last term. He was unsurprisingly outpaced over 1m that day, and shaped like an out-and-out stayer.

Alqamar looks overpriced for his potential over today's trip. With his superb pedigree and form behind Eminent, he is worth an outside punt for the red-hot Godolphin team.

Alan Thompson



NAP: 14:30 Ascot - Back Alpha Centauri @ 5/2


I think we can get off to a winning start with Alpha Centauri in the opener for the in-form Jessie Harrington yard. She recorded back-to-back victories in Ireland and her second victory never looked in doubt winning the Listed race with plenty in hand, scoring by an easy five lengths. You have to expect there is still more improvement to come, she is versatile in terms of ground and has plenty of speed that will make this big filly very tough to beat with Colm O'Donoghue retaining the ride.

The two main dangers appear to be Fairyland, from the Wesley Ward team who always have to respected at this meeting and unsuprisingly one of the Aidan O'Brien runners in the shape of Clemmie (who is Churchill's sister), she arrives here just as her brother did last year with a third place in a Curragh maiden. Last year Churchill went on to win this race so this will have been the target for her in the same colours of that stablemate, with the better ground conditions unlikely to be a problem and Ryan Moore taking the ride she looks to be the main threat.

For me it is between the two of them but, I still prefer Alpha Centauri at 5/2 to get her head in front today such was that eyecatching performance last time out.


Next Best: 17:35 Ascot - Back Sixties Groove Each Way @ 13/2


The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes is a fiercely competitive handicap where there has just been one winning favourite in the last twenty-six years. I am fairly confident that the Queen's horse Mainstream will go of a worthy market favourite today for trainer Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore. He was gelded over the winter and ran a respectable second to Frontiersman at Newmarket on his return and that form was given a major boost when Frontiersman went on to finish second in the Coronation Cup on Oaks day.

Despite the favourites credentials, I still prefer to look elsewhere for a bet and I much prefer backing Sixties Groove each way. He has only run once over a mile and a half and it was a decent effort, despite finding trouble in running he ran on well at the end to finish a close fourth at Newmarket last season. He returned this season at Epsom, where he got outpaced at a crucial stage before running on well at the end but it all happened too quickly for him over a mile. Jeremy Noseda's four-year-old will be better equipped to handle today's trip. He is off a very fair mark, still has potential with with Adam Kirby in the plate, I think he makes the frame at least.


Nick Shiambouros


NAP - Ascot 15:40 - Back Harry Angel @ 4.3100/30

Harry Angel can upset the odds-on favourite in this mouthwatering contest.

This Dark Angel colt put in a much improved effort last time out when beating Second Thought at Haydock last month. He made all the running and pulled clear to score in great style. This lightly raced individual has a lot more to offer and will take some catching on this fast ground. Trainer Clive Cox has already had a winner at the meeting which is an added bonus. At present he is trading at 4.3100/30 on the exchange.

Unbeaten Caravaggio heads the market at 1.9310/11. He won the Coventry easily last year on soft ground but appears to act on any going. He looked every bit as good this season when winning a Group 3 at Naas last month. There is no doubting his ability, but I think the selection may improve past him.


Next Best - Ascot 14:30 - Back Fairyland @ 8.415/2

I think Fairyland will go close in this Group 3 event.

I penciled in this filly for the Queen Mary after she won a maiden on debut at Keeneland in April. Despite not looking fully wound up, she made all to win with any amount in hand. Connections decided that this daughter of Scat Daddy would be better suited by today's six furlong test. She is well drawn and should have enough speed to clear the field. I think she has a great deal of potential and is attractively priced at 8.415/2 on the exchange.

Alpha Centauri rates as the main danger. She won a Listed event in great style at Naas last month and is open to a great deal of improvement. She is drawn in stall one, and will need to get away quickly to secure a good position. At present she is trading at 3.55 which is just about right.


***

After some bigger priced selections? Check out Tony Calvin's Day 4 tips

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