Royal Ascot begins on Tuesday, and Alan Dudman is looking forward to the final two races on the card, plus a lay of an old friend at Stratford...
"However, some of these American two-year-olds look giants and more forward than the home contenders. The market hasn't missed her, but at 8/1 I'm prepared to take that."
15:35 - Stratford - Mondlicht
How I wish Russian Remarque's nose was as big as mine following his defeat at Windsor yesterday. Hitting 1.331/3 in-running rubbed salt in to the wounds, but we go again for Tuesday.
Let us say welcome back to an old friend. Mondlicht is running at Stratford and his trainer John Ferguson could well be running out of patience with this horse.
He picked up a couple of races on the flat, but over hurdles he simply looks as though he doesn't fancy it. He ran at Fontwell recently, and having watched his final effort - it certainly left a lot to be desired.
If he is around 2.506/4 on the place market, look to lay him.
17:00 Ascot - Back Lycidas
The 2m4f Ascot Stakes is a unique race, and the National Hunt trainers have been mopping up this contest for the last five years. David Pipe, Willie Mullins and Jonjo O'Neill have all tasted success so it makes you wonder why John Ferguson hasn't got something lurking from a mark of 100?
It's a bit of a wacky affair to be honest, and not many are totally guaranteed to see out the trip, but I'm hopeful that Lycidas will stay. The six-year-old picked up a race at York last time, and the way he finished (after hitting a flat spot) suggests he's worth a go.
He's lightly-raced and I have been impressed with his young handler Charlie Fellowes who clearly seems to know what he is doing. From a mark of 93 he'll need a career high, but he still might be improving.
I remember being at this meeting when Wesley Ward landed a Royal Ascot winner with Strike The Tiger (in this race in 2009) at a huge 33/1. Those days have gone about getting such fancy prices about the USA raiders, but with the flamboyant trainer's success rate here (four winners), who's to say he can't bag another one.
I was tempted to put in Finnegan as a bet earlier in the card, but this looks an easier race despite the massive field.
The selection is a step into the unknown, as all we're armed with is the fact the filly won at Churchill Downs. However, some of these American two-year-olds look giants and more forward than the home contenders. The market hasn't missed her, but at 8/1 I'm prepared to take that.
Tuesday's Recommended Bets
Lay Mondlicht @ no bigger than 2.506/4 in the place market in the 15:35 Stratford
Back Lycidas @ 13.012/1 in the 17:00 at Ascot
Back Ruby Notion @ 8/1 in the 17:35 at Ascot (price on Sportsbook)
Weekly P /L (one point each bet excluding advised in-running trades)
Previous seven day P/L + 3.53
Total: +10.92 pts