Royal Ascot Tips: Back Hoof It to score in the Wokingham for mind-your-mouth Mick

Mick Eastery is hoping to land the Wokingham with Hoof It
Mick Eastery is hoping to land the Wokingham with Hoof It

Ahead of the final day of the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting our man Tony Calvin goes through the card in search of more big-price plays that he believes can out-run their odds...

Recommended Bets

Back Arab Spring @ 4.03/1 Royal Ascot 15:05

Back Beacon Lady @ 26.025/1 Royal Ascot 15:05

Back Hillstar @ 6.05/1 Royal Ascot 15:45

Back Music Master @ 28.027/1 Royal Ascot 16:25

Back Hoof It @ 23.022/1 Royal Ascot 17:00

Royal Ascot 15:05 - Arab Spring & Beacon Lady

Whatever you do if betting in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes then at least have a saver on Arab Spring.

A measure of how much connections think of this horse is that they were actually a bit downbeat after he won narrowly last time out at York. But as his trainer Sir Michael Stoute said after the race he is still "a big baby boy" and there is plenty more to come from him.

They could easily have gone down the Hardwicke route with the horse - Cannock Chase was another example of Stoute sending a horse with a very workable handicap mark straight into Group company - but the fact that the stable already have Telescope and Hillstar in that race dictated that they took in this handicap off a mark of 104 instead.

On what he has shown on the track, that looks harsh. But apparently on what he shows at home, that could be very lenient indeed.

Back him if he is 4.03/1 or bigger to at least cover your stakes on other bets and fancies - he could be one of the gambles of the week here - and I am going to do just that, with my bigger-priced punt in the race Beacon Lady at odds of 26.025/1 or bigger.

A lot of people will dismiss her simply because she isn't racing at her beloved Brighton or Epsom, and there is little doubt that those tracks suit her very well.

But connections deserve to get compensation for the bold manner in which they supplemented her for £25,000 into the Group 1 Coronation Cup last time, though some would say foolhardy given she went into the race rated only 96.

She predictably didn't figure there but you could easily argue that she ran a career-best in only finishing 12 lengths behind the winner Cirrus Des Aigles, and the handicapper has left her mark untouched.

Her poor form away from Brighton and Epsom means that she has been prematurely dismissed in the betting here, and I think she can carry on her progressive profile with a big run on her favoured fast ground.

A wide draw in 19 isn't a big issue as she would have to be dropped in anyway, and I can see talented 5lb claimer Jack Duern - on board when she won the Great Metropolitan by seven lengths in April - biding his time, coming wide off the turn and sweeping home on the outside.

She may only finish second to Arab Spring, but I'll settle for that right now.


Royal Ascot 15:45 - Hillstar

If you fancy Telescope to finally silence the doubters in the Hardwicke, then you will be looking for a win for Arab Spring, as the gallops watchers tell me that the pair work together.

On this faster surface, Telescope is expected to step up on his two soft-ground efforts this season against the reformed Noble Mission, but he looks plenty short enough at around 3.55/2, now the 5.04/1 available earlier in the week has disappeared.

I reckon that his stablemate Hillstar could deny him. Back the stable second string at 6.05/1 or bigger in the 15:45.

This looks a weak renewal of the Hardwicke, and I think Hillstar is a big player back on fast ground, and a great spare ride for Frankie Dettori.

He ran a satisfactory race behind Gold Cup fourth Brown Panther on soft ground at Chester - form that now looks much better than it did at the time - and this horse looks much better on a firmer surface, as he showed when winning the King Edward VII at this meeting last year and when going on to finish third in the King George.

He is the best horse in here on official marks alongside Dandino, and has his optimum conditions on a course he clearly goes well at, so I think he will be very hard to kick out of the frame.


Royal Ascot 14:30

The Chesham opens the card at 14:30 but it looks a real minefield to me and I don't have a strong opinion at all. If you are going to play then Toscanini would be my marginal choice, but I won't be betting.


Royal Ascot 16:25 - Music Master

I think Slade Power is very solid and a worthy favourite in the Diamond Jubilee, but my bigger-priced three again the field are Music Master, Es Que Love and Astaire.

Astaire needs this 6f and fast ground to show his best, and Es Que Love will be more at home over this trip than the 5f of the King's Stand on Tuesday and he has run well after quick reappearances in the past.

I wouldn't put anyone off that pair but I have to give Music Master another chance after that poor run at Windsor.

Simply put, they got the tactics wrong when going from the front that day and this exceptionally strong-traveller is far better with more patient tactics. And I think that we will see the best of him on 6f on fast ground here, if ridden to challenge at the furlong pole.

And he has run two excellent races here. He emptied out after looking set to take a big hand in the finish when fifth in last year's Jersey and then only found Tropics, one of the most improved horses in 2013, too good for him on softened ground here in October.

He may not be good enough but I expect a career-best performance in these conditions, and he rates a bet at 28.027/1. You may want to consider putting in an in-running lay if you do back him, as he does catch the eye travelling powerfully in his races.


Royal Ascot 17:00 - Hoof It

The Queen Alexandra Stakes is not for me thanks, but you feel obliged to have a punt in the Wokingham, don't you?

I can't get suckered in by Ninjago again - he has been consigned to my betting bin, along with Burano, so you know what happens now... - and I am going to chuck a few quid at Hoof It at odds of 23.022/1 or bigger.

I hope he wins just so Channel 4 have to play russian roulette and interview Mick Easterby live once again (so I hope he turns up). Common decency prevents me from repeating from what he said live on air back in 2006, so I will post a link to the Guardian's no-holds-barred report on the infamous incident.

Don't click on this link if you are easily offended.

But his Hoof It has fair claims.

He may not be in his 2011 pomp, when he ran away with the Stewards Cup and was only beaten in a three-way photo in the Group 1 at Haydock, both on fast ground, but he has been running well on the all-weather and is well-handicapped off a mark of 105.

Throw in the fact that he has run some of his better recent turf efforts on this track, notably when fourth to Slade Power on ground softer than ideal here in a Group 2 last October, and he looks worth a shot.

Actually, re-reading that Guardian piece, if he does win, I think that Channel 4 will probably be doing a recorded interview with Mick. Well, they wouldn't want to be made to look, err, a fool, twice, would they?


Recommended Bets

Back Arab Spring @ 4.03/1 Royal Ascot 15:05
Back Beacon Lady @ 26.025/1 Royal Ascot 15:05

Back Hillstar @ 6.05/1 Royal Ascot 15:45
Back Music Master @ 28.027/1 Royal Ascot 16:25
Back Hoof It @ 23.022/1 Royal Ascot 17:00


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