Royal Ascot Tips: Time to break the bank for Fort Knox

Charlie Appleby trains the Godolphin owned Fort Knox
Charlie Appleby trains the Godolphin owned Fort Knox

The fourth day of the Royal Meeting brings yet more ultra-competitve racing but that hasn't prevented Tony Calvin from going through the card and recommending a wager in five of the six races to be run...

Recommended Bets

Back Fort Knox @ 15.014/1 Royal Ascot 17:35

Back Patience Alexander @ 5.59/2 Royal Ascot 14:30

Back Bold Sniper @ 4.57/2 Royal Ascot 15:05

Back Kiyoshi @ 13.012/1 Royal Ascot 16:25

Back Century @ 6.05/1 Royal Ascot 17:00


Royal Ascot 17:35 - Fort Knox

Fort Knox hasn't quite been required to squirrel away my Royal Ascot winnings so far this week - though the biggest punts to date, Anthem Alexander and Cannock Chase, thankfully did the business - but I am very sweet on the chances of a horse of that name delivering the cash in the Buckingham Palace Stakes tomorrow.

Back Charlie Appleby's lightly-raced 4yo at odds of 15.014/1 or better in the 17:35.

Fort Knox was trained by Johnny Murtagh for most of last season when he was highly-tried in Group company - indeed they ran him in the Irish 2,000 Guineas - but was switched to Appleby over the winter, and reappeared at Newbury last month.

And, to cut a long story short, he should have won a minute there. He was travelling much the best throughout the race but couldn't get a run, and had to be switched to the stands side late on, after which he fairly flew home. The finishing kick really was very impressive.

Given the trouble he experienced, to be beaten only two lengths by Chil The Kite was an eye-catchingly good performance and the runner-up hammered home the merit of the performance when second in the Hunt Cup on Wednesday.

The handicapper has played very fair in raising him only 1lb for that effort and, given luck in running - and we have seen numerous times this week, that is often more crucial than talent - then I can see him running a massive race.

To my eye, I honestly think that he should be favourite here. I think he will win, and will be backing him accordingly.

Anyone got the number for a bullion depository in Texas? Because I expecting to be needing it around 5:40pm on Thursday.

He will be by far my biggest bet of the day, as to be honest I found Friday to be a pretty tricky card.


Royal Ascot 14:30 - Patience Alexander

I am going to keep it simple and side with Patience Alexander in the Albany Stakes. Back her at odds of 5.59/2 or better in the opener.

I'll be blunt here. If this filly was trained by a top yard, then she would probably be around a 4.03/1 chance, if that.

As it is she is handled by a bloke who is not averse to holding a beer, rather than a bible, while watching his horses work in the morning. But we can make that work in her favour.

Dave Evans hasn't done too badly with the filly so far, and her half length defeat of Queen Mary runner-up Tiggy Wiggy over 5f at York last time is head and shoulders above what any other filly can boast in here.

And if she proves as effective over this extra furlong, then one of her rivals is going to have to improve 7lb+ to beat her, so I'll take my chances.


Royal Ascot 15:05 - Bold Sniper

The Wolferton looks relatively uncompetitive this year, and a big run is expected from Bold Sniper. And at round 4.57/2 he warrants a small interest.

He was third in the King George V handicap over 1m4f at this meeting last season and, being owned by the Queen, it is pretty obvious that his season has been geared towards Royal Ascot again.

Sir Michael Stoute has been using inadequate trips on reappearances to tee up some of his horses for bigger prizes down the line - Gospel Choir being an obvious example - and he took that path with Bold Sniper on his seasonal bow, and she ran a cracker to finish third over 1m1f at Newmarket.

That was a particularly good effort, as he was thought to need the run a good deal after a gelding operation in the close-season (not that we have one of those any more, under any code).

That proves that he has the pace for this 1m2f contest, he is drawn well in one, he will bounce off the ground and a mark of 102 is fair. In short, everything looks in place for a big run.

Saxo Jack looks a very serious rival and I am personally going to have a saver on him at around 11.010/1 - so feel free to do so yourself - but I'll just stick with Bold Sniper for the purpose of this column.


Royal Ascot 15:45

The King Edward VII Stakes at 15:45 looks an absolute minefield and I tied myself up in knots trying to work it out before filing it in the "Too Hard" file.

If forced to have a bet it would be Bunker at around 15.014/1, but I would have to coerced rather aggressively to do so.


Royal Ascot 16:25 - Kiyoshi

The Coronation Stakes at 16:25 also has the look of an "eyes glaze over" race as it looks very tricky but I certainly wasn't expecting to see Kiyoshi available at odds of 13.012/1 and bigger. I can't let her go unbacked at that price.

In terms of raw talent I think that she is the best horse in here judged on her devastating Albany win at this meeting last season, and she strikes me as a filly who will go best when fresh.

She is probably a big price because of the problems she has had this season - she missed the 1,000 Guineas because she pulled up lame in her work the day before - and the fast ground being a slight concern, but the double-figure odds more than compensate for those doubts.


Royal Ascot 17:00 - Century

The Queen's Vase at 17:00 was another race that was passing me by, until I saw that Century was available at odds of 6.05/1+.

Aidan O'Brien has won this race twice in the last four years and relies on Century from his 3yo colts battalion.

The horse won on good ground over a mile on his debut, and to be honest didn't show much improvement on that when only fourth in an average Dee Stakes at Chester last time.

But I don't think soft ground and Chester saw him at his best, and the better ground is expected to suit him much better. It would be wrong to state that the step up to 2m is sure to suit, but he certainly looked as if a longer trip wouldn't go amiss when staying on over an extended 1m2f at Chester, and he is worth chancing here.

But keep stakes to a minimum here because we are unloading on Fort Knox in the last, remember.


Recommended Bets

Back Fort Knox @ 15.014/1 Royal Ascot 17:35
Back Patience Alexander @ 5.59/2 Royal Ascot 14:30
Back Bold Sniper @ 4.57/2 Royal Ascot 15:05
Back Kiyoshi @ 13.012/1 Royal Ascot 16:25
Back Century @ 6.05/1 Royal Ascot 17:00


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