It's the third day of Royal Ascot and that is where we head for Thursday's attempt at the Placepot...
14:30- The Great War has created a superb impression during his short career to date, winning both starts in effortless fashion and marking himself down as Timeform's leading juvenile so far. He could be a cut above his rivals and has to be included, though the likelihood of him taking up a huge chunk of the pool means that we will also include Mukhmal in the permutation. Mukhmal has shown bags of speed, creating a very favourable impression in overcoming a poor draw at Chester, and he is likely to give a good account.
15:05- Cannock Chase has the profile of a typical Sir Michael Stoute improver but he has been well found in the market and, though he appeals as the most likely winner, it could be worth taking him on from a Placepot perspective. Postponed was slightly disappointing behind the reopposing Barley Mow and Mutakayyef at Newmarket last time, but the falsely-run nature of the race possibly didn't play to his strengths and he is given another chance. Clearly in a forgiving mood, we will also give Obliterator another chance following his soft-ground flop in the Irish 2000 Guineas last month. Obliterator had shaped well behind True Story at Newmarket - having been heavily backed - and he will be suited by the step up to ten furlongs on that evidence.
15:45- Bright Approach overcame inexperience to make a winning debut at Newbury, prevailing in a race that has worked out exceptionally well, and she can get back on the up having produced a slightly underwhelming performance in the Cheshire Oaks. Bright Approach shaped better than the bare result at Chester, faring best of those to race off the pace as she stayed on to finish third, and she should benefit from the return to a more conventional track. She is joined in the permutation by Bracelet who was an emphatic winner on her seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown, a feat all the more notable as she struck whilst her trainer's string were going through a quiet spell. Bracelet boasts a superb pedigree - her dam is closely related to Sea The Stars and is a half-sister to Galileo - and she should be suited by the step up in trip, so is well worth another chance following a disappointing display in a messy renewal of the 1000 Guineas.
16:25- With some tricky handicaps still to come, we will take the opportunity to save a few lines by banking on Brown Panther. Brown Panther is thriving at present, coming into the contest in excellent form, and he can be relied upon to give a good account. He has been an impressive winner on both British starts over two miles, including in the Henry II Stakes last time, and, while his stamina is unproven over this extreme trip, his good attitude will stand him in good stead.
17:00- As you might expect, this is a competitive race, featuring many unexposed and progressive three-year-olds, and we will go in mob-handed, including Bilimbi, Table Rock and Hunters Creek in the permutation. Bilimbi had looked most progressive prior to disappointing in the Silver Bowl at Haydock, but that effort is best treated as a blip, the forcing tactics possibly not seeing William Haggas's charge to best effect. Table Rock, representing the powerful Aidan O'Brien yard, had looked rather temperamental on a couple of starts this season, but he is seemingly going the right way at present, and there wasn't anything wrong with his application when scoring at Naas last time. The final string to our bow is Hunters Creek as John Gosden's charge appeals as the type to relish dropping back in trip to contest a strongly-run mile, and he could yet deliver on the promise he displayed as a juvenile.
17:35- A fiercely-competitive concluding leg of the Placepot but four-timer-seeking Arab Dawn stands out following a cosy win at Kempton last time and is the first horse that we will turn to. Hughie Morrison's charge has shown significant run-to-run progress throughout his career and that looks like continuing based on his recent Kempton success where he won with plenty up his sleeve. This is a challenging final leg, though, where luck in running could play a part so, for a bit of insurance, we will also add Venezia. Venezia is yet to win, but he has contested some competitive maidens and Oisin Murphy's ability to claim 3 lb is a major advantage in a race of this nature.
14:30- 6, 8
15:05- 5, 6
15:45- 2, 3
17:00- 5, 8, 23
17:35- 12, 14
= 48 lines