Royal Ascot Placepot: Thursday June 21

The Fugue will run in the Ribblesdale Stakes.

This column has flirted with landing the spoils on both days of Royal Ascot so far, leaving Timeform's Matt Gardner hopeful of success on day three...

The filly who stands out in this field is The Fugue...

14:30 - This doesn't strike as being anything other than an ordinary renewal of the Norfolk Stakes, but selecting course-and-distance winner Cay Verde alongside the Mark Johnston-trained Storm Moon ought to see us safely through. The former took a marked step forward from his debut (strong form) when getting off the mark, at this venue, on his second start, and he backed that up with a smooth listed success at the Curragh last time, looking one who could make an impact at a higher level. Storm Moon's latest start at Sandown can be forgotten, as he set a suicidal pace, and prior to that he had looked potentially useful in winning at Musselburgh and Southwell.

15:05 - The filly who stands out in this field is The Fugue, an impressive winner of the Musidora at York before finishing third in the Epsom Oaks, unlucky not to win taking into account how badly hampered she was, resulting in her being left poorly placed. She ought to gain compensation here.

15:45 - Fame And Glory is the one to beat in his bid to defend his crown, but if for some reason he were to miss out on the places the 'pot' would be worth considerably more, so it is Colour Vision and Saddler's Rock that get the nod. Both are young, up-and-coming stayers that rate as serious threats to the favourite, and may see us land something of a coup.

16:25 - The Britannia Stakes is a wide-open event that will require three selections, namely Trader Jack, Fast or Free and Prince Alzain. The first-named disappointed on his reappearance but bounced back with an excellent second at Goodwood and is lightly-raced enough to do better still, whilst Fast or Free followed a Kempton maiden win with an effort bordering on useful when landing an open Newmarket handicap. Prince Alzain thundered home in a first-time hood at Epsom on his latest start, hampered twice and unlucky not to win, and he remains with plenty of potential.

17:00 - Mukhadram finished an excellent second on debut in the Wood Ditton and went on to score with plenty in hand on his next start. Both races are proving strong form, and he is selected alongside Tales of Grimm, who was impressive on his sole start last year, made an encouraging comeback in 2012 and remains unexposed.

17:35 - Samba King got himself back on track with a solid third at Newmarket last time, finishing third to the progressive Thomas Chippendale, and there is the distinct possibility that this step up in trip will bring about further improvement. Gabrial The Great was a wide-margin winner of a Newcastle maiden on his 2012 return, doing well considering he still looked green, and he went on to run just as well when second to the promising Rosslyn Castle at Chester. He looks capable of better still and therefore could prove to be on a very fair mark.

Selections:
14:30 - 3, 12
15:05 - 12
15:45 - 7, 9
16:25 - 16, 17, 29
17:00 - 6, 10
17:35 - 2, 17
= 48 lines

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