Royal Ascot Day 2 Tips: Six more big priced punts from the Berkshire showpiece

Another hot day at Ascot beckons on Wednesday
Another hot day at Ascot beckons on Wednesday

On to Day 2 of the Royal Meeting at Ascot and our man Tony Calvin is back to talk through the card, and he has picked out no fewer than six best bets...

Recommended Bets

Back Top Score at 30.029/1 or bigger in the 14:30, and/or 25/1 each way with Sportsbook
Back Heartache each way at 6/1 with Sportsbook in the 15:05
Back Queen's Trust 14/1 each way with Sportsbook, and/or 16.015/1 on the Exchange, in 16:20
Back Master The World at 44.043/1 and El Vip at 10.519/2 in the 17:00
Back Rain Goddess at 16.015/1 in the 17:35

Back a Top Score in the opener

For personal, and professional, reasons I hope Josephine Gordon produces Dream Castle on the line to take the Jersey at 14:30 - but I will let out a few expletives all the same if it is the horse's stablemate, Top Score, who she nails close home.

The Godolphin three-year-old is a bet at 30.029/1 or better on the Exchange, and 25/1 each way with the Sportsbook looks good, too.

There is no doubt that Dream Castle is a massive player here. If this free-going sort settles and finds cover from his wide draw in 19, then he definitely has the potential to improve past the French Guineas second Le Brivido. And I favour that pair over the other "form horse", 1,000 Guineas third Daban.

But I have a feeling that trio are vulnerable for varying reasons. I toyed with Chessman at the 20/1 mark as I think he probably should come here unbeaten but, at the prices, Top Score gets my vote.

He was one of the more sustained handicap punts of the season at Goodwood last time, so it was definitely disappointing to see him finish such a tame sixth under 5lb claimer George Wood. But he wasn't best served by being held up at the back off a slow pace, and I am prepared to forgive him that run.

If you are, too, then he is a massive price judged on his Guineas run, where he only finished two necks behind Dream Castle and shaped far better than the final result indicates.

He looked like he was going to take a hand in the finish when quickening up stylishly between the 2f and 1f marker, and that was after he was asked to come from the rear in a steadily-run race. On that run he should be more of a 10/1 chance, so I am happy to tip and bet accordingly.

A combination of 7f and fast ground looks ideal, and I expect Olivier Peslier to deliver him late.

Heartache can cause a shock in Queen Mary

If you believe all the talk, then Happy Like A Fool will win the Queen Mary at 15:05 and win it well. Jamie Spencer rode her in a gallop at Ascot last week and was mightily impressed, as were the other jockeys involved in the piece of work, apparently.

But she is already a 13/8 chance, and shortening, and I am happy to take her on with Heartache each-way at 6/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook. Obviously, you can back her win and place if you are an Exchange punter.

I sit up and take notice when Clive Cox's juveniles win first up, and Heartache certainly impressed when winning in a very fast time over 5f on fast ground at Bath last month.

The second hasn't run since but the third won next time. However, it is basically the evidence of the clock that suggests she is the one most likely to put it up to the American speedster. She may not be good enough but it will be disappointing if she isn't placed.


I think the Duke Of Cambridge at 15:40 is very difficult to call and I can't see a bet.

Laugh Aloud looked a filly to follow in a higher grade when a very impressive winner at Epsom last time but unfortunately the layers agree, and she trades at around 11/4 to beat a dual Group 1 winner in Qemah, as well as fillies of the calibre of last year's winner Usherette and Smart Call, and improvers like Mix And Mingle. No thanks.

Put your Trust in the Queen

In the 16:20 I do think the form horses Highland Reel and Jack Hobbs are vulnerable at this trip - though the former did finish third in a Juddmonte last season, and is the one to beat in here - and the vibes surrounding Ulysses are very strong.

Things happened a bit too quickly for him last season but he looks far more the finished article now on the evidence of his comeback defeat of Deauville at Sandown, and he is said to have delighted his trainer since.

I do think he will run a huge race but there isn't a great deal of juice in his price of 4.3100/30 considering he does have 7lb to find with the principals on official ratings, and at the odds I have to side with stablemate Queen's Trust each way at 14/1 with the Sportsbook, or 16.015/1 or bigger win-only on the Exchange.

She ran moderately when last of four on her return at York but she needed that run quite badly, and at her best she is no 14/1-plus chance.

She has not enjoyed the best of luck in running on her two starts here, though running well on both occasions, but she is a high-class proposition when encountering 1m2f and fast ground.

She chased home Minding in the Nassau Stakes and then went to America and won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. She is over-priced.

A two-handed attack on the Hunt Cup

I am going to take two against the field in the Hunt Cup at 17:00 and I'll start with the big-priced one.

Step forward Master The World at 44.043/1 or bigger.

He hasn't raced since February, when he was plying his trade over 1m2f in Meydan, so that is a slight concern.

But 1m on fast ground in a big-field handicap are his conditions, as he showed when third in the Balmoral Handicap over course and distance two seasons ago and when just touched off by a head by handicap good thing Franklin D At Goodwood last year. He races off just a 1lb higher mark here, and is too big a price to resist.

El Vip at 10.519/2 is more obvious in that he comes here after an impressive win at Newcastle last time, on which he is officially 3lb well-in despite his 5lb penalty (the handicapper raised him 8lb for that success).

This is light years away from that Newcastle win in terms of depth and quality, but he is a highly-regarded and lightly-raced 4yo, and Jamie Spencer has got off the rock-solid Banksea to ride him. Apparently, he is tricky and can be fractious - so keep an eye on him playing up before the race - but he has the talent to win this and a midfield draw gives his jockey options.

Rain Goddess to rule supreme in the last

I was going to tip Rain Goddess each-way if she got the green light to run in the Oaks, so it may seem a bit strange to put her up at 16.015/1 in the 1m Sandringham Handicap at 17:35.

I was looking to side with her at Epsom because, as a daughter of Galileo, the step up to 1m4f was expected to suit after good efforts over 7f in the Fred Darling and a fifth in the French 1,000 Guineas.

But, in a 24-runner handicap, you are going to need reserves of stamina for beyond a mile and I think a mark of 104 underestimates her ability. That French Classic run came on soft ground but she appeared to handle fast ground well enough at Newbury.

Recommended Bets

Back Top Score at 30.029/1 or bigger in the 14:30, and/or 25/1 each way with Sportsbook
Back Heartache each way at 6/1 with Sportsbook in the 15:05
Back Queen's Trust 14/1 each way with Sportsbook, and/or 16.015/1 on the Exchange, in 16:20
Back Master The World at 44.043/1 and El Vip at 10.519/2 in the 17:00
Back Rain Goddess at 16.015/1 in the 17:35

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