Through the Card: Royal Ascot, Thursday 20 June

Ryan Moore
Royal Ascot continues on Thursday

Timeform take you through the card on Day 3 of Royal Ascot on Thursday...

"...it would be a surprise if he isn't able to take a significant step forward with that reappearance run now under his belt."

Timeform on Sangarius

14:30 - Sunday Sovereign is being backed like defeat is out of the question this morning, and although his claims are excellent, it looks worth taking him on at the prices with A'ALI (1). He pulled clear with another excellent prospect when finishing a fine second on debut at Ripon earlier this month, running to the sort of level that would have won virtually all other maidens/novices over the last few seasons. He really impressed with the way he went through the race that day, and this speedy son of Society Rock can improve enough to see off a competitive field. Along with Sunday Sovereign, Expressionist is another to consider for Godolphin, as is Ventura Rebel.

15:05 - SANGARIUS (15) looked a potential top-notcher as a two-year-old, and his effort to finish third on reappearance in a listed contest at Sandown last month was an encouraging one, when rather spoiling his chance by hanging under pressure. He's very much the type to make a better three-year-old and it would be a surprise if he isn't able to take a significant step forward with that reappearance run now under his belt. Cape of Good Hope is also interesting down in grade, along with Fox Chairman and King Ottokar back at this shorter trip.

15:40 - It's difficult to get away from FLEETING (3), who was a supplementry entry for this last week after a fine effort to finish third in the Epsom Oaks on her most recent start. She tends to make her challenge late into proceedings, meaning the forecast strong early pace will play into her hands, and she sets a solid standard on the back of her effort in the Oaks. Aidan O'Brien has won three of the last five renewals of the Ribblesdale Stakes, and he's fancied to extend his fine record with runners over this trip by taking this once again. Star Catcher was beaten only half a length by Queen Power last time and seems sure to improve again for this step up in trip, while Shambolic and Frankellina are others worth viewing positively.

16:20 - STRADIVARIUS (4) arrives here as the undisputed king of the staying division having won his each of his last six starts, including this race last year. He made the perfect start to winning the Stayers' £1 million Bonus when winning last month's Yorkshire Cup proving he's every bit as good as he was 12 months ago. Unlike at York, he doesn't have to concede a penalty this time around, and will continue to be very difficult to beat. The four-year-olds Cross Counter and Dee Ex Bee are both big dangers considering they are likely to improve for the step up to two and a half miles, while Called To The Bar and Capri are interesting at a price.

17:00 - Although VELORUM (17) made hard work of justifying 6/1-on favouritism at Yarmouth last time out, he ultimately got the job done, and has a looked a smart prospect in each of his three outings so far. He's been pitched into the deep end for his handicap debut, but his opening mark looks a fair one, and it would be no surprise to see him take another step forward here for the in-form pairing of Charlie Appleby and James Doyle, and he looks a solid proposition at a double-figure price at the time of writing. In an open affair, it also looks worth adding AWEEDRAM (24), who wasn't seen to best effect in the Silver Bowl at Haydock and he looked progressive prior to that. The recent rain shouldn't be an issue (C&D winner on good to soft last month) and he probably has more to offer. Other dangers include the improving King Ademar, Motafaawit and Davydenko.

17:35 - Mark Johnston won this race 12 months ago with Baghdad, and he looks to have a fine chance of repeating the feat here with SIR RON PRIESTLEY (12). He was a cut above the field when winning on his handicap debut at Haydock last month, asserting a furlong out and winning with plenty in hand, and an 8 lb rise for that success looks more than fair. He looks open to more improvement yet, and is fancied to seal a seventh win in the race for his trainer. Sinjaari and Good Birthday finished second and third in a good renewal of the London Gold Cup Handicap and head the opposition.

Check out the Betfair Royal Ascot podcast, where Kieran O'Connor was joined by Joseph O'Brien, Gary O'Brien and Barry Orr to preview the finest five days in the flat racing calendar

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