Royal Ascot Day Two Tips: King's gelding can rule over Hunt Cup field

Horses running at finish
There are a number of tricky puzzles to solve at Royal Ascot on Wednesday

Into day two at Royal Ascot and our man Tony Calvin has gone through the entire card to produce a quartet of bets all available at double-figure odds

"If ever a horse has been hinting headgear to his trainer for a year or so (Alan King is three from 22 since 2016 with this angle, so about average, maybe a little better), then it has been Beringer, and I can really see the first-time cheek pieces suiting this traveller."

If you found the opening day of Royal Ascot difficult, then wait until you see the pair of juvenile races that bookend Wednesday's card.

The little matter of 52 unexposed juveniles going at it, fanned all across the track, with the added unknown of some Wesley Ward runners from the States thrown in for good measure, and I can just picture the layers chuckling to themselves.

Especially as the course is expecting plenty of rain on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, though the amount varies according to the weather website you use.

And it is already coming down in spades.

Impossible possible to solve in the opener!

Well, the books aren't getting any of my money in the Queen Mary at 14:30 as the 28-runner race, featuring 10 unbeaten fillies and plenty more winners besides, is probably the hardest terrestrial puzzle I have looked at this year.

To be honest with you, I gave up trying to suss it out pretty quickly, as I don't think odds of 6/1+ the field on the exchange - that brings in Final Song at the top of the market - remotely does the entanglement of the race justice.

Two to play in the Queen's Vase

The Queen's Vase at 15:05 is much more like it and I am going to take on the market-leaders with a pair of double-figure priced horses in the shape of Eminent Authority and Themaxwecan.

They clearly both have to improve a fair amount to get near, let alone surpass, the Group 1 exploits of the Aidan O'Brien pair of Derby eighth Norway and Vertem Trophy third Western Australia, but the potential is there.

Let's start off with Themaxwecan, on whom I think Silvestre De Sousa, from stall two, will be far more aggressive than Franny Norton was at Doncaster last time.

He was held up there and he was caught cold when the pace quickened up at the 3f marker, after which he was always playing catch-up. But he was finishing so powerfully on the outside, a fair way detached too, that he would have won in another couple of strides.

Okay, that was only a 1m6f handicap and he was racing off a mark of 92, but the winner followed up at Chester on Saturday and I am banking on SDS, back on board for the first time since he won on this colt on his debut, adopting a change of tactics and getting forceful on or near the front-end, as Donny showed this horse finds for pressure.

And his action suggests another go on rain-softened ground is well worth a go.

Back him at 17.016/1 or bigger, and the same applies to Eminent Authority (pictured below).

Eminent Authority 1280.jpg

It looks like he was sold privately after he finished last of three over 1m4f at Leopardstown earlier this month, and that performance was certainly not without promise, not as regards this step up in trip is concerned, anyway.

He doesn't do anything quickly - and apparently this big unit shows little on the gallops - but he powered home to win on his debut at Killarney last month and again at Leopardstown, and 1m6f around here could see him make giant strides forward.

He will need to but, as a full-brother to the stable's surprise 1m6f Vintage Crop Stakes winner this season, Master Of Reality, improvement looks assured on just his third start.

It may come a bit too quick for him against classier types, but he is worth chancing on a day where I found bets hard to come by. And if it does really hammer down, then his half-brother Chamonix was a dual heavy-ground winner.

A big price for the Duke of Cambridge

I couldn't find a betting angle into a superb Prince Of Wales's Stakes at 15:40 - Crystal Ocean would be my bet if forced, but this race is just one to enjoy with cash on the table - but I am going to take a flyer with Di Fede at 34.033/1 or bigger in the Duke Of Cambridge at 16:20.

Her reappearance last-of-10 at Chester last month hardly screamed Royal Ascot winner but she was never in the hunt there after blowing the start and, judging from her weakness in the market, great things probably weren't expected anyway on her first outing since October.

Better certainly will be anticipated at her favourite track - all her best efforts have come here - and she is on the coat-tails of the form horses here on her soft-ground romp over 7f here in October, and she is equally effective on a faster surface if it stays dry on Wednesday.

She may well be better at 7f, though she clearly stays this trip, but she just looks too big to ignore at around 33/1, given her profile and her proven ability on the ground.

Alan King contender can surprise at a big price

I have no problem whatsoever with the lightly-raced New Graduate being so short in the Hunt Cup at 17:00 as he really was ridiculously impressive at Ripon in April and he fully deserves all of the 15lb rise he got for that considering how well the form has worked out.

But connections must be worried by his stall in one, as must those associated with another fancied performer, course specialist Raising Sand, in 32 on the other extreme.

They may win the races on their side, and only finish eighth. And similar comments to another horse that was on my radar, Kynren, who comes out of three.

It's shit-or-get-off-the pot time though, and this pin has landed on Beringer (pictured below, second from left) at 27.026/1 or better from stall two. Yes, I know, but the price compensates for the draw doubt. And at least he is berthed next to the favourite and other fancied horses, if not any guaranteed pace, and hopefully they will drag each other along. I wouldn't be surprised to see New Graduate go forward.

Horses coming up straight 1280.jpg

If ever a horse has been hinting headgear to his trainer for a year or so (Alan King is three from 22 since 2016 with this angle, so about average, maybe a little better), then it has been Beringer, and I can really see the first-time cheek pieces suiting this traveller.

They will need to improve him as he races off a career-high mark here - and the same one that he ran off when fifth at York last time - but he is equally effective on soft ground, as well as fast, so we don't need to worry about the Wednesday weather with him. It is testing enough already by the looks of it, though, and he stays 1m2f.

If the new headgear does the trick, then this big-field burn-up could really bring out the best in him.

I narrowed down the Windsor Castle to 17 - only joking, my short-list of three were Southern Hills, Symbolize and Electric Ladyland - but I probably won't be betting in this 24-runner juvenile sprint-fest, let alone tipping on it 24 hours in advance when the ground is up in the air, too.

Best of luck if you are. You may well need it.

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