Royal Ascot SmartPlays: Friday June 20

Richard Fahey trains Sandiva, the banker of the day

Following two winners from two runners on Thursday, Timeform try to secure you some more profit at Royal Ascot...

The way in which Sandiva moved through that contest marked her down as an exciting prospect and she achieved a level of form that would be good enough to win an average renewal of the Albany...


Sandiva sets the clear standard in the Albany Stakes (14:05) and should be extremely difficult to beat in the six-furlong juvenile event. Richard Fahey's filly overcame obvious signs of greenness to get off the mark on debut, pulling six lengths clear of her rivals to register an emphatic success at Nottingham, and she clearly benefitted enormously from that initial experience based on her subsequent victory at Naas.

Stepping up in grade to compete in a listed event, Sandiva looked like a much more professional filly at Naas, travelling strongly, challenging on the bridle and winning with a good deal of authority, putting two lengths between herself and Heart Focus, the pair a further four-and-a-half lengths clear of Fig Roll. The way in which she moved through that contest marked her down as an exciting prospect and she achieved a level of form that would be good enough to win an average renewal of the Albany.


For our second SmartPlay of the day we advise taking on Battle of Marengo in the King Edward Stakes at 15:05, instead siding with Mutashaded. Battle of Marengo is the clear form pick based on his Derby fourth but he faces some rivals open to plenty of improvement and doesn't look like a value proposition at odds on. There is a suspicion that Battle of Marengo has already reached his peak and, though he does set a clear standard, he probably doesn't deserve to be quite so short against an array of interesting rivals.

Roger Varian's Mutashaded has plenty to find on the figures but, unlike Battle of Marengo, he hasn't run in a race that has allowed him to post a big rating. His beating of High Troja on debut at Yarmouth reads well after that horse's handicap exploits this term and there was plenty to like about the way Mutashaded went about his business on his return at Sandown. The early pace at Sandown was only steady but Mutashaded travelled powerfully, quickened strongly and readily drew clear with plenty in hand. He may be capable of taking this huge step up in class in his stride.


Emilio Largo caught the eye on his first start for James Fanshawe when running well in a strong six-furlong handicap and he should give a good account in the seven-furlong Buckingham Palace Stakes at 17:35. That effort actually represented a career-best effort for the lightly-raced five-year-old and he enters this race at the top of his game.

The Buckingham Palace is by no means the most competitive of Ascot handicaps and there are plenty of horses in opposition that either look poorly treated or arrive seemingly out of form. Those accusations cannot be labelled at the progressive Emilio Largo and he can hopefully secure another winning day.

Timeform UK SmartPlays:
All at Ascot

Back Sandiva in the 14:30
Back Mutashaded in the 15:05
Back Emilio Largo in the 17:35

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