Royal Ascot Bets of the Day: A couple of Georges look worth following on Gold Cup day
Two winners - at prices of 9/2 and 9/1 - for the Bets of the Day team means they're in confident mood ahead of day three at Royal Ascot. Read what Alan Dudman, Nick Shiambouros and Alan Thompson have to say about today's races and follow them throughout the week...
"I was also pleased to read Moore's comments about the ground in his regular column where he doesn't seem to think there will be any issues with the going for Order Of St George."
Alan Dudman - Burrows set for Royal glory?
15:05 Hampton Court Stakes - Back Wadilsafa @ [11.0]
This Group 3 provides a match-up of the experience against the lesser-exposed runners - and I am siding with the latter and backing Wadilsafa.
Trained by Owen Burrows, this Frankel colt looked a horse of immense promise when strolling to victory in a Newmarket novice event to beat Herculean by three lengths. He travelled far better in that to reverse form with Herculean from Ascot - but the ground might have blunted his speed that day on soft and he really enjoyed bouncing off the quicker surface.
In fact, with Ghanaati in the pedigree, it's fast ground all the way.
He held a Derby entry before Newmarket and has been entered in the Irish Derby too, so I have no problems with the extra two furlongs today. He's a big strong horse that should
enjoy this track.
Wand can be magic in fillies' event
15:40 Ribblesdale Stakes - Back Magic Wand @ [5.0]
This race really could have been Lah Ti Dar time, but minus her, I am happy to give another chance to Aidan O'Brien's Magic Wand. You can click here to read what Ryan Moore has to say about her chances in this Group 2.
I thought she looked excellent when winning the Cheshire Oaks earlier in the season - crucially the first time she had raced on decent ground.
She didn't run too badly in the Oaks last time behind Forever Together (whom she beat at Chester), but the soft ground didn't really suit to take her tally to 0-3 when riding soft or heavy.
Magic Wand could be dangerous in front here under Moore and is bred to stay well - so I am happy to back her at around 4/1, especially on quicker ground.
Alan Thompson - It's all about George on Thursday
To win this race a horse needs guts, stamina and class and one that has all three is the 2016 winner and last year's second, Order Of St George who I think is ready to go in again with Ryan Moore in the plate, both his runs this year have proven he's just as impressive as ever and he sets the form standard again.
We know he stays extremely well and has that impressive turn of foot that could take him away from most of this field, I was also pleased to read Moore's comments about the ground in his regular column where he doesn't seem to think there will be any issues with the going.
There are of course a couple of live contenders in the field though that he will have to deal with, mainly in the shape of John Gosden's Stradivarius who won the Queen's Vase last year and went on to lift the Goodwood Cup later, another potential issue but to a lesser extent is the French stayer Vazirabad.
But Ballydoyle's Aidan O'Brien is looking to land a record eighth Gold Cup and is quoted as saying "We are as happy with him going into the Gold Cup as we have been with him in any of the other years he has gone there." If Aidan is happy then so am I!
Can George strike again in the Britannia
The Sportsbook Each Way edge is offering seven places in this race today and still show a profit if George of Hearts can make the extended frame. Thirty relatively unexposed three-year-old's hurtling down the straight mile at Ascot is about as tough as it gets as a punter but EW Edge at least gives us a bit more of a chance and a sense of achievement if you can get one in the frame. It's obviously not a high stakes wager and much more of a punt but I do think that Jamie Spencer and Richard Hughes have as good a chance as any in landing this.
He broke his maiden tag on his first start as a three-year-old at Chelmsford City at the end of March and than followed that up with a half a length defeat by Society Power over seven furlongs here last month. Society Power franked that form when running well into a place in Group 3 company, George Of Hearts was finishing fast that day and he promises to be better suited by this step up in distance. I think he is more than capable of making it into the first seven past the post, but stakes will still be kept to a minimum, this isn't a race to give all your hard earned Ascot profits back on.
Nick Shiambouros - Shang to give Ward Norfolk victory
14:30 Norfolk Stakes - Back Shang Shang Shang at [5.7]
I am going to side with Shang Shang Shang in this competitive race.
This well related filly beat stablemate Moonlight Romance at the Keenland spring meeting in April. She bounced out of the stalls, and made all the running to win with plenty to spare. The front two finished a mile ahead of the third place finisher. The runner-up gave the form a boost with an emphatic win on the turf at Belmont last month. I was disappointed with the run of Chelsea Cloisters yesterday, but hopefully the Ward team can get off to a flying start with this likeable filly. At present she is trading at [5.7] on the exchange which is more than fair.
Vintage Brut is unbeaten in two starts, and comes off a good looking win in a Listed race at Sandown. He surely has more to offer, and is the main danger to the selection. At present he is trading at [6.4] on the exchange.
Nordic to shine
I really like the chances of Nordic Light in this fascinating contest.
This talented colt finished fifth to Roaring Lion in the Dante at York last month. He ran on well for pressure inside the final furlong, but failed to deliver a challenge behind the easy winner. I do not think we have seen the best of this lightly raced individual, and should be seen to better effect in this Group 3.
Each-Way Edge (5 places) is the way to go at 6/1.
Hunting Horn was not beaten all that far in the French Derby at Chantilly earlier this month, and has solid credentials. This was his best effort to date, and likely has more to offer. At present he is trading at 6/1 on the Sportsbook.
Alan Dudman says: Back Wadilsafa @ [11.0] in the 15:05
Alan Dudman says: Back Magic Wand @ [5.0] in the 15:40
Alan Thompson says:Back Order Of St George @ 15/8 in the 16:20
Alan Thompson says: Back George Of Hearts @ 11/2 (EW Edge to 7 Places) in the 17:00
Nick Shiambouros says: Back Shang Shang Shang in the 14:30
Nick Shiambouros says: Back Nordic Lights Each-Way Edge (5 places) in the 15:05