Timeform UK SmartPlays: Friday 21 June

Ascot
Royal Ascot continues on Friday

Timeform pick out their best back, lay and smart stat bets on Day 4 of Royal Ascot...

"She has by far and away the best form amongst the field, and is the one to beat here, with Ascot’s stiff finish only likely to bring about further improvement."

Timeform on Hermosa

Back
Hermosa - 16:20 Royal Ascot

The last two winners of the Coronation Stakes, Winter and Alpha Centauri, were Irish-trained, and arrived here on the back of victory in the Irish 1000 Guineas the previous month. The omens are therefore good for Hermosa, who arrives with an almost identical profile having completed a Guineas double in fine style at the Curragh last month. She has by far and away the best form amongst the field, and is the one to beat here, with Ascot's stiff finish only likely to bring about further improvement.

Lay
Japan - 15:05 Royal Ascot

Aidan O'Brien has three short-priced favourites on Friday, so when looking for a lay on the card, an obvious target is one of the members of his battalion. Of his three favourites - Japan, Ten Sovereigns and Hermosa - the weakest looks to be the first-named. There was a lot to like about Japan's effort to finish third in the Derby last time, and it would be no surprise should he progress again here, though he shaped at Epsom as though he could well develop into a St Leger horse later this term, and, kept at the same trip here he could be vulnerable to one of the other potential improvers in the field - namely Private Secretary. He completed a hat-trick in good style when winning a listed race at Goodwood last month, and with more improvement on the cards, he offers more value than the favourite.

Smart Stat
Baghdad - 17:35 Royal Ascot

2 Mark Johnston's number of winners in past 10 runnings

Baghdad won the King George V Stakes at this meeting last year, and he impressed when returning to winning ways at Newmarket last month despite not being seen to best effect, needing a tremendous ride from Silvestre De Sousa to prevail over one ridden to maximum advantage. He looks open to further improvement yet, and considering that Mark Johnston has won two of the past ten renewals, Baghdad gets the vote to take this.

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