Royal Ascot Day 5 Tips: Four fancies for the final day of the Royal meeting

Tony has four selections for the final day of this year's Royal Ascot meeting
Tony has four selections for the final day of this year's Royal Ascot meeting

Royal Ascot comes to a close on Saturday with a fifth day of top class flat racing and Tony Calvin returns to talk through the card and pick out his best bets...

"He was bought for 32,000gns at the sales in October and sent to Paul Midgley, and he tuned up for this with an excellent fourth, beaten just a length, over 5f at York from his draw in stall one, which may not have been ideal. Back up to 6f and in a helter-skelter race, he is worth a poke at the price and can hopefully provide Midgley with another big sprint handicap winner."

Back Ninjago at 21.020/1 in the 17:00

Two-handed for the Wokingham


Ninjago.

Just the mention of his name has you rushing to withdraw your available betting balance just in case you are tempted in again - this beast is the Grand Canyon of "cliff" horses - but I am not one to let a serial wallet-emptier deter me.

I'm far too stupid for that, so back him at odds of 21.020/1 or bigger in the Wokingham at 17:00.

I say serial loser, but that is a touch harsh, because he won in first-time blinkers at Kempton last season. But it is fair say that he has been frustrating for the past three years or so since his win here.

But he does have a whole host of good big-field handicap form to his name and this strong-traveller is a course winner who can boast placed efforts in similar races to this, such as the Stewards' Cup and the Ayr Gold Cup.

He was bought for 32,000gns at the sales in October and sent to Paul Midgley, and he tuned up for this with an excellent fourth, beaten just a length, over 5f at York from his draw in stall one, which may not have been ideal.

Back up to 6f and in a helter-skelter race, he is worth a poke at the price and can hopefully provide Midgley with another big sprint handicap winner.

I backed Outback Traveller over 7f here last time and he tanked through the race before falling in a hole - I know one of the owners and this race has been the plan since that evening - but I think his price is short enough, especially if there is any more rain around.

At around twice the price, his stablemate Toofi is worth chancing at 19.018/1 or bigger.

He couldn't go the pace when tried over 5f for the first time at York on his debut for his new trainer, but he finished off his race well.

Back up to 6f, this Ayr Gold Cup fourth is expected to show his true worth for Robert Cowell, as I suspect this race has been the plan all season. Good to soft will be fine for him, but he has never raced on soft ground, so rain, rain, stay away.


First time visor can help Pacify go well in the Wolferton


It is no surprise to see Best Of Times heading up the market for the Wolferton Stakes at 15:05,

Godolphin's trainers have obviously been told to target this meeting, even more so than usual - they are delivering, too - and Best Of Times looks to have been laid out for this prize.

He came back wrong after an excellent second to Derby third Storm The Stars at Goodwood and missed the rest of last season, but he reappeared to run a highly encouraging race at Chester when drawn 12 of 12. He finished ninth, but that run hinted that he was good as ever.

He looks well-handicapped on a mark of 105 on that Goodwood form, and indeed his earlier 1m2f Newmarket win, and I could not put you off him at 5.69/2.

I may end up having a saver on him so I don't lose if he wins, but I marginally favour Pacify at 8/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook - when you place your bets check all 16 runners still stand their ground - or 9.08/1 or bigger on the Exchange.

The case for him is very simple in that he has just been touched off by a couple of improvers this season, most recently in a good time at York, and a 7lb rise in the weights is very fair. He handles a bit of cut, as well.

But trainer Ralph Beckett obviously thinks there could be more to come from him, hence the first-time visor - the trainer is five from 54 with that initial headgear in the past 10 years - and it will be arise Sir Ralph if he gets this one into the winner's enclosure as he is owned by Prince Charles and his longstanding squeeze.


A watching brief in the Chesham


Churchill was one of the biggest eye-catchers of the season when staying on under one of those educational rides to finish third in a good 6f Curragh maiden last month, and it is no surprise at all that he trades as the 2.3411/8 favourite in the Chesham at 14:30.

Vibes from the stable suggest that he is expected to win - which is probably why ante-post quotes of 3/1 earlier in the week are long gone - but I couldn't consider getting involved at the current price myself.

This well-bred juvenile - yes, I know they all are, but he is by Galileo out of a Queen Mary runner-up, which is an excellent blend of speed and stamina for this 7f contest - shaped with conspicuous promise first time out, and should relish the extra furlong here.

And that was a strong maiden, with the winner finishing fifth in the Coventry, and the third coming third in the Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

He could well bolt up here - and he holds all the right Group 1 entries - but how can you be confident when virtually all the opposition are similarly unexposed?

The Frankel colt Cunco was clearly very impressive first time up at Newbury and, on form, the French filly Aiming For Rio probably sets the standard going into the race, and is the pick of the prices at around 25/1. But I don't have a strong betting opinion.


Highland Reel overpriced for Hardwicke


I don't know what to make of the Hardwicke at 15:40 to be honest with you. But I do know that Exosphere is probably a bit too short for me at 3.55/2.

He took connections totally by surprise when winning the Jockey Club Stakes in a common canter first time up at Newmarket, and you have to give him the utmost respect here, if not solely for the fact that his stable have won six of the last 10 renewals of this race.

And the fact that Ballydoyle have allowed Ryan Moore to get off Highland Reel to ride him is a big tip in itself, Indeed, Moore says in his Betfair column that is very keen to ride a Royal Ascot winner for the man that he still calls "the boss".

If you can forgive Eagle Top a very poor comeback run behind Astronereus at Newbury then he has a massive shout on his King George second to Postponed, and he has never run a bad race in four starts here.

But I reckon the Moore desertion factor has left Highland Reel at a very backable price at 12/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook, and 13.012/1 and bigger on the Exchange.

He has not run up to his best in Dubai and Hong Kong this spring - and that travelling may have left a mark so early in the campaign - but a reproduction of his Hong Kong Vase defeat of Flintshire and Dariyan in December would make him hard to beat in this grade.

He would probably prefer it faster but he handled cut when second in the French Derby, and I think the market seriously underestimates his talent in a Hardwicke that lacks an obvious stand-out, Exosphere's potential aside.


Clondaw Warrior can battle off rivals in Queen Alexandra


The Queen Alexandra Stakes at 17:35 doesn't tend to throw up shock results - indeed the biggest-priced winner in the last 10 years has been 10/1, and eight have been 6/1 or shorter - and I am struggling to see past the top of the market. And, trust me, I tried to.

Clondaw Warrior looks bombproof each-way at 9/2, and a decent win-only bet at 6.05/1 or bigger on the Exchange.

It hasn't really worked out for Willie Mullins' stayers this week. Pique Sous was consistently denied a run until too late in the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday, and Max Dynamite also met some serious trouble in running before dropping away tamely in the Gold Cup.

And trouble in running could be a factor here in this 20-runner renewal, but that is part and parcel of racing and you have to go into every race thinking you are going to get a fair crack of the whip.

Clondaw Warrior must go close at his best.

He was in great form over hurdles in the spring, without his usual hood, but it is back on here for his return to the Flat. He won the Ascot Stakes here last season and went to finish second to Pallasator in the Doncaster Cup and, unlike his main form rival, doesn't carry a 3lb penalty.


I don't have a punting view on the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 16:20 where I think the front three in the market will probably be the first three home. The problem is in what order. Unfortunately, I have no idea.

Hope you had a good week at Royal Ascot, and will be winding down with a cool drink or 10 after a hectic five days.

I know I will be, so excuse me if I look a bit rougher than usual on the RUK Racing Breakfast Royal Ascot review programme at 10am on Sunday morning...


Recommended Bets
Back Pacify at 8/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook, or 9.08/1 or bigger on the Exchange in the 15:05
Back Highland Reel each way at 12/1 with Betfair Sportsbook in 15:40, or 13.012/1 or bigger on Exchange in the 15:40
Back Ninjago at 21.020/1 and Toofi at 19.018/1 in the 17:00
Back Clondaw Warrior each way at 9/2 with the Betfair Sportsbook, or 6.05/1 or bigger to win on the Exchange, in the 17:35

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