Royal Ascot Day Five Tips: Two each-way bets for a tough final day card
You might dub it "swerve Saturday" so tricky is the final day card at Royal Ascot, according to Tony Calvin. Still, our man has managed to find a couple of bets at long odds that could have you celebrating as the curtain comes down on a fabulous five days...
"I was going to give the Wokingham a pass - I am not one to push at a closed door if I can't see a bet - but Mr Lupton was a touch overpriced at [18.0] or bigger, and 16/1 on the Sportsbook."
The final day of Royal Ascot has an incredibly tricky look to it, and you would struggle to frame a more unappealing card for my punting tastes.
Two short-priced favourites that I don't expect to get beaten, a brace of juvenile races, a Group 1 sprint in which you can make a fair case for about seven of the field at the prices, and a 28-runner Wokingham to round it all off.
As always though, I will take the races in chronological order, and see what jumps out at me.
Duke of Hazzard is a promising each way bet in the Chesham Stakes
I don't think you can argue with Natalie's Joy being the favourite in the Chesham Stakes at 14:30, or her price at around 15/8, but she has hardly been missed in the market after that impressive Goodwood win in a quick time.
The only one that interests me is Duke Of Hazzard, who was the complete rag and as big as 40/1 in a couple of places after the declarations were known on Thursday morning.
That was a massive price, and it duly disappeared, but I think he remains well worth an each-way interest at 33/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook, or similar prices on the exchange.
If you take out the favourite, the rest of these are all much of a muchness, as it stands - Kempton winner Beyond Reason may be the exception - and Paul Cole's colt stacks up pretty well among those.
He has probably done remarkably well to do what he has done over 5f to date, given his pedigree, and he clearly bumped into a very fast filly in the shape of Queen Of Bermuda, one of the favourites for the Windsor Castle, at Windsor last time.
He is by Lope De Vega out of a filly who stayed a mile, so you have to think the step up to 7f will bring about a fair bit of improvement.
I am not sure if the first-time tongue-tie is a positive or negative, but if he has been struggling with his breathing, then it can't be a bad thing to try to correct it.
Three races to swerve
I don't anticipate 4/6 chance Crystal Ocean getting chinned in the Hardwicke at 15:05, but the odds-against quotes are long gone, with only six being declared for the race (it was five before Cliffs Of Moher was put back in the race after it was re-opened at 10am on Thursday morning, and we have had a non-runner since, too).
I can see Barsanti following him home, as the market suggests, but there just isn't a bet in the race.
I can't think of many more unappealing punting mediums than a 28-runner juvenile race in which they will probably split into at least three groups, but I did have a decent look at the Windsor Castle at 15:40.
Queen Of Bermuda has plenty going for her. She has experience of the track, and probably the best form and time credentials, but I can't get over-excited by her price at around 7/1 in a race of this depth and full of unknowns.
The Diamond Jubilee is probably as tricky as it gets from a Group 1 perspective, as American, French, Australian and Irish form all collide at 16:20.
Harry Angel probably sets the form standard but the Aussie sprinter Redkirk Warrior looks a fair tool, and then we have the Ascot specialists The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze.
There have been some very positive noises doing the rounds about Bound For Nowhere since his Newbury work-out last Sunday, and he bolted up in his prep race at Keeneland, beating King's Stand fifth Bucchero by 4 lengths.
Look, you can make a case for at least six of these at the prices - I haven't even mentioned the second favourite, Merchant Navy, who surprised connections with the manner of his success at the Curragh last month on his debut for the stable - and I simply don't have a strong opinion. In fact, I don't have an opinion.
Thomas Hobson is probably a worthy 6/4 favourite to go one better in the race he finished second in last season - he ran away with the Ascot Stakes four days earlier, and his price has contracted all week - and I am not in a massive rush to bet against him in the Queen Alexandra at 17:35.
Maybe Pallasator would have an each-way squeak against him at around 8/1 but it's not an attractive betting heat with the favourite so solid.
Why Mr Lupton will be up for the Wokingham
July Cup entry Dreamfield could easily prove to be another winning favourite off a mark of 103 in the Wokingham at 17:00, but taking 4/1 in a 28-runner 6f handicap is not my idea of fun.
I was going to give this race a pass - I am not one to push at a closed door if I can't see a bet - but Mr Lupton was a touch overpriced at [18.0] or bigger, and 16/1 on the Sportsbook.
His one run at this course was in Group 1 company but a strongly-run 6f handicap on fast ground are his conditions, and he certainly has that here.
He did remarkably well to win over 5f at York last time and I wouldn't have thought connections would have been arguing with a 3lb rise.
He is still 1lb lower than when winning on fast ground at Newmarket last season, and he has a lot going for him. Back him at 16/1 each way, paying five places on the Sportsbook.
Growl and my old mate Ultimate Avenue were alternatives at around 16/1 and 33/1 respectively, but I will stick with just the one selection after a tough week.
Good luck, everyone.