The racing bets of the day team round out Royal Ascot with another six selections...
"Dettori has been masterful this week, and I am hoping we can sign off with a winner."
More to come from Space Blues
Charlie Appleby's Space Blues is arriving at Ascot seeking a hat-trick, the Godolphin colt won a handicap comfortably over seven furlongs at York and then followed that up by landing a Listed race at Epsom last time out. He is certainly bred to be mixing it with the best, this son of Dubawi out of a Group 2 winning mare Miss Lucifer, is currently rated 110 there could still be some big days ahead for connections who are entitled to be optimistic.
Last time out he beat Urban Icon (who he meets again today) by a neck when the pair pulled clear of the field and he shaped as though he still had plenty more improvement in the locker. He remains unexposed at this trip and should prove tough to beat, the one minor concern I have is that he is tackling a straight course for the first time. However, I expect him to be held up and make his charge late in the more than capable hands of James Doyle.
Hoping Keystroke can run a big race at a big price
This seven-year-old was a massive 66/1 chance when he landed a Group 3 at Newmarket last time out beating the 110 rated Yafta, who he meets again today, and the 116 rated Brando (who has since come back out and won). Of course he needs to step up on that performance again here if he is to get in the mix but at a massive price I think he is worth taking a chance with.
His win at Newmarket made it two from three starts since moving from Jeremy Noseda to Stuart Williams yard and the move seems to have given him a new lease of life. Adam Kirby takes the ride again today and from his less than ideal low draw he is likely to have to sit in and wait for the gaps to appear. That will be a similar to what he had to do when he won at Newmarket. Make no mistake it's a big ask for him but there should be a decent pace set and I can see him doing his best work towards the end of the race, hopefully running into at least a place.
Tiger looks tough
Chesham Stakes (14:30) - Back Year Of The Tiger Each-Way
Year Of The Tiger is my Each-Way selection in this intriguing contest.
This Galileo colt caught the eye on debut when finishing second to Lil Grey at the Curragh earlier this month. He ran on in good style in the closing stages and snatched second close home. This was a taking performance from this beautifully bred individual, and looks like a big improver over this longer trip. His Dam Tiggy Wiggy won the Group 1 Cheveley Park at HQ, and there is plenty of speed in the pedigree. At present he is trading at [20.0] in the Each- Way market which is more than fair.
Stablemate Lope Y Fernandez is the short priced favourite at [2.48] on the exchange. He was impressive on debut when beating Kipling in a maiden at the Curragh, but is priced accordingly. I can afford to let him win at that price.
Jonesy to deliver
Wokingham Stakes (17:00) - Back Hey Jonesy Each-Way
Hey Jonesy should run well in this historic sprint.
This talented gelding finished fifth to the smart Invincible Army in a Group 2 event at York last month. He had a chance a furlong from home, but found the company too hot and weakened out of contention. He has some respectable form at the highest level, and was not beaten all that far in the Commonwealth Cup last year. He looks super Each-Way value at [16.5] on the exchange.
Spring Loaded is worth mentioning. He has run well in these big handicaps in the past, and retains his form well. He looks saver material at [20.0] on the exchange.
O'Brien can claim some major scalps in Hardwicke
The 2018 Derby winner Masar returns to action, and whilst it's great to see the Epsom hero back on the track, the lack of match fitness is an obvious cause for concern.
Lah Ti Dar usually carries my money but I am going to leave her alone for Saturday, and it will be interesting to see her at a more conventional track as she didn't handle Epsom last time. She's proving to be a real mystery at the moment, and I am one of her biggest fans.
My selection will be Aidan O'Brien's Southern France.
I thought he was going to turn into a two miler this season but he looks to have a fair bit of pace - that certainly was the case in the Yorkshire Cup last time behind Stradivarius. He gave the champion stayer a fright, but Stradivarius done in that race what he does every time, but it was a fine effort from Southern France.
He drops back down in trip to 1m4f, and the extra stamina is a big plus around here. Drying ground is a bonus too.
Corelli can be the captain with some Dettori magic once again
Corelli has been described in the past by his trainer John Gosden as a resolute stayer. He'll need to be to win the longest race of the meeting, and whilst the Frankie Dettori factor will impact on the price a bit, 5/1 is acceptable for an unexposed horse.
It looks a strong renewal this year but on pedigree and with the way he gallops, he looks worth chancing at this sort of extreme trip.
He's still only a young horse and lightly-raced with just six career starts, and he made a fine return to action when finishing second to Baghdad at Newmarket in May. That form has obviously been boosted, and he should improve for his first run of the campaign.
Gosden has gone for the hood, and he's a fine, strong-looking horse who is pretty adaptable with ground conditions. Dettori has been masterful this week, and I am hoping we can sign off with a winner.
Back Year Of The Tiger Each-Way in the 14:30 at Ascot
Back Hey Jonesy Each-Way in the 17:00 at Ascot