Royal Ascot Day Four Tips: Agro can bring lots of joy in Sandringham
Day four of Royal Ascot presents plenty of betting opportunities says Tony Calvin, with our big-price tipster putting up three selections for your consideration...
"Even that run would give her good claims here - she is 7lb better for a length with Dathanna - but then she went to Windsor on quick ground and fairly bolted up from Four White Socks."
Over-priced juvenile worth backing each-way at huge odds
I was going to give the Albany a wide berth but I am a sucker for a big price, and I am afraid that the 100/1 about Cotubanama has lured me in, in spite of the fact that it takes me about three attempts to spell her name.
Simply put, no way did I think she would be such a big price.
Okay, she disappointed me massively when struggling into fourth in the Woodcote last time - I had a fair pop at her win and place there - but I think we can forgive her that underwhelming effort as she looked to hate the track, and only got going late on.
Prior to that, she had been crying out for this 6f trip in her previous starts, which included a sixth to the Queen Mary winner Signora Cabello at York, and I am more than happy to take my chance at the price.
It's a big punt on her winning this competitive Group 3 but her form to date gives her much better claims than those massive odds suggest.
Back her at 100/1 each-way, four places, with the Betfair Sportsbook, or similar win and place prices on the exchange. The stable have won this race three times in the past, including with 50/1 scorer Nijoom Dubai in 2007.
Ballydoyle third-string will enjoy conditions
It would be a mistake to always assume that Ryan Moore - check out his thoughts on his Friday rides here - has the pick of the Ballydoyle trio in the King Edward VII Stakes at 15:05 and even if he had the choice then who is to say that he has chosen correctly?
Having backed him, I was a little disappointed with Delano Roosevelt in the Derby - he ran okay in sixth but he could never land a blow - and I am going to take a chance with a horse that many will see as the Aidan O'Brien third-string in the shape of Giuseppe Garibaldi.
I am a little bit surprised that Donnacha O'Brien is not on board, as he steered the horse to an impressive career-best win in a Listed race at Leopardstown last time.
He still looked like he was learning on the job there, but clearly 1m4f on fast ground hold no fears for him - he has really stepped forward on a quick surface - and those Galileo bloodlines are slowly kicking in on the track.
Back him at [11.0] or bigger.
Exciting Commonwealth Cup a watching brief for me
There are some big reputations on the line in the Commonwealth Cup at 15:40 and none more so than Equilateral and Sioux Nation.
The former is the subject of rave reviews and his Doncaster stroll from a now 94-rated horse (he beat Foxtrot Lady by 8 lengths giving her 12lb) makes for very impressive reading too, and Ryan Moore is very bullish about the claims of Sioux Nation.
I would marginally favour the O'Brien colt. He is a Group 1 winner, took the Norfolk Stakes on fast ground here last year, and warmed up for this prize with giving weight and a beating to Fleet Review at Naas last time.
But there is tremendous depth to this race - and the fact that they will split into at least two groups is another factor to consider - and the Sandy Lane 1-2 of Sands Of Mali and Invincible Army are probably a match for any of these in form terms.
Throw in the likes of Eqtidaar from the in-form Sir Michael Stoute yard, a very feasible 16/1 chance - he is drawn on one of the flanks in three, alongside Equilateral in two - and this is a race I can easily just watch without a bet.
Clash of three Guineas winners another great race
The racing doesn't get any easier to solve, as three Guineas winners line -up in the Coronation Stakes at 16:20 alongside last season's leading juvenile filly and some other dangerous lurkers like Anna Nerium.
Alpha Centauri would probably be my idea of the favourite after her smooth Curragh win last time - the placed horses have run well in defeat since - though I am conscious of the fact that we really shouldn't downplay the merit of Billesdon Brook's Newmarket win. It doesn't make it a bad Classic just because she was a 66/1 chance.
I was toying with 20/1+ poke Anna Nerium after her Epsom second to Wilamina but she could put up a career-best here and still finish only fifth or sixth.
Two well-treated fillies to back in the Sandringham
I am definitely not sitting out the Sandringham at 17:00 as Agrotera screams out to me as the bet in the race at 12/1 each way, five places, with the Betfair Sportsbook. I think she should be disputing favouritism myself.
I find it hard to believe how she has got in here off a mark of 88.
She ran a hugely encouraging race when second to Dathanna (who went off at 4s on) on her reappearance over course and distance in May. She traded at [1.5] in running when coming to win her race that day, only for a lack of fitness or the soft ground to take its toll.
Even that run would give her good claims here - she is 7lb better for a length with Dathanna - but then she went to Windsor on quick ground and fairly bolted up from Four White Socks.
The runner-up went on to win at Goodwood by 3 lengths and is thought of as a Listed-race filly by all accounts, so that mark of 88 gets ever more attractive.
I was going to have a saver at 16/1 each-way on Hence as, again, I expected her to be a lot shorter in the betting. But she was cut to 12s on Thursday afternoon, so I will sideline that thought. I think she will go well, though, obviously.
Rain Goddess broke my heart when trading at [1.07] and getting collared in this race last season, but the same trainer-jockey combination has strong claims here with Hence.
She quickened up well when winning over 1m on fast ground at the Curragh last time and this sister to Alice Springs (she cost 2,100,000gns as a yearling) could still be well treated despite being raised 6lb. They were thinking about this race before that win, so that's a positive, too.
Hopefully, a low draw doesn't prove a negative, but there is enough pace drawn low.
No strong opinion in Friday finale
I have been with Eddystone Rock on his last two starts but I was hoping for better from him at Epsom last time and the ground could well be plenty quick enough for him in the closer at 17:35. He is definitely weighted to go well, though.
I don't have a strong opinion in the race - Dash Of Spice and Thundering Blue are the obvious ones for me - so I will stick with just the three plays on Day Four.
Back Cotubanama 100/1 each way, Betfair Sportsbook in the 14:30
Back Giuseppe Garibaldi at [11.0] or bigger in the 15:05
Back Agrotera 12/1 each way, Betfair Sportsbook in the 17:00