A super day for the team yesterday with 16/1 winner The Grand Visir and two selections for Arizona banking some great profit. The Bets of the Day trio return with their best bets for the second day of Royal Ascot...
"She was brilliant last season over 1m4f, and I expect her jockey James Doyle to play her late, as he always does."
Western Australia can give Ballydoyle another winner at the festival
Queen's Vase (15:05) - Back Western Australia @ 4/1
Two winners on day one of the meeting and plenty more firepower to come, Aidan O'Brien has trained four of the last six winners of the Queens Vase, and Western Australia looks to have every chance of improving that record further today. This beautiful chestnut colt arrives here on the back of a 1m5f Listed win at Navan 120 days ago, that was his first attempt over a mile and a half and it confirmed he has the stamina for these staying trips.
The ground is a a little bit of a concern, the closest he has come to runing on softer ground was when he finished behind both the English 2000 guineas winner Magna Grecia and Irish 2000 guineas winner Phoenix of Spain, in the Group 1 Vertem at Doncaster last October. Donnacha O'Brien maintains the partnership today and it is highly likely that he has been targeted at this event for some time.
Frankie Detorri has landed a plum ride on Crystal Ocean
Prince Of Wales's Stakes (15:40) - Back Crystal Ocean E/W @ 18/5
Sir Michael Stoute is back to defend his crown after winning this last year with Poet's Word and he comes into this with another star contender in the shape of Crystal Ocean. The five-year-old finished second to Cracksman in the Champion Stakes here last October and has won two Group 3's in his two starts so far this season at Sandown and Newbury. He is the highest rated horse (125) in the race and has developed into a high-class middle-distance performer, and with Ryan Moore committed to riding Magical, Frankie Dettori steps in to partner him for the first time.
It is time to see if he can mix it in Group 1 company after winning his fair share of Group 2 and 3 races. It's a very tough renewal but he fully deserves his place in the lineup, this son of Sea The Stars is yet to finish out of the first three in his 14 race career to date and looks equally as effective over 1m2f or 1m4f distances. For that reason I can't see him being out of the first three today and I'm happy to back him each-way. A win would be great, and I think he can do exactly that, but placing will mean we still get a return with just a slight loss on our outlay.
He clearly enjoys Royal Ascot, having run there on two previous occasions, winning both including an impressive display when winning the Hardwicke at this meeting last year.
Flippa to bare all
Queen Mary (14:30) - Back Flippa The Strippa Each-Way
I am going to take a chance with Flippa The Strippa in this wide open looking race.
This filly put in a much improved effort when beating JM Jackson in a Listed contest at Sandown last month. She cruised in to the lead a furlong out, but had to be firmly driven to hold on. I thought that was a super effort, and this rapidly improving filly could spring the upset. She has a great attitude, and is a genuine sort. She looks super Each-Way value at 28.027/1 on the exchange.
US trainer Wesley Ward had another dominant spring with his two-year-olds at Keenland, and is represented with Kimari and Anna's Fast. I favour Anna's Fast who will be ridden by the talented Tyler Gaffalione. She cost $470,000 at the breeze-up sales in Ocala, and won her maiden in effortless fashion at Keenland. She has electric speed from the gate, and is worth a saver at 20.019/1 on the exchange.
Sea to show her Class
Prince Of Wales's Stakes 15:40 - Back Sea Of Class
Sea Of Class should prove difficult to beat if taking her chance in this outstanding race. After heavy rain yesterday, a decision will be made in the morning regarding her participation.
This smart filly narrowly failed to overhaul Enable in the Arc last October. She finished strongly, and would have prevailed in a few more strides. She is a rock solid performer and has the edge over these strictly on the book. I believe she will handle the underfoot conditions, and is attractively priced at 4.67/2 on the exchange.
The beautifully bred Magical heads the market at 2.829/5 on the exchange. She is unbeaten in three starts this term and takes her racing well. The ground will not be a problem and she is the obvious danger.
O'Brien can claim Queen's prize again
Queen's Vase (15:05) - Back Western Australia @ 5.709/2
Trainer Aidan O'Brien can continue his good week so far at the Royal meeting with Western Australia in the Group 2 staying event.
O'Brien has enjoyed plenty of success in this race too; with six winners since 2007.
The selection won last time out at Navan over 1m5f and seemed to improve for the step up in trip, and as a son of Australia, that seems to be the way with the stallion's offspring. Trip and time.
Testing conditions are a bit of an unknown, but I am happy to take a chance at around 5.709/2. It was good to soft in the Vertem Futurity last season, but Wednesday's ground will present a new challenge. However, I am hoping his stamina really comes into play.
The form of the Doncaster Group 1 could hardly have worked out better. Western Australia finished third in that race behind Magna Grecia and Phoenix Of Spain, whilst the fourth Circus Maximus landed St James's Palace yesterday.
Haggas' superstar to start season with a bang in feature
Back Sea Of Class @ 4.2016/5 in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes
One of my ante-post bets Blue Mist for the Hunt Cup hasn't made the race, and I will be swerving that charge up the straight. It's a difficult day, although one that brings back fond memories as one of my favourite horses (the mighty Vhujon) ran in the Windsor Castle a few years ago.
Some of the other races are tough, very tough, so I am playing it simple with Sea Of Class. No flash story and no flash price, but I am happy to take the 4.2016/5.
We saw yesterday the ability to stay further at Ascot can be crucial (especially with Circus Maximus), and the ground will certainly bring into play the 1m4f staying power of Sea Of Class. Although she has so much pace with the way she travels, a return to 1m2f is not a problem.
It's a red-hot race with four horses above a rating of 122. The selection is a class act, and whilst soft is a bit of an unknown, playing the game with the weather is the same for everyone else. She was brilliant last season over 1m4f, and I expect her jockey James Doyle to play her late, as he always does.