Royal Ascot

Through the Card: Royal Ascot, Tuesday 18 June

Royal Ascot
Day 1 of Royal Ascot begins on Tuesday.

"...very much catching the eye, flying home at the finish having been left poorly placed..."

Timeform on Le Brivido

Timeform take you through the card on Day 1 of Royal Ascot on Tuesday...

14:30 - It is the Lockinge form that once again looks key here, and LE BRIVIDO (6) is taken to reverse the form with several of these. A winner of the Jersey Stakes at this meeting in 2017 when trained by Andre Fabre, he has shaped very well on both starts since switching to Aidan O'Brien, and you get the feeling that all roads have led here, very weak in the betting before the off in the Lockinge last time, but very much catching the eye, flying home at the finish having been left poorly placed. This track clearly suits and a big run is expected in an open renewal. Mustashry is a worthy favourite, though, a late-developing sort who seems sure to run his race once more, while last year's winner Accidental Agent can't be ruled out, either.

15:05 - MONOSKI (13) shaped well on debut at York in a race that is working out extremely well (three subsequent next time out winners have come out of it) and confirmed that positive impression when bolting up by six lengths in a minor event at Pontefract last time. He still looked a little rough around the edges on that occasion, too, edging a little left when asked to go and win his race over a furlong out but ultimately having plenty in hand. The yard have some nice juveniles and Monoski appeals as the type who can progress again and play a major role here. Aidan O'Brien holds a strong hand and, while it is easy to see why Arizona is the price he is, it would be folly to rule out both Fort Myers and Royal Lytham who both look value prices.

15:40 - It is a slight concern that BATTAASH (1) has failed to step up to the plate on a number of big occasions, but such was the impression he made when making a winning return in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last time, it is hard to get away from him. Admittedly, he seems to go well on more speed-orientated tracks such as Haydock and Goodwood, but he was beaten less than two lengths by Blue Point in this race last year after doing far too much too soon. His demeanour seemed more relaxed at Haydock, too, suggesting he may be calming down as he gets older, and there is no doubt that an on-song Battaash is the best five-furlong horse around. Blue Point and Mabs Cross again should pose the biggest threats.

16:20 - John Gosden has a good record in this race and of his two runners in this year's renewal, it is the bigger priced KING OF COMEDY (4) who makes the most appeal. He has followed an almost identical route as last year's winner Without Parole, winning a minor even at Yarmouth before going on to win the Heron Stakes at Sandown last time. He showed an impressive turn of foot that day in a slowly-run race, leaving the impression he would be well suited by a stronger pace, something he should get here. Admittedly, he has his quirks (had to be walked to the start last time), but he clearly has plenty of ability to go with them, and he could improve past the standard setters here. Stablemate Too Darn Hot is sure to be in the mix also and is feared most ahead of Phoenix of Spain.

17:00 - A typically competitive and open renewal of the staying handicap where it could pay to side with MANCINI (16), who remains relatively unexposed over this trip. He won a couple of starts at this distance last season, and came on plenty for his reappearance when finishing runner-up to a subsequent winner at York last time. Mancini was given an enterprising ride that day, sent for home early in the straight and just wore down by an improving type. The handicapper has responded by raising him just 1 lb in the weights, and he should have more races in him from a mark in the low 90s. Willie Mullins has a good record in these races so Buildmeupbuttercup has to be considered having improved over hurdles since last seen on the Flat.

17:35 - A very strong renewal which looks more like a Group 2 than a listed event. It is ADDEYBB (5) who makes the most appeal, having not had the best of times since winning the Mile at Sandown last season. He has a wide draw to overcome, but he will find this track much more to his liking having not been seen to best effect at Lingfield and Chester the last twice, and the bit of ease in the ground will suit him well, too. He can get his career back on track, likely at the main expense of Elarqam and Magic Wand.

Check out the Betfair Royal Ascot podcast, where Kieran O'Connor was joined by Joseph O'Brien, Gary O'Brien and Barry Orr to preview the finest five days in the flat racing calendar

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