Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot Tips for Thursday: Tony Calvin's best bets for Day Three

Betfair horse racing tipster Tony Calvin
Get Tony Calvin's three bets for day three of Royal Ascot

Tony Calvin has three tips for day three of Royal Ascot, ranging in price from 7/1 to 50/1, as he bids to back a winning trio on Thursday...

Day Three Royal Ascot 2024 Superboost

Betfair's Royal Ascot Superboosts have been flying with both Tuesday's and Wednesday's landing at 1/12.00!

On Thursday we are back with another top class Superboost again backing Betfair ambassador Ryan Moore.

He has a great chance on the superstar and previous winner of the race Kyprios in the Ascot Gold Cup at 16:25 today, and if you fancy the horse to run well you can back it at the super-boosted price of 1/12.00 from 2/51.40 to finish in the top two today.

There weren't many short-priced favourites coming into this meeting - Kyprios was the only odds-on poke, and you could have got odds-against about him in places - and plenty were talking up Whistlejacket as their banker in the Norfolk at 14:30.

Royal Ascot - 14:30: No bet

I can't get my head around how you can have a very strong opinion in a 2yo race full of unknowns - and I appreciate many, normally Time Bandits armed with their speed figures and sectionals, think the opposite - but if you want to back him at 6/52.20 then the very best of luck.

Betfair ambassador Ryan Moore was certainly pretty bullish in his Day Three column (out shortly), and why wouldn't he be after the colt was highly impressive dropped down to this 5f trip at the Curragh last time from a good subsequent winner.

However, he obviously meets a whole host of similarly promising, lightly-raced sorts, here and he has only raced on soft ground so far.

Not for me.

I was surprised to see Tropical Storm open up at 25s with the Sportsbook on Tuesday, given the way in which his second in a Newmarket novice in a very good time has worked out, and a couple from that race ran well in the Coventry on Tuesday.

He may be the only maiden in the field but he is right in the mix on the clock, and, to a slightly lesser extent, on form.

I didn't think that 25s would hold (the 28s elsewhere didn't) and it was soon clipped into 20s, and that is his price now.

That's looks a fair offer for those who want an interest in the race (though he is 25s elsewhere, and maybe an even more attractive 14s without the favourite in a place) but I am happy to sit this out. The Sportsbook normally introduce their Without Favourite lines the afternoon before, by the way.

Ascot - 15:05: Back Go Daddy

We have full fields for the three handicaps on the card (horses were balloted out of all three - see below) and 19 are set to go to post in the 1m4f 3yo King George V Handicap at 15:05.

I really wanted to tip Neski Sherelski, as he is owned by Barry Taylor and I was desperately itching to do a few Auf Wiedersehen Pet gags.

I appreciate he has probably heard them all before - thanking you, Moxey - but it made this small minded chap chuckle, anyway.

Tara-a-bit to that angle then.

It didn't surprise me in the least that the Sportsbook opened up at 6s the field here, as I went all around the houses and none of the doors immediately opened up with an attractive greeting.

I suppose the London Gold Cup could hold the key (see what I did there?) to this and that brings in the runner-up Poniros, third Chantilly, fourth Persica and the sixth Go Daddy, and whoever sees out this extra 2f best of those may well prove victorious, given luck in running.

Persica obviously came out and dotted up at Epsom from a well-handicapped runner-up, but he is 9lb higher here, and that obviously makes his task all the tougher.

I couldn't work out why Go Daddy was the 50/151.00 outsider with the Sportsbook, and I have to have him on side each-way, six places, at that price, the best around. That's too tempting a combo to pass up.

He was less than four lengths behind runner-up Poniros at Newbury (the winner gagged up by four lengths, more of him shortly), yet he is 6lb better off here, and the price differential between his odds and the three horses that finished in front of him are just too big to ignore.

Admittedly, it didn't look like he was crying out for an extra 2f at Newbury but this is a horse who won over 1m2f on soft ground at two, and he is a half-brother to a 1m6f winner and a scorer over hurdles, so hopefully looks were deceptive there.

Furthermore, the William Muir and Chris Grassick combination are in great form, with seven wins from 26 runners in June, with a few recent near-misses to boot, including a 50/151.00 runner-up.

The ground is an unknown, and I'd have preferred a higher draw than eight (the stats favour high numbers over 1m4f here), but I'll definitely take my chances at the price.

Ascot - 15:45: Back Kalpana

There must have been a few empty pockets when Kalpana failed to pick up Friendly Soul at Newmarket last time, as she was absolutely smashed up in the betting into 4/61.67. It was a big betting move.

The winner clearly failed to give her true running when last of seven at 8/111.73 in the Musidora next time, so I wouldn't use that as a stick to beat Kalpana with, and I can see her going close here.

Granted, being drawn 1 of 13 is not ideal and she has her stamina to prove, but we will let Oisin Murphy do his job on the former front and the latter point is hopefully addressed by her dam being a 1m4f winner. And the sire won a French Derby, too.

She had earlier looked a potential Group race tool when running away with a 1m2f handicap (admittedly only off a mark of 78) at HQ and I think she is a very fair bet at 7/18.00 each-way, four places, with the Sportsbook.

I respect the unbeaten favourite Diamond Rain - the beautifully bred filly looked very good at Newbury - but it's a big no thanks at the Sportsbook's 5/42.25. She is trading at around 13/82.63 on the Betfair Exchange, win-only, as this goes live.

Outside of the favourite nothing much scared me, but Danielle was incredibly weak in the betting at Lingfield last time and I may have a small personal saver on her at 12.011/1 or bigger on the exchange myself.

Ascot - 16:25: No bet

I am certainly in no mad rush to back Kyprios at the Sportsbook's 4/51.80 in the Gold Cup at 16:25 - I am surprised he isn't even the highest-rated horse in the field, with that honour falling to his October Long Distance Cup conqueror Trawlerman - as he still has to prove he is back to anywhere near his all-encompassing 2022 best after two warm-up victories over stablemate Queenstown at Navan and Leopardstown.

In fact, there are plenty of non-believers out there as the Exchange layers have already pushed him out to 2.245/4.

I don't fancy anything too strongly against him at the prices - Coltrane at 12s each way (was 14s, but that price still exists in the wider marketplace) was arguably the pick - and I am not inclined to force a bet.

Ascot - 17:05: No bet

It's the 3yo version of the Royal Hunt Cup at 17:05 and the foreign buyers are normally out in force after the Britannia, chequebooks at the ready. Silly money is often flying around for those even out of the main places.

If you can solve this 30-runner puzzle though, then hats off, because I am not having a bet.

If you shopped around at one stage on Tuesday afternoon, it was 12/113.00 the field, which tells you everything you need to know.

Now, I am not in least bit complacent or lazy when compiling these columns, but this is the hardest handicap of the week so far, and that is saying something, and I am not inclined to write a few hundred words, only to come to a "no bet" conclusion.

Incidentally, if you are wondering why all bookmakers are only betting to four places here, it is an agreed strategy, as all profits from the race are given to a range of charities.

That obviously makes it exceptionally unattractive for each-way betting, but one race a year won't hurt us, with good causes to the fore, and this initiative has raised millions in recent years. Top work.

It just gives us a glimpse as to what punters regularly had to face in the not-too-distant past. Though punters are getting a quarter the odds here, and not a fifth.

If you want a token win-only suggestion, then Bobsleigh would be mine. He was rated 102 after being beaten just 3 lengths in the Coventry here last year but he is down to 96 now and his pedigree gives you encouragement he will last out the mile. He is 50.049/1 on the Exchange as this goes live and I imagine you will get bigger.

Like everyone else, I was bowled over by King's Gambit's win in the aforementioned London Gold Cup off a mark of 93, and you can fully see why the handicapper humped him up to 107.

The Charltons have won that race with some serious subsequent Group winners like Al Kazeem, Time Test and Headman in the past, and it is not hard to see King's Gambit taking this en route to even better and bigger honours.

I'll be honest with you, I expected him to be even shorter than the general 5/23.50 given everyone has been talking him up - the Sportsbook go 9/43.25 and the Exchange price is heading that way - and no way would I put you off, but I have learned the hard way that I am terrible judge of these kind of prices.

I'll give myself a pass when it comes to Ylang Ylang, who I tipped at 2s for the Oaks, as she came back with ruptured muscles and a very poorly horse, but the point stands.

Officially, King's Gambit has to improve 9lb to trouble a peak-form First Look, and perhaps that horse is being totally disrespected in the market at 9/25.50 given he comes here on the back of a French Derby second, after which Wathnan Racing came calling with presumably seven digits on display.

Andre Fabre may not be the force of old when it comes to his UK forays and the horse has not experienced ground this quick before - the trainer was seemingly caught out by the lively going with his three runners at the Craven meeting ,who all ran below market expectations - but I wouldn't lay him at his current price.

Betfair Royal Ascot.jpg

That 9/25.50 may be one of those prices where we all look back and think "how did we not get stuck in?. But I can just about pass.

I think. I may change my mind on the day, when I may even consider backing him without King's Gambit. Then again, I am probably looking around 5/23.50, Mind you, I have just seen he is available at 10/34.33, which seems huge.

Take it while you can; let Oddschecker be your friend here.

I'll let King's Gambit win at 9/43.25, unencumbered by my cash. We all like to back and tip a winner, but I can enjoy seeing a good horse win. And this meeting doesn't lack for those.

Ascot - 18:15: Back Koy Koy

I have to give Koy Koy another chance at the Sportsbook's 20/121.00 in the concluding 7f handicap at 18:15.

The handicapper refused to drop him even a solitary 1lb despite being beaten just under four lengths at Epsom last time, but I don't blame him for a second as I think he would have won if he handled the track.

William Buick basically couldn't ride him for the final 2f or so, and he was merely stopping him drifting over to the far rail and causing mayhem, so I like his chances here on a track which he has shown he can handle.

I am not sure what to make of the first-time tongue-tie here, but it doesn't overly concern me. And while the horse only beat one home in the Hunt Cup last year, he was beaten only 5 ½ lengths in the Britannia the year before and he finished second to Saga here in a 7f maiden at the track in 2021.

Admittedly, he has flattered to deceive in the past but he is 4lb lower than when an unfortunate third at Ayr last season and, given the way he can travel into his races (as he did at Epsom last time), this test at 7f in a strongly-run race could well suit. The pace map has oodles of forward-goers in it.

George Boughey is the in-form trainer in Britain at the moment, and everything is set for a big run. He may ideally need a mile, but they won't be hanging around here over 7f, and hopefully he is drawn in the right place in trap 31 (though there will be 29 runners).

I'll go win-only, instead of playing the five places. I know the real old-timers (and I am no spring chicken - even my youngest was 30 on Tuesday) will wince at this but the current breed of punters always want more....

Good luck.

Ground and weather

Good to firm - forecast is dry. Watered 5mm straight course and 4mm round on Tuesday night.

Balloted out

Ante-post punters are entitled to their money back


Reserve: Candle Of Dubai (likely to be effectively balloted out)

5.05pm: Liveandletlive, Midnight Gun, Apiarist, Bubbles Wonky, Chicago Fireball, Crown Estate, Ceru-lean Bay, Aragon Castle, The Ice Phoenix, Piz Nair, Christian David, Manhattan Mirage, Golden Phaaoh, Ebt's Guard

Reserves: Lautrec, Grey Cuban, Rocking Tree (likely to be effectively balloted out)

6.15pm: Haymaker. Look Back Smiling, Executive Decision, Hickory, Havana Blue, Aalto, Master Richard, Gisburn, Chuzzlewit, Redarna, Gunlock, Eminency, Local Hero, The Camden Colt, Monkey Is-land

Reserves: Arabian Storm, Londoner, Catch The Paddy (likely to be effectively balloted out)

First time headgear

Amy Murphy - cheekpieces 5-86 (since 2017)

Aidan O'Brien - visor 11-48 (2009)

George Scott - hood 1-48 (2016)

John and Thady Gosden - blinkers 8-53 (2021)

John Gosden - blinkers 34-212 (2009)

George Boughey - blinkers 4-34 (2019)

H Al Jehani - cheekpieces 0-1 (2024) - but this one was second at 12s

Pace maps

Manually done; reserves not included

2.30pm (very little evidence to go on): Arizona Blaze, Whistlejacket (few others have raced prominently)

3.05pm: Persica?, Gasper De Lemos, Chantilly, Naval Force, Gilded Water, Poniros, Fouroneohfever, Kamboo, Warda Jamila, French Duke, Highland Bling, Assailant

3.45pm: Danielle?, Je Zous, Lava Stream?, Port Fairy?, You Got To Me, Rubies Are Red?

4.25pm: Trawlerman, Trueshan?, Caius Chorister?

5.05pm: Dragon Leader, Watcha Matey, Cracking Gold, Air Commander, Native Warrior, Safwan?, Miletus, The Camden Colt, Monkey Island

5.40pm: Caviar Heights?, Portland?, Under the Sun?

6.15pm: Percy's Lad, Finn's Charm, Dark Thirty?, Gorak

Trainer form

For all with entries in Thursday's races (does not include Wednesday's results, but all recent runners assessed individually):

Excellent: George Boughey, Aidan O'Brien, Willie Mullins, William Muir and Chris Grassick

Good: Adrian Murray, Roger Varian, David O'Meara (given number of runners), William Haggas (improving), Ralph Beckett, Sir Michael Stoute, Dermot Weld, James Fanshawe, Charlie Appleby, Ross O'Sullivan, Jack Davison, Hugo Palmer, Ed Bethell

Fair: Ed Walker, Karl Burke, Richard Hannon, Andrew Balding, Michael Bell, Clive Cox, Jessie Harrington, Hughie Morrison, Charlie Johnston (getting good given the number of runners), Daniel and Claire Kubler (33-1 and 7-2 winners on Saturday), Eve Johnson Houghton, Jane Chapple-Hyam. Michael O'Callaghan, Richard Fahey, Donnacha O'Brien (very few runners), Henry de Bromhead, Ian Williams, Alan King, Fabrice Chappet (winnerless, though). Kevin Ryan, Ed Dunlop, Harry Eustace (good week so far), Johnny Murtagh, Scott Dixon, Andre Fabre, Jim Goldie. John and Thady Gosden, Michael Dods, H Al Jehani

Moderate: Archie Watson (though two recent winners), Simon and Ed Crisford (few running well of late, though, and a winner on Sunday), Dominic Ffrench-Davis, Joseph O'Brien (though a welcome short-priced winner on Sunday, he had a poor Tuesday), Richard Spencer, Mick Appleby, Richard Hughes, George Margarson, Kevin Philippart De Foy, Amy Murphy, George Scott, David Menuisier, Charles Hills, Brian Meehan (well, aside from a 80-1 Coventry winner on Tuesday....), Harry Charlton, Charlie Fellowes, John Ryan (very few runners)

Who knows? Wesley Ward, Alicja Karkosa (though it looks poor), G Hernon

Head to our Royal Ascot 2024 Hub for more tips and insight

Now read Euro 2024 Day Seven Cheat Sheet: Best Tips, free bets, podcasts and more

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