Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot Tips for Wednesday: Tony Calvin's best bets for Day Two

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
Tony Calvin brings us his best bets for day two at Royal Ascot

We have a further seven races on the second day of the 2024 Royal Ascot meeting, and here with his preview of each and his top tips for the afternoon is Tony Calvin...


Day Two Royal Ascot 2024 Superboost

2024 Royal Ascot started with a bang on Tuesday with our Superboost of Henry Longfellow to finish in the top 4 of the St James's Palace Stakes landed easily!

On Wednesday we are back with another superb Superboost again backing Betfair ambassador Ryan Moore.

He has a great chance on multiple Group One winner Auguste Rodin in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes 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 4/91.44 to finish in the top two today.


We moan about field sizes all season and then we are faced with four races of 25 and more runners on the Wednesday of Royal Ascot, so what do you think we are going to do?

Moan, obviously.

Actually, make that I, not we.

I had to have a lie down after going through the fields for the pace maps etc, as my head was hurting at the sheer volume on show. On first viewing, it looked an impossible day's racing.


Royal Ascot - 14:30: No Bet

I know I am not known as Mr Positive in racing circles - I prefer a of description of realist, as opposed to pessimist, and at least I am honest - but the 26-runner Queen Mary at 14:30 really is akin to a crossword challenge that even the mighty Inspector Morse couldn't solve, a pint or whiskey at the ready, even before you throw in wildcard Wesley Ward's filly Ultima Grace (you can't back his runners, so just ignore them for betting purposes).

Make Haste is the 5/16.00 favourite - a point or so bigger on the exchange, predictably enough - after a hugely impressive debut at Naas, and an illustration of what silly money is doing the rounds at the top end of the sport at the moment is that trainer Diego Dias recently revealed that the owners turned down an offer of £760,000 from Wathnan Racing.

People struggling to make ends meet at the lower tiers of the sport, and exiting the game, must be enraged at the ridiculous division of riches.

If I was the owner of Make Haste, I'd have bitten their hands off - after suggesting a counter-offer, obviously, to try to eke out some more coin for the coffers - and simply punted the filly every time she ran afterwards to soften the blow if she did turn out to be a world-beater.

You could have had £60,000 in this race at 6s+, for starters. Well, you couldn't, but you get my drift.

The Naas time was decent but the form of the race is not great. The second, a well-backed debutant, hasn't been seen since and nor has the fourth, but the rest of that 10-strong field have all been well chinned in their subsequent outings.

"Hello, Wathnan Racing, is that £760,000 still on the table?".

Being serious, it wouldn't surprise me if she bolted up, nor would it shock me if she trailed home in 10th, such is the array of potential ranged against her here.

Gavin Cromwell won this race with Quick Suzy in 2021 and he has a lively contender in Mighty Eriu as the drop down to 5f will suit on the evidence of her debut second to an experienced Aidan O'Brien hotpot over 6f at the Curragh recently.

She travelled well there and it looks like Qatar Racing liked what they saw and they appear to have bought into her since, with Fergus Galvin.

She opened up at 20s with the Sportsbook, which was very fair - she is now 14s - but this really is a guessing game.

However, she trades at 22.021/1 on the exchange as this goes live, and she is the small-stakes dart to throw if want to play the board.


Royal Ascot - 15:05: Back Mina Rashid

O'Brien has four of the first six in the betting in the Queen's Vase at 15:05, and working out which of that quartet is the best is hard enough before taking into account the other eight contenders.

Betfair ambassador Ryan Moore said he would have happily ridden any of the four in his Day Two column, so maybe form horse Illinois is no bargain at the Sportsbook's 2/13.00. Timeform called it good to firm at Lingfield, so he should be okay on the ground, at least.

This is a 3yo staying version of the 5f Queen Mary in many respects, as you strongly suspect some of these lightly-raced types are going to take a big leap forward for the step up in trip (none have run over the trip, let alone won over it), and only three have raced on officially good to firm ground.

One of those, Mina Rashid, looks the overpriced one to me at 25/126.00 with the Sportsbook. Any 16s or bigger would do me.

He looked more of a candidate for last rather than first in a five-runner maiden over an extended 1m4f at Chester last time - he hit 250.0249/1 in running - but he responded very well to Oisin Murphy's urgings to take care of a well-fancied O'Brien horse, going away at the finish.

The horse is clearly not straightforward, as the trainer's wife admitted afterwards - she made a point of thanking the woman who looks after him every day, and he ran in a first-time hood there - and whether he can reproduce that willing attitude again here is a worry, I guess.

But the visuals suggested this increased stamina test would suit, and 25s looks plenty big enough to tempt me in for a small win-bet.


Royal Ascot - 15:45: Back Doom & Julia Augusta

The first point to say about the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at 15:45 is that it is now run on the round course - the Kensington Palace at 17:40 is now back on the straight track - so arguably the draw becomes a much bigger factor.

I couldn't a see a lot of pace in the race (see below), so the two that interested me at the prices were Doom and Julia Augusta, potential forward-goers from stalls six and five respectively. Nothing much scares me in this race, though market leaders Laurel and Rogue Millennium just about deserve their position at the head of the market at 11/43.75 and 7/24.50.

Not for me at those prices, though, especially Laurel.

I am sure Tom Marquand on Doom would like to dominate and set steady fractions, as his filly struggles to see out a mile, it seems.

Then again, she comes here after a career-best over 7f on soft at the Curragh last time, when third to Gregarina (re-opposes here), and maybe she will appreciate the emphasis being on pace, on quick ground around a bend.

On pedigree, she should love the 1m trip, being by Dubawi out of Grade 1 firm ground 1m2f winner Dank, so I am going to give her a spin at 16/117.00 with the Sportsbook.

I am also struggling to see why Julia Augusta is as big as 66s each way, four places, with the Sportsbook.

Sure, she became a bit of a disappointment with Roger Varian and is rated only 97 (13lb behind the two favourites) but I think she probably just about ran a career-best on her first start for David O'Meara at Epsom last month, when attempting to make all (the in-running comment said she stumbled at the start but I couldn't see it).

I am not sure she was entirely at home on the track, though - Jason Watson looked untidy to the point of awkwardness in the closing stages - but we know she handles quick ground and, hopefully crucially, she has form round a bend, her narrow Kempton second to Choisya last season vying for the Epsom run as one of her best.

I am obviously more interested in the place part of the bet, but you can't have one without the other so I am backing Julia Augusta each way at 66/167.00 with the Sportsbook.

It is simply too big to ignore. It is not a stand-out price either, as she is available at that price in 14 places on the Oddschecker grid as this goes live.


Royal Ascot - 16:25: No Bet

I am happy to leave the 10-runner Prince Of Wales's Stakes at 16:25 alone for now, even if Auguste Rodin at 6/42.50 and Inspiral at 9/43.25 - both are very opposable at those prices - set it up for an each-way play.

The likes of Royal Rhyme is a probable non-runner on the ground, but you'd be unlucky to get three withdrawals and the field being reduced to a sad seven.

That said, Horizon Dore and Blue Rose Cen (perhaps the most obvious each way plays at the Sportsbook's 13/27.50 and 12/113.00 respectively) have never raced on anything quicker than officially good ground, so I don't know how their connections will play it.

And the latter point is crucial. If they were armed with the facts, they should run all day long and actually go into the race full of confidence.

For example, Timeform have Horizon Dore running on good to firm ground four times and winning three of them, but does his trainer know that?

Likewise, the ratings organisation have Blue Rose Cen running twice on good to firm and winning both.

I'll have another look on the day, nearer the off, once we know the definite field (the other French challenger Zarakem hasn't run on anything quicker than good, either officially or on Timeform. so he could be another possible no-show).

But if Horizon Dore and Blue Rose Cen are still in the race then they are very interesting win and place options.


Royal Ascot - 17:05: Back Tempus

Now, I like nothing better than a big-field handicap to get stuck into, but a 30-runner Royal Hunt Cup (17:05), with probably at least three different groups steaming down the track, means you have to get lucky at least four times to land the winner. It's a four-way acca in one bet.

I know the Sportsbook are paying six places but, boy, is this a headscratcher. I didn't see a lot of confirmed front-runners, for starters (see below).

Don't worry, I am not going to tip him - though I will back him - but there is a fascinating headgear angle into Imperial Fighter's trainer Jamie Osborne.

Now, he can't buy a winner at the moment and the horse has been tried once in a hood before when trained by Andrew Balding, but when Osborne puts that particular headgear on for the first time, the results are something else.

He is 6 from 19 with a first-time hood since 2013, and in that period he has also had two seconds and three thirds. That is some going.

In fact. the hood introduction gets a further positive twist as Osborne sent out Field Of Dream to win this very race in that headgear for the first time (with blinkers thrown in for good measure) in 2014.

The problem is the horse was very disappointing at Sandown on Saturday when I stuck him up at 40s, even though he hardly had the chance to shine, as he fell out of the stalls and was never sighted on the inner, though he may have made minimal late gains out of camera shot.

Now, you can probably guess I am going to chuck at least a score on this former Irish 2,000 Guineas third (racing off just 95 here) at what is likely to be a three-figure price on the exchange - he is 50s, six places, with the Sportsbook - so follow me in for tiny stakes if you want, but it really is a personal Hail Mary.

Annoyingly, the Sportsbook are shortest price about Tempus at 14s - he is 22s elsewhere - but he is currently 27.026/1 on the exchange, and I am going to recommend you back him at 20s or bigger there. When the market beefs up, and it will later today, that should be easily attainable.

He is one of the few potential pace-setters in here (I have no idea if his draw in four is any good, but he could make his own running) and he has dropped to a mark of just 96, with first-time blinkers on.

Archie Watson has a fair record in this situation (he put blinkers on Saint Lawrence when he won the Wokingham here last year) and Tempus has run four excellent races out of five attempts at this track.

He finished third off 101 in this race in 2022 and seventh off 109 last year, as well as having a course and distance win off 103 on fast ground two years ago.

Hopefully, his Newbury run (for which he was dropped a generous 3lb) was a tee-up job for another shot at this, and he will do for me at 20s+ win-only.

A mile on a straight track on quick ground - and he doesn't need to lead - are his optimum conditions and this is his lowest mark since winning here in September 2020. I don't know if he is in the right place in stall four, but we will soon find out.


Royal Ascot - 17:40: No Bet

The 25-runner 1m fillies' handicap at 17:40 continues on the impossible, small-stakes theme of the day but I was half-tempted by Canoodled.

Unfortunately, with an illiquid exchange market here, and with the Sportsbook going 40s when she is 66s and 50s elsewhere, I couldn't really tip her at this stage.

However, she has come down 6lb in the weights for three outings this term, with the Epsom run last time not that bad, and she is now well handicapped on her Listed race fourth here in October, after which the handicapper stuck her up to 91.

That was not the only good performance she has recorded here, she handles quick ground well and I reckon the wider marketplace prices out there underestimate her chance.

She is maybe one for a Wednesday morning update on X, though. Like I said, my hands are tied at the moment, even if yours are not.

Hint.


Royal Ascot - 18:15: No Bet

It will not come as a great surprise to read that I am giving the 28-runner Windsor Castle at 18:15 a wide berth, as it made the Queen Mary read like a Sun quick-version crossword.

No apologies for re-stating this but three were balloted out of this race, as well as a shedload from the Hunt Cup at 17:05 - see the horses listed below - so make sure you get your money back if you punted any of those ante-post.

Good luck on a very tricky, low-stakes, day.


GROUND AND WEATHER

Good to firm - forecast is dry, so watering.


BALLOTED OUT (ante-post punters are entitled to their money back):

5.05pm: La Trinidad, Godwinson, Londoner, Bennetot, Mascapone, Master Richard, Majestic, Pjanoo, Aalto, Bluelight Bay, Mythical Guest, Bystander, Chuzzlewitt, Global Energy, Magic Memories, Alpha Crucis, Son Of Man, Book of Life, Alrazeen

Reserves (so likely to be balloted out): Crack Shot, Farasi Lane, Stay Well

6.15pm: I Love Dad, Nad Alshiba Green, She Went Whoosh


FIRST TIME HEADGEAR

Richard Newland and Jamie Insole - blinkers 1-11 (since 2023)

Tom Dascombe - cheekpieces 14-160 (2016)

John and Sean Quinn - cheekpieces 0-2 (2024)

John Quinn - cheekpieces 8-66 (2016)

Marco Botti - visor 1-8 (2009)

Archie Watson - blinkers 27-178 (2017)

Jamie Osborne - hood (Imperial Fighter has worn it once before. but not for Osborne) 6-19 (2013) - also two seconds and three thirds, too.

Richard Hughes - cheekpieces 13-128 (2016)

James Owen - blinkers 0-0


PACE MAPS (manually done)

2.30pm (very little evidence to go on): Flash The Cash, Flicka's Girl, Miss Rascal, Ruby's Profit, Ultima Grace, Where's Claire

3.05pm: Grosvenor Square, Illinois, Imperial Sovereign, Mina Rashid

3.45pm: Doom, Julia Augusta?, Orchid Bloom

4.25pm: Hans Andersen, Lord North (prom), Snobbish (prom), Blue Rose Cen (prom)

5.05pm : Real Gain (prom), Talis Evolvere, The Gatekeeper, Ropey Guest (prom), Thunder Ball (prom), Tempus, Regheeb

5.40pm : Vetiver (prom), Twirling, Farhh To Shy (prom), Rawayeh (prom), Moon Spirit, Doha, Roarin' Success (prom), Hopeful (prom), Azahara Palace (prom), Ciara Pearl (prom)

6.15pm (very little evidence to go on): Breton Wood, Cheval de Guerre, Fuji Mountain, Hawaiian, Honorary American, Pont Neuf, Reposado, Rock N Roll Rocket, Treasure Isle


TRAINER FORM - for all with entries in Wednesday's races (does not include Tuesday's results, but all recent runners assessed individually):

Excellent: George Boughey, Paul and Oliver Cole, Aidan O'Brien, Adrian Murray, Patrice Cottier

Good: Roger Varian, Jerome Reynier, Richard Fahey, David O'Meara (given number of runners), Jack Channon, William Haggas (improving), Ralph Beckett, Sir Michael Stoute, Richard Newland and Jamie Insole, Christoper Head, Sheila Lavery, Dermot Weld

Fair: Ed Walker, Karl Burke, Richard Hannon, Andrew Balding, Michael Bell, Clive Cox, Jessie Harrington, Ed Bethell, Owen Burrows (very few runners, as usual and arguably more moderate), Hughie Morrison, Ian Williams, Charlie Johnston (getting good given the number of runners), Daniel and Claire Kubler (33-1 and 7-2 winners on Saturday), Gavin Cromwell, Dylan Cunha, Eve Johnson Houghton, Adrian Nicholls, Ollie Sangster, Tom Dascombe, John and Sean Quinn (a 12-1 winner recently), Willie McCreery, Gary and Josh Moore, David Simcock (arguably more moderate), Saeed Bin Suroor, Roger Fell and Sean Murray (borderline moderate), Jim Goldie, Hugo Palmer, Diego Dias (very few runners), Jane Chapple-Hyam. Kevin Ryan

Moderate:, John & Thady Gosden, Maurizio Guarnieri, Archie Watson (though two recent winners), Alice Haynes (6-1 winner on Saturday), Simon and Ed Crisford (few running well of late, though, and a winner on Sunday), Dominic Ffrench-Davis, Joseph O'Brien (welcome short-priced winner on Sunday), Richard Spencer, Jamie Osborne, Tom Clover, Mick Appleby, Michael and David Easterby, David Loughnane (winner on Monday night), James Tate, Richard Hughes, George Margarson, Marco Botti, David Evans, Harry Charlton, James Owen (winner on Monday) David Marnane, Declan Carroll

Who knows?: Raphael Freire (former assistant to French Davis, widely rumoured to be training horses for Amo for a while), H Al Jehani, Wesley Ward, Ismael Mohammed (only five runners in 2024), Eddie Kenneally, Jose d'Angelo


Vote for Tony at the Smart Betting Club Awards

Tony Calvin has deservedly been nominated in a few categories in the annual Smart Betting Club Awards. If you enjoy reading Tony's free tips every week here on Betting.Betfair then please show your support and give Tony - and Betting.Betfair - your vote.

To cast your vote just click on this link.


Now read Ryan Moore on his Royal Ascot Day Two rides here.


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

Recommended bets

PROFIT AND LOSS

2024 Flat season (day-of-race; Apr 26 onwards):

STAKED:  66
RETURN: 109.75
P AND L: +43.55
ANTE-POST: -10

2023-24 NH season:

STAKED: 127
RETURN: 143.4
P/L:    +16.4

April 16-Oct 31; 2023 Flat season:

STAKED:  202
RETURNS: 168.9
P AND L:  -33.1

March 26 2022 -April 15 2023:

Staked: 436
Returns: 643.6
P/L: +207.6

April 14 2021 to March 25 2022:

P/L: + 183.1

GET £50 IN FREE BETS MULTIPLES WHEN YOU SPEND £10 ON THE BETFAIR SPORTSBOOK

New customers only. Bet £10 on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and receive £50 in FREE Bet Builders, Accumulators or Multiples to use on any sport. T&Cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.