Timeform UK SmartPlays: Thursday 20 June

Royal Ascot
Royal Ascot continues on Thursday

Timeform pick out their best back, lay and smart stat bets on Day 3 of Royal Ascot...

"...he is a most interesting contender..."

Timeform on Headman

Headman - 15:05 Royal Ascot

Roger Charlton won this race with Time Test in 2015 and Headman has a very similar profile. Headman was disappointing on his return behind King Ottokar in a minor event at Newbury in April, seemingly in need of the run and not handling the soft ground. He left that form well behind, though, when winning the London Gold Cup over the same C&D last time, a race that Time Test won on his way to Royal Ascot. Also owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, it could be that this has been the plan all along for Headman and he is a most interesting contender.

Sunday Sovereign - 14:30 Royal Ascot

Sunday Sovereign has made a most promising start to his career, winning two of his three starts, one of which was a three-length defeat of the subsequent Coventry Stakes winner Arizona. He was privately bought by powerful connections after, and showed that effort no fluke when progressing again to follow up over five furlongs at Tipperary last time, showing plenty of speed. This race was earmarked immediately after and he does have strong claims, but there are plenty of promising types in opposition and it could pay to side with one of those at a bigger price. A'ali is still a maiden, but ran to a very high level when narrowly denied on debut, and looks interesting under Frankie Dettori.

Smart Stat
Sir Ron Priestley - 17:35 Royal Ascot

2 Mark Johnston's number of winners in past 10 runnings

Mark Johnston has a terrific record in this race and Sir Ron Priestley has the right sort of profile, a lightly-raced three-year-old who is seemingly at the right end of the handicap. He has looked a much-improved model this season, winning a minor event at Ripon in April and proving his opening mark all wrong when bolting up in a handicap at Haydock last month. He had plenty up his sleeve that day and a subsequent 8 lb rise in the weights could well underestimate him.

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