Timeform Shortlist: Royal Ascot, Thursday 21 June

There is top-class racing on Day 3 of Royal Ascot on Thursday
There is top-class racing on Day 3 of Royal Ascot on Thursday

Timeform's free Shortlist comes from Royal Ascot on Thursday...

"...he’s worth chancing even off top weight in what is usually one of the strongest middle distance handicaps of the season."

Timeform on Dubhe


2.30 Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) (1) 5f

Timeform Top Rated
115p 9. VINTAGE BRUT Tim Easterby David Allan
114p 4. KONCHEK Clive Cox Adam Kirby
109p 2. GLORY FIGHTER Charles Hills Gerald Mosse

Analyst's Verdict:
Vintage Brut has done everything right so far, taking the rise in class in his stride when winning the National Stakes at Sandown, and he could quickly reward his new owner with another success. Shang Shang Shang comes with a big reputation and has to hold a great chance for a trainer with an excellent record at this meeting. Glory Fighter has the scope for further improvement.

3.05 Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) (1) 1m1f212y

Timeform Top Rated
128+ 5. KEY VICTORY Charlie Appleby William Buick
127 4. HUNTING HORN Aidan O'Brien Ryan Moore
123p 16. ZAAKI Sir Michael Stoute Pat Dobbs

Analyst's Verdict:
Wadilsafa looked potentially smart when winning a 1m minor event at Newmarket on his return and his pedigree suggests he will prove suited by 1¼m, so he should have plenty of improvement in him after only 2 career outings. Godolphin has won the last 2 renewals and holds another strong hand with Key Victory, National Army and Nordic Lights.

3.40 Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (1) 1m3f211y

Timeform Top Rated
122 1. WILD ILLUSION Charlie Appleby William Buick
118 9. SIZZLING Aidan O'Brien Seamie Heffernan
117 6. MAGIC WAND Aidan O'Brien Ryan Moore

Analyst's Verdict:
Sun Maiden left her debut form well behind when bolting up in a minor event at Salisbury last month and is expected to make the necessary improvement now up in trip. Connections bypassed the Oaks in favour of this race and that can give her the edge over Wild Illusion, who is the clear pick on form but had a hard race at Epsom. Magic Wand looks best of the others back on faster ground.

4.20 Gold Cup (Group 1) (1) 2m3f210y

Timeform Top Rated
140 2. ORDER OF ST GEORGE Aidan O'Brien Ryan Moore
135 6. VAZIRABAD A. de Royer Dupre Christophe Soumillon
134p 9. STRADIVARIUS John Gosden Frankie Dettori

Analyst's Verdict:

Stradivarius is a stayer on the up judged by his emphatic win in the Yorkshire Cup and he can improve past 2016-winner and last year's second Order of St George and take his place at the top table. Vazirabad is the best in the division in his native France and a big danger to all on his first run in the race.

5.00 Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (2) 1m

Timeform Top Rated
126p 24. SAM GOLD Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni
123p 18. CRACK ON CRACK ON Clive Cox David Probert
120 12. MOQARRAR Sir Michael Stoute Jim Crowley

Analyst's Verdict:
Any number of unexposed types to consider and George of Hearts may well be the pick of them. He didn't enjoy the rub of the green when second to a highly progressive rival over 7f here last time and this step up to a mile should help unlock improvement. Crack On Crack On and Completion, first and second respectively in the Silver Bowl at Haydock, are big dangers and Sam Gold is also feared.

5.35 King George V Stakes (Handicap) (2) 1m3f211y

Timeform Top Rated
115p 12. BAGHDAD Mark Johnston Andrea Atzeni
114p 15. LUCKY DEAL Mark Johnston Joe Fanning
114p 2. CROSS COUNTER Charlie Appleby William Buick

Analyst's Verdict:
Dubhe is bred to be a Group horse and has done more than enough to this point to suggest he'll get to that level before the end of the season, so he's worth chancing even off top weight in what is usually one of the strongest middle distance handicaps of the season. Mark Johnston is well represented once again, with Baghdad and Lucky Deal the pick of his sextet.

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