Steve Mellish selects three bets for day four of Royal Ascot. Will you follow our man's advice and take a chance on Minimise Risk?
The Buckingham Palace Handicap is wide-open but Directorship looks the ideal type.
I don't really have any strong views on the first three races at Ascot today - Agent Allison looked very professional when scoring on her debut at Pontefract and could go well in the Albany; Thought Worthy has run well the last twice, despite looking ill at ease in the dip at Newmarket and the cambers at Epsom. He should enjoy the galloping nature of Ascot and could go well at a price in the King Edward whilst Samitar is a tentative selection in the Coronation.
On to the Wolferton Handicap and the first of three recommended bets.
The recent rains aren't certain to suit Danadana and Gatewood is unproven on soft ground but one that will relish the conditions is Mijhaar. A lightly-raced four-year-old from the excellent Roger Varian stable, he has a lot going for him. He reappeared at York last month and ran pretty well despite finding a mile on good ground an inadequate test. Today's extra two furlongs on softish ground should be ideal.
Bet two comes in the Queen's Vase with Minimise Risk. Andrew Balding's charge wasn't disgraced in the Derby last time but he hasn't got the pace for top mile and a half races. His run style and his breeding suggests a proper stamina test will bring out the best in him. He should get that here with prominent racers Athens and Macbeth likely to make it a truly run race.
The last bet comes in the finale, the Buckingham Palace Handicap. Obviously, this is wide-open but Directorship looks the ideal type. He's got plenty of form in big field handicaps, goes fine on a straight track, handles cut, stays a mile but is possible slightly better over a stiff seven furlongs and comes here in good form after a really good (and slightly unlucky run at Sandown).