Timeform Radio Racing Tips: Shirocco to Star at Ascot

Wrotham Heath leads the field home in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Epsom

We've reached the midpoint of Royal Ascot 2012 and predictably enough the rains have come. David Cleary is in the hotseat today, making a pair of picks to follow at the Berkshire track but will they be a damp squib or can he cut through the gloom with a winner or two?

"Shirocco Star travelled strongly in the Oaks and saw the trip out well, and after just four runs may well have more to offer."

Back Shirocco Star win and place/each way @ 7.613/2 (win) in the 15.05 at Ascot

Royal Ascot reaches the halfway stage, day three promising yet more top-quality action and highly competitive handicaps to try and solve. The fields generally aren't quite so big as they were on the first two days but it will still be hard enough finding winners - overnight rain has eased the ground to good to soft and rather complicates matters.

The ground won't be a problem for Fame And Glory in the Gold Cup at 15.45 and if he's on song he will be very hard to beat. Better bets lie elsewhere, however.

The Ribblesdale Stakes at 15:05 looks primarily a consolation race for those beaten in the Oaks, with The Fugue, who is widely regarded as having been set too much to do at Epsom, a relatively short price to gain compensation.

She may well do so, but the extent to which she was unlucky has been overvalued by the market and Shirocco Star is worth backing against her, win and place or each way. Shirocco Star, after all, finished in front of The Fugue at Epsom, albeit narrowly having been better placed but she travelled strongly and saw the trip out well, and after just four runs Shirocco Star may well have more to offer.

The Tercentenary Stakes at 17:00 features quite a few with the potential to improve but Wrotham Heath has plenty going for him and could well make the step up from handicap to Group 3 company a successful one. The drop back to a mile and a quarter looked the making of him last time at Epsom and although he won only narrowly from Grandeur, who reopposes on better terms today, Wrotham Heath was value for more than his winning margin and can confirm placings. Softer ground won't be a problem either.

Recommended Bets
Back Shirocco Star win and place/each way @ 7.613/2 (win) in the 15.05 at Ascot
Back Wrotham Heath @ 7.06/1 in the 17.00 at Ascot

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