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IT’S the final day of the Royal Ascot meeting and I am going to go all out for the nap of the day this afternoon with a huge priced horse in the form of Soldier’s Call (nap) in the 3.40 event, the Windsor Castle Stakes.
Archie Watson’s charge needed his run first time out when a really good second to Glory Fighter at Lingfield. The son of Showcasing showed the full benefit of that experience when easing home at odds-on at Haydock at Blyton and was immediately nominated for this speeders’ contest.
Of course he will need to up his game to land this Listed affair but there is every chance he will take another significant step forward here and the fast ground will certainly suit him.
Of his better fancied rivals in the betting, the Wesley Ward-trained Moonlight Romance is worth a second look with the trainer’s record with juveniles at this meeting, while of the home contingent the Richard Fahey-trained Sabre gets the nod over Van Beethoven.
The feature race of the afternoon is the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 4.20 and although Harry Angel is probably the obvious favourite on form, his Ascot record is not outstanding and Australian raider Redkirk Warrior looks a big player against him.
However, his price has gone and the value now lies with The Tin Man (nb) who has an exceptional record over this course and distance and is still available at 8/1 and that really looks outstanding value for a horse aimed solely at this contest all season.
The Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at 3.05 should go to the in-form Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean, but he will be no price at all so for some each-way value how about a play on Gilgamesh in the Wokingham Handicap due off at 5.00.
This lightly raced four-year-old ran really well over seven furlongs here in the Victoria Cup and then went on to win last time out over seven furlongs at York. Back at six furlongs he is sure to be finishing well up the final climb and gets the nod over the potentially well treated Dreamfield along with Victory Angel and Upstaging.
There is though plenty of racing elsewhere and the big event at Newmarket is a five furlong, three-year-old handicap at 4.40 and Embour may complete a hat-trick for Richard Hannon.
At Redcar, Breakwater Boy is becoming too well handicapped to ignore in the 2.05. He ran his best race for a while over two miles at Wetherby last time out and this long home stretch over a mile-and-three-quarters looks sure to be his cup of tea.
Later on at the Cleveland track, Icefall may defy top-weight in the 2.40, while I also have a sneaking suspicion Horstead Keynes can roll back the years in the 3.15.
The eight-year-old is certainly not as good as he once was but that is now reflected in his handicap mark of just 89 and he can go one better than when second here last year at the main expense of Mickey and Hajjam.
Finally, at the evening meetings there are two interesting bets in the form of Fleetfoot Jack off top-weight in the Haydock Park 6.15.
He ran a race full of promise at Thirsk last time out and steps up from a mile to 10 furlongs here last time out.
Later on, Midnight Malibu can finally return to winning form in the fillies’ handicap at 3.45 under the capable Rachel Richardson.
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