Horse Racing

Royal Ascot Day 2 Tips and Predictions

One day of top-class racing down, four to go. We move on to Wednesday at Royal Ascot, hosted at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire. Let’s see if we can find the best bets ahead of the second day.

Day 2 Royal Ascot Tips
Photo by Icon Sport

14:30 – Queen Mary Stakes

The first race on day two will be the Queen Mary Stakes, which is a Group 2 affair for two-year-old fillies only. Some fantastic horses have won this race over the year, and leading the early betting to join that club this season is Beautiful Diamond for Karl Burke. Big things seem to be expected of that particular filly after her impressive maiden win.

For the same trainer, Got To Love A Grey is very interesting. Unlike many of the chief protagonists, whose appeal is largely based around hype, this filly brings some solid credentials to the table having won a Listed race at York last time out. She may not have beaten the best field on that occasion, but did show a nice turn of foot and looks to be further along in her progression than many of these. Holds solid each-way claims for last year’s winning yard.

American trainer Wesley Ward, who has Bunchen, can never be discounted here, and he certainly knows how to ready one for this having saddled four Queen Mary winners since 2009.

Best Bet: Got To Love A Grey (each-way) @ 10/1

15:05 – Kensington Palace Fillies’ Handicap

The first handicap race of day two comes in the form of the Kensington Palace Fillies’ Handicap, which is open to four-year-old fillies and above. As is always the case when it comes to Royal Ascot handicaps, the betting is fiercely competitive and there really is plenty in with a chance.

The early betting has Tamarama as narrow favourite, though others make more appeal than the Ralph Beckett filly, despite the booking of Frankie Dettori, who is the all-time leading jockey at Royal Ascot.

At the prices, I like the look of Belhaven. This runner has shown a liking for softer ground, which bodes well given the forecast, while there was plenty to like about her effort over course and distance last time out. After winning well in Class 3 company, she took both a hike in the weights and a step up in class in her stride, finishing only a neck second and could easily have to more offer. After all, she remains lightly raced. With 25/1 and six places on offer, she looks a decent each-way bet.

Best Bet: Belhaven (each-way) @ 25/1

15:40 – Duke of Cambridge Stakes

It looks as though Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori are once again on the first two in the market here, and it very much looks like Jumbly and Prosperous Voyage will be vying for favouritism right up until the off. Both warrant plenty of respect. Both hold serious claims on the pick of their form.

However, the value angle might just be Grande Dame for John Gosden and Jamie Spencer. She hasn’t run yet this season, but we shouldn’t forget that she won first time out as a three-year-old, while she was last seen placing in Group 1 company, finishing over a length in front of Prosperous Voyage on that occasion. She may just be set to get her own way off the front too, which will make her a real danger to all.

Best Bet: Grande Dame (each-way) @ 8/1

16:20 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes

Just six runners go to post for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes this year and a very serious case can be made for at least four of those. My Prospero ran well enough in the Lockinge Stakes on reappearance, though that form wasn’t exactly franked when Modern Games failed to confirm favouritism yesterday.

Bay Bridge beat both My Prospero and Adayar runner at this venue in October, form which should not be ignored, while he was arguably only denied by Luxembourg in the Tattersalls Golf Cup thanks to traffic in-running. If everything goes his way this time, he’s my idea of the winner. His course form is hard to put aside, as is the fact that his trainer has won two of the last five renewals of this race.

Best Bet: Bay Bridge @ 4/1

17:00 – Royal Hunt Cup

If you like big-field handicaps on the flat, then the Royal Hunt Cup is for you. This fantastic handicap contest over the straight mile is a nightmare for commentators, but great for the spectator.

Perotto is at the head of the early betting and may go off favourite having returned with a solid effort in a big-field handicap here recently, while the hat-trick chasing Ghaly in the Godolphin colours is likely to be popular too.

You could probably spend hours looking at this race and make a reasonable case for over half the field, but at decent prices, two horses catch my eye as each-way prospects. Firstly Chasing Aphrodite arrives here as a course and distance winner, and it was over C&D that he won last time out. He’s up 4lbs for that effort, though that was his first run after a break, and he created the impression that there’s likely more to come. Don’t be surprised if this colt is around at the finish.

Blass Him is another C&D winner, who has in fact won twice at Ascot before, including at the Royal meeting back in 2017. He’s no spring chicken, but he’s got valuable experience, and he’s certainly no stranger to running very well in huge-field handicaps such as this. He was second in a big-field handicap here last July, while he wasn’t discredited at Newbury last time out.

Best Bets: Chasing Aphrodite (each-way) @ 16/1 & Bless Him (each-way) @ 25/1

17:35 – Queen’s Vase

The early market here is all about one horse, Gregory, who in truth, is probably hard to oppose. He’s impressed winning each of his races so far and is expected by many to be a very useful indeed for the powerful John Gosden stable.

If you don’t fancy getting behind a short-priced favourite, then Peking Opera could be the answer. By no means under wraps for Ryan Moore and Aiden O’Brien, there’s still a bit of juice in the currently available 7/1, which looks appealing given that this horse looked to have a bit up his sleeve when returning from a 210-day lay-off to win a Listed contest in Ireland last month. This Galileo colt is likely to have plenty more to offer and surely won’t be far away.

Best Bet: Peking Opera (each-way) @ 7/1

18:10 – Windsor Castle Stakes

The lucky last on day looks to be another very competitive betting heat. Again, we’re talking about a big-field of two-year-olds, most of whom have had just one or two runs, so there’s of unknowns, hype and guessing here.

Having made a winning debut for Aiden O’Brien, with Ryan Moore in the saddle, Johannes Brahms is a leading contender and will probably go off favourite. It’ll be little surprise if the colt justifies it. Barnwell Boy and Maximum Impact both impressed last time out and are entitled to go well too, as are a whole host of others.

At larger odds, World Of Darcy merits plenty of respect and is certainly my idea of an each-way bet here. The Karl Burke runner won well on debut at Pontefract, while she also ran on powerfully when second to a very smart type at Sandown in Listed company last time out. I certainly wouldn’t overlook that form.

Best Bet: World Of Darcy (each-way) @ 16/1

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