We look over another cracking racecard and give our Friday Royal Ascot tips as the top-class fixture enters day four.
The Royal Ascot action continues info Friday as we enter the fourth day of the top-class Festival where the feature race of the day is the Group One Commonwealth Cup.
The top-class sprint contest is the feature of another seven-race card which will be shown in full on ITV Racing and Ed Chamberlain and the team will have all their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis on all the action.
Also featuring a trio of Group Two supporting races, Friday’s racecard is another not-to-be-missed afternoon and Brian Healy gives his Friday Royal Ascot tips for every race on the seven-race card.
ROYAL ASCOT FRIDAY TIPS – DAY FOUR SELECTIONS
1:15 Royal Ascot – Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap Cl2 (3yo 0-105) 5f
MAYSTAR is 2-3 over the minimum trip and Archie Watson’s charge could go close back in a handicap.
The Mayson gelding struck on turf on debut last term and has twice since since on the all-weather; but he ran a blinder in a valuable contest at the Curragh in September and he’s been highly tried in both runs this year, latterly getting to within a neck of Quiet Times in a French Listed race.
He has a good record with Hollie Doyle and he’s fully effective on softer ground which is a plus assuming the rain arrives; while the return to five furlongs is no problem and back in handicap company he could still have scope to improve where he can go close off this mark.
1:50 Royal Ascot – Albany Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 6f
DANDALLA looked a very nice prospect when making a winning debut at Newcastle earlier in the month and the Dandy Man filly can progress on the back of that run to double up.
Karl Burke’s charge ran out a comfortable winner over Navajo Spring, racing prominently before showing a good turn of foot to score readily and this step up in trip looks sure to suit so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see her build on that effort.
The prospect of softer ground should hold no fears as the tapeta was riding slow in that debut and given how the draw has worked out in previous days she has to be of interest racing under the stands’ side rail from her berth in stall 14.
Likely to have more to come and not turned out too quickly she can progress for that debut experience and the yard’s juveniles are in good form so every chance she can go close.
2:25 Royal Ascot – Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 (2yo) 5f
LIPIZZANER has been beaten on both his starts to date but the Uncle Mo colt has shown plenty of ability and still looked in need of the experience when denied close home behind Lucky Vega at Naas earlier in the month.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge has been beaten only a half-length on both outings, firstly behind Poetic Flare over this trip and then in that latter run over an extra furlong. He may prove ideally suited by this return to the minimum distance and he has run equally well on quicker ground as he did on the testing ground which he made his debut over.
There’s a suspicion the horse who beat him last time is a smart prospect and his experience here could stand him in good stead where he could improve on what he has shown thus far where he is one of only four runners in the race to have ran twice.
He probably does need to progress against a number of first-time winners who are equally open to improvement; but Aidan O’Brien has won this race twice in the last five years and Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle so there appears every chance the Ballydoyle representative can deliver a big run and he’s not taken lightly.
3:00 Royal Ascot – Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m4f
ANTHONY VAN DYCK has found winning difficult since scoring in the 2019 Epsom Derby, but Aidan O’Brien’s charge has been very highly tried since landing Classic success and the Galileo colt can end his losing run here.
The Ballydoyle runner made the frame in three of his next five outings following his Classic win, runner-up in the Irish Derby and finishing third in the Irish Champion Stakes amongst those efforts although he wasn’t at his best in blinkers when beating only two home in the Hong Kong Vase.
No match for the impressive Ghaiyyath when contesting the Coronation Cup recently, he had a few of these rivals behind and he’ll be sharper for the return so every chance he can build on that recent spin.
He did have quite a hard race at Newmarket which is a slight worry, but if those exertions haven’t left a mark then he ought to go close.
3:35 Royal Ascot – Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo) 6f
Assuming recent 1000 Guineas exertions haven’t left a mark then it might be worth chancing MILLISLE to quickly bounce back to form having possibly found his stamina being stretched over that longer trip.
The Starbangledbanner filly had won three of her five starts last term, winning the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes on her final outing where she beat Raffle Prize by the thick end of two lengths. That form has worked out quite well with the third and fourth winning since and she went well for the bulk of her 1000 Guineas challenge before her stamina gave out.
Softer ground will be no problem should the rain arrive and Jessica Harrington’s charge should be more appreciative of this shorter trip than at Newmarket last time. She’s not one to write off just yet and she warrants respect returning to sprinting where she’ll strip fitter for that reappearance.
4:10 Royal Ascot – Queen’s Vase (Group 2) Cl1 (3yo) 1m6f
BERKSHIRE ROCCO clearly bumped into one when finding English King too good in the recent Lingfield Derby Trial; but Andrew Balding’s charge finished seven lengths clear of the rest and he looks worth sticking with here to improve on that effort.
Andrew Balding’s charge was a winner over seven furlongs at Chester last term and he rounded off his campaign finishing third to Max Vega over ten furlongs in the Group Three Zetland Stakes. However he took his form up a notch in that last run and there could be even more improvement to come from him as he goes up further in trip.
Beaten around three lengths, the Sir Percy colt looks to have a bright future of his own and he should progress for that reappearance which ought to have sharpened him up. Likely to find this stiffer test of stamina suitable he can get back on the scoresheet with Oisin Murphy taking the reins.
4:40 Royal Ascot – Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m4f ITV
At a big price DAL HORRISGLE can bounce back to form having possibly failed to act on the Goodwood undulations the last twice in Group Three company and the Nathaniel gelding might be better suited by this track and a return to handicapping.
William Haggas’ charge had reeled off a hat-trick either side of a break, including scoring on his reappearance from six months off at Nottingham. He finished less than four lengths’ fifth to Nayef Road in the Gordon Stakes where he showed a good attitude; but he might have been amiss when last seen finishing last of five runners behind Sir Ron Priestley in the March Stakes back at the Sussex track in August.
He might be worth chancing to bounce back where might yet have some scope from this mark returning to the handicap ranks and he could be capable of posting a big run if fully wound up on his return.