Royal Ascot Day Three – Back Our 45/1 Banker ACCA

The early confirmations for day three at Royal Ascot 2022 are now in. There are four strong favourites across the seven-race card who combine to make our 45/1 Banker ACCA for Thursday.

The Antarctic (Norfolk Stakes) 5/2

Aidan O’Brien is a keen watcher and follower of all racing and THE ANTARCTIC is a perfect example of this.

His and Coolmore’s inspiration on this occasion is Charlie Hills. For The Antarctic is a full brother to none other than Battaash, the sensational sprinter for Hills and owners Shadwell Estate. He was a four-time Group 1 winner over 5f, as well as a 13-time winner at all levels across his career. 

And so, messieurs Magnier, Tabor and co turned to broodmare Anna Law. In 2020, Battaash’s brother was born and he made his racecourse debut at Tipperary in April.

The Antarctic is a perfect two from two, staying on well over 5f despite being coltish before the off on his debut. He subsequently overcame a 3lb penalty to once again beat Wodao, who had been second behind him at Tipperary, at Naas last month.

Neither victory has been completely emphatic and both have been in small fields. However, The Antarctic has left the impression that he only does enough on the racecourse and that he may yet possess a touch of his brother’s explosive acceleration.

Emily Upjohn (Ribblesdale Stakes) 4/5 

Many were surprised when Team Gosden announced plans for EMILY UPJOHN to reappear so soon after he near miss in the Oaks. However, she looks set to do just that, with her entry currently taken up for the Ribblesdale Stakes on Thursday.

Their filly ran a superb race at Epsom. Slowly away, having stumbled out of the stalls, she still made up all but a short-head of that ground on Tuesday, whose far smaller head just happened to nod at the right time.

She was ultimately a well-supported favourite that day and has done everything right on her other two starts this season. She is clearly a horse of enormous ability and will be contesting, likely winning, Group 1s in time.

That this race is only a Group 2 clearly does not bother connections for now. There are no top tier targets this immediately after the Oaks, but there remains a month until the Irish equivalent, in which she may still run. This could be a very shrewd decision by connections and she will be a warm order to succeed again.

Kyprios (Gold Cup) 5/2

Stradivarius and Trueshan will be the big names to rally round, but KYPRIOS is the “new kid on the block” and may upset the pair.

He is a full brother to two top Irish stayers for Dermot Weld. The mare Search For A Song has won two Irish St Legers, while Falcon Eight is a Chester Cup winner. Eventually, there was no doubt Kyprios would be at his best over longer trips.

Perhaps he has not been the easiest to train, as he has raced only six times and met with defeat in his two runs in Britain. However, both of those runs were on soft ground, which on balance looks to be far from optimum. Conversely, he has won all three races on good ground.

They include his last two successes, which have come since April. Both were over 1m6f, a significant step up in trip from any he had faced previously. 2m4f could easily be an even better distance for him, as he was only galloping further and further clear during his 14-length triumph at Group 3 level most recently.

Reach For The Moon (Hampton Court Stakes) 11/10

Of all years, this would be the one in which a royal winner at Ascot would truly raise the roof.

The Queen may have a few chances during the week, but her best chance rests with Thursday’s entries. REACH FOR THE MOON could be a horse of considerable talent and he is a short favourite for the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes over 1m2f.

In another life, he would be on for a fifth successive victory. As it is, his formbook reads 221122. Two wins and four seconds from six starts is a good record, but his haul of wins could easily have been greater.

On his penultimate start, his final one as a juvenile, he failed to truly fire when a beaten odds-on favourite for the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. On his belated return in the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown, only the highly promising My Prospero was too good for him.

The step up to 1m2f can only be seen as a positive as a son of Sea The Stars. His full brother Chalk Stream was at his best between 1m2f-1m4f for William Haggas.

The weight of public support for him will be tremendous and he can be expected to be even shorter come the day.