By Paul Kealy, Betting Editor, Racing Post.
ROYAL ASCOT is the highlight of the summer for fans of racing and fashion who will join the Queen for five days at the famous Berkshire racetrack from Tuesday onwards.
As I’ve climbed about as far as I can go (not very) and will never be accused of being a trend-setter I’d better stick to what I know, which is the racing and I fully expect a profitable week’s punting.
Hopefully you will too if you follow a few of these recommendations.
Day one starts with a bang with three Group 1s and the best bet comes in the King’s Stand in which Hot Streak is a strong fancy. Kevin Ryan’s three-year-old is the coming force in the sprint division and he was far more impressive than his half-length victory in the Temple Stakes last month would suggest. The last time he raced at Ascot he bolted up by five lengths in the Cornwallis Stakes as a two-year-old and he can prove himself the best sprinter in Europe.
Tuesday also features the big rematch between Night Of Thunder and Kingman in the St James’s Palace Stakes. Night Of Thunder beat Kingman by half a length in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but the runner-up, who arguably launched his effort too soon, has since dotted up in the Irish version by five lengths. He has the more immediate change of speed and can make it 2-1 for the season against his great rival, having beaten him by four and a half lengths at Newbury in April.
Opposition to last year’s brilliant Arc winner Treve seems to be drying up, but you won’t get rich backing her and better odds will be found about favourite Abseil in the Royal Hunt Cup.
He will only have 29 rivals to beat, but looks a sure-fire future Group 1 performer, which wouldn’t be a surprise given his impeccable breeding.
The Queen’s Estimate raised the roof when landing the Gold Cup on the Thursday last year, but things haven’t been plain sailing for her since and she will have her work cut out fending off Leading Light from the yard of Aidan O’Brien, who has won five of the last eight runnings.
The St Leger winner was seriously impressive on his return at Navan, looks certain to stay the 2m4f trip and could be another champion stayer for the Ballydoyle maestro.
On Friday the Coronation Stakes ought to be there for the taking for by My Titania, who missed both 1,000 Guineas in Britain and Ireland for different reasons. The Classic fillies over a mile do not look a good bunch and this daughter of the brilliant Sea The Stars can make a successful belated return.
On her final start as a two-year-old she thrashed recent Oaks runner-up Tarfasha by six lengths.
Finally on Saturday take a chance with outsider Es Que Love in the Golden Jubilee. He won’t be the most obvious winner, but he has stacks of good Ascot form at 7f and looked as though that trip was too far. A strong traveller, he can get into the shake-up at tasty odds.
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