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The Timeform Expert's View: Royal Ascot Day Four
Posted in: Royal Ascot Tips
Nap - Sioux Nation, Commonwealth Cup, 3.40 Ascot, Friday
It's surprising not to see Sioux Nation as outright favourite for the Commonwealth Cup and he looks the best bet on the card at Ascot tomorrow. He was relatively unfancied when he won the Norfolk Stakes last season but bolstered his sire's superb record at Ascot before going on to win the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. He's three from four when racing on ground described by Timeform as 'good to firm' and it was no surprise to see him bounce back from defeat on his reappearance on 'soft' to win a Group 3 in Ireland last time. The ground has come good for him today and he's got the size and scope to expect even better to come, looking like a proper Group 1 sprinter in the making.
Next Best - Agrotera, Sandringham Stakes, 5.00 Ascot, Friday
The Sandringham is devilishly tricky, plenty making their handicap debuts, but there are some good reasons to be with Ed Walker's Agrotera at a double-figure price. Firstly, the form of her Windsor win is already looking strong, the second Four White Socks coming out and winning easily at Goodwood recently, and the way Agrotera won that day - coming from out the back off a steady pace at a track which favours front runners - was impressive. She'll presumably be held up again here under Jamie Spencer, certainly no bad thing on Ascot's straight course, where they get racing a long way out (Spencer unsurprisingly has a good record on this track), and she looks worth chancing.
Longshot - Clear Skies, Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, 5.35 Ascot, Friday
At first glance Clear Skies looks fairly exposed, not the sort of horse you want to be backing in a red-hot Ascot handicap, but a closer look at some of her performances tells us that she may have even more to offer yet given the right scenario. She's a strong-travelling hold-up horse who has only been in one proper end-to-end gallop in her career to date, that coming in a handicap at Dundalk in January, which she won by over 5 lengths. She's not been seen to best effect in four starts since, the final three of those coming in steadily-run listed/group races on bad ground, and with plenty of pace as well as a sounder surface on the cards here, she looks too big at around 20/1, especially as she'll be picking her way through late on under the excellent Ryan Moore.
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