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The Timeform Expert's View: Royal Ascot Day Two
Posted in: Royal Ascot Tips
Nap - Shades of Blue, Queen Mary Stakes, 2.30 Ascot, Wednesday
In a race full of unknown quantities, it’s the fact that Chelsea Cloisters is taking so much out of the market that makes the Queen Mary a tempting betting race. Of course, Chelsea Cloisters could be the latest juvenile juggernaut in the Wes Ward conveyor line, but her price is running away before she’s walked the walk, based on talk, and the upshot is that Shades of Blue comes in at generous odds, given the strength of her debut form (beat Queen of Bermuda and Come On Leicester) for a yard that won this race last year.
Next Best - Aljazzi, Duke of Cambridge Stakes, 3.40 Ascot, Wednesday
There’s no knocking Hydrangea, but her price slightly underestimates her task under a penalty, more so considering her reappearance less than a month ago wasn’t up to scratch, needing to do a lot more in little time. Aljazzi, on the other hand, has had the perfect prep for a race in which she was second last year, out early (solid third in April) in order to freshen her up again for this. Her proven proficiency over this straight mile is an advantage, and there’s a feeling that Aljazzi is still getting better, not that there’s much of a gap at all between her and Hydrangea at these weights.
Longshot - Firmament, Royal Hunt Cup, 5.00 Ascot, Wednesday
A well-handicapped horse with a fine course record qualifies Firmament as a live longshot for the Hunt Cup. He shaped well in the wrong group in the Victoria Cup last time, and, though the draw is an unknown here, overall, at least he’s on one side rather than in the middle, emerging from stall 26 with some front runners around him.
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