2.30 QUEEN ANNE STAKES
THE traditional curtain raiser has one of the shortest-priced favourites of the week in PALACE PIER.
He cannot be opposed but his prohibitive odds at least mean there is some serious each-way value elsewhere.
Lord Glitters won this in 2019 and was second in 2018, and could reach the podium again.
But at around 16-1 TOP RANK is the sensible each-way play. He is highly progressive and chased home Palace Pier in the Lockinge on soft ground. He should get closer today on the faster surface.
Win: PALACE PIER
Each-way: Top Rank
3.05 COVENTRY STAKES
A real puzzle and all of the 17 runners have some sort of chance.
I loved the way GISBURN dominated his rivals at Newbury where he won by six lengths – and he gets a narrow vote. It could be a big day for his rider Pat Dobbs.
Ebro River bolted up in the National Stakes but is a tricky ride while the Gosden pair Dhabab and Tolstoy are difficult to weigh up.
VINTAGE CLARETS is a cracking each-way play at 28-1, especially if you can find a bookie paying out on four places. He has looked very sharp in two victories and is stupidly overpriced.
Each-way: Vintage Clarets
3.40 KING’S STAND STAKES
Battaash may well make fools of those of us who take him on. But there have been mixed vibes from his connections in the lead-up to the race.
Tim Easterby has a real speed machine in WINTER POWER.
Only three three-year-olds have won this race this century and the last one was pretty special in Lady Aurelia.
But the way Winter Power scooted clear at York last month suggested she could be as good as Wesley Ward’s filly. She beat Atalis Bay who franked the form by winning on Saturday.
If she can back that up she will be hard to catch.
Ubettabelieveit and Stone Of Destiny hold each-way claims but ARECIBO and Jamie Spencer appeal at 28-1 to nab a place late in the day.
Win: WINTER POWER
4.20 ST JAMES’S PALACE
CHINDIT (4.20) is fancied to chin his Group One rivals in today’s St James’s Palace Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot.
Richard Hannon knows what it takes to win this one-mile contest, having trained Barney Roy to success in 2017.
Chindit was a staying-on fifth to the reopposing Poetic Flare in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket – beaten about four lengths.
His rider, Pat Dobbs, admitted that he was too far back that day and the horse also struggled to handle the track.
He is fancied to turn the tables on Jim Bolger’s colt, who has been kept busy while Chindit has been trained for this contest.
If Dobbs can lie handier and get him rolling over the stiff mile, he has the class to triumph.
It would be no surprise to see THUNDER MOON bounce back to form under Frankie Dettori and he looks worth an each-way tickle at around 8-1.
Each-way: Thunder Moon
5.00 ASCOT STAKES
The unexposed POSTILEO looks the answer to a devilishly tricky handicap.
The Galileo colt has only raced seven times but has always looked like he needs a proper stamina test and the near 2m4f trip should play to his strengths.
His staying-on second at Chester in May over 2m 2f can be marked up as he was forced to race wide.
The Willie Mullins trio will have plenty of supporters while there is more to come from Lostwithiel. JUST HUBERT , an out-and-out stayer, is the recommended each-way play at around 14-1.
Each-way: Just Hubert
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5.35 WOLFERTON STAKES
BLUE CUP ticks the boxes in another highly competitive heat.
He is a rapid improver and was an impressive winner by five lengths on Derby Day.
David Menuisier’s gelding is going the right way in a field where many appear to be fairly exposed.
Solid Stone is a big danger and the highest rated pair, Euchen Glen and Patrick Sarsfield, cannot be discounted.
FOX TAL could run into a place at a double-digit price. He tends to pull like a train but if Silvestre de Sousa can settle him he could be very dangerous.
Win: BLUE CUP
Each-way: Fox Tal
Minella Times wins Grand National 2021: Full result, fallers and finishers from Aintree
6.10 COPPER HORSE HANDICAP
GLOBAL STORM (nap) has hinted that there is much more to come.
This late-maturing type was chinned by Zabeel Champion at Newmarket before being stepped up to today’s trip to win back at Headquarters.
He ran a a blinder to be third to Highland Chief at this meeting last year.
The market is made by Saldier, who looks very short for a horse who has never won on fast ground.
DUBIOUS AFFAIR is worth a go each-way at 14-1. He won first time out last season.
Win: GLOBAL STORM
Each-way: Dubious Affair
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2.30 Palace Pier
3.40 Winter Power
4.20 Chindit (trb)
5.00 Postileo (nb)
5.35 Blue Cup
6.10 Global Storm (Nap)
1.05 Magnolia State
1.40 The Armed Man
2.10 Arrow of Gold
3.20 Poet’s Magic
3.55 Seas of Elzaam
5.10 Requiems Dream
1.20 All Clenched Up
1.50 Ronde De Nuit
3.30 Auld Sod
Top jockey Richard Johnson announces immediate retirement from horse racing
6.05 Key Look
7.10 Donnelly’s Rainbow
7.40 Yukon Mission
8.10 Point Of Honour
8.40 Under Your Breath
5.45 Big Time Maybe
6.20 Amber Dew
6.50 Kindergarten Kop
8.50 Bahia Star
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