Royal Ascot rolls into day two and here we preview three of the big races on the card in our Royal Ascot day two betting preview featuring the Hampton Court Stakes, Prince of Wales's Stakes and Royal Hunt Cup.
Sir Michael Stoute took last year’s renewal with Sangarius and he holds a strong hand again this year with First Receiver, who runs in the Queen's famous silks. A seven-length winner at Kempton last time out, the son of New Approach made his debut in a Newmarket maiden that is working out incredibly well.
Juan Elcano heads the market and understandably so, based on his performance in the Guineas. However, there might be a slight concern as to whether this will come too soon given how strongly run that race was and the likes of Kenzai Warrior, who ran no sort of race that day, could give a much better showing on Wednesday.
Aidan O’Brien saddles two, with Derrinstown runner-up Russian Emperor the likely first string. He will have come on a lot for that run as the Ballydoyle maestro’s normally do but the suspicion is that First Receiver may just be too good.
Juddmonte International hero Japan heads the market for O’Brien and the form of that win puts him well above the majority of this field. However, he hasn’t been the easiest horse to train by his trainer’s own admission and has previously needed the run on reappearance so it’s tempting to look further afield for some value.
If there was a further deluge of rain then the current prices about multiple Group 1 winner Addeybb would be very appealing, especially given he shares an official rating of 122 with Japan and has been kept busy over the spring in Australia. Likewise, John Gosden’s Mehdaayih would hold a good chance if there was suitable cut underfoot given she gets an allowance.
The Newmarket handler may hold another ace though in the shape of Lord North, who was impressive when out-battling Elarqam at Haydock just over a week ago. That was only a Group 3 and he would have to take another big step forward, but at a double figure price he looks to be going the right way and holds a fitness edge.
A slightly reduced field size this year due to social distancing restrictions but it's as competitive as ever. The inimitable Gosden & Dettori saddle the market leader in Lord Tennyson, thoroughly unexposed and finished best of the rest last time out behind Marie’s Diamond. However, with just two runs under his belt he may lack the experience needed in a big-field Ascot handicap and while he could be the elusive ‘Group horse in a handicap’, single-figure odds don’t overly inspire.
David O’Meara is a trainer to be feared in these races and he saddles Baltic Baron, who is back on an attractive mark and had a pipe opener at Newmarket just over a week ago. It’s not hard to envisage seeing him hit the frame at a big price. The winner of the aforementioned race at Newmarket was Andrew Balding’s Bell Rock. The Kingsclere handler can do no wrong at present and this son of Kingman stayed on impressively - you’d like to think he could take a further step forward from that and at a double-figure price, makes plenty of appeal.