Day one offered us some fantastic performances and a few shocks along the way. We came out with two winners and a place which was just about respectable at the prices.
I have taken a look at the day two card and attempted to find some value on a competitive program of flat racing.
Salayel - Each Way
Royal Ascot (13.15)
BetVictor Ambassador Nicola Currie has her first ride at Royal Ascot 2020 on Brains. You can read more about her rides today here.
This race looks a very hard start for punters and I would advise anyone playing to make sure they take the each-way place terms on offer. Salayel will be my only dart in the race. Roger Varian has started the season well and this filly looks a nice prospect when trained in the middle east.
Whilst she hasn’t won in the four runs to date for the Newmarket handler, a mark of 92 in this contest looks interesting given how unexposed she is compared to others in the field.
Royal Ascot (13.50)
Just the eight set to go to post in this group three including her majesty’s First Receiver. I put up Russian Empire for the Derby before his run last week and at 3/1, I think I will risk backing him today.
He is turned out way quicker than normally by the stable given the conditions Royal Ascot is being run under. I think he may suit a slightly stronger pace and I still retain hope he could be a runner in the Derby over a slightly further trip. Any rain will be no issue to Aidan O’Brien’s runner.
Wyclif - Each Way
Royal Ascot (14.25)
This handicap looks as tough as any at Royal Ascot this week. Kipps heads the betting and whilst he has done very little wrong at the prices, I just can’t be interested when this race looks to have so many potential contenders.
First up for me at around 25/1 is Wyclif. A winner on soft and on good ground, his yard boasts a 25% strike rate over the last two weeks and he ran a really nice race at the end of last season at Pontefract. Stepping up in trip today for the first time should suit.
Royal Ascot (15.00)
Japan arrives a short-price favourite with plenty of expectation he can give Ballydoyle another big race win at Royal Ascot. He scored in the King Edward at this meeting last year and has some fantastic form in the book having beaten Crystal Ocean and finished fourth in the Arc last season.
Addeybb looks a danger on paper. Last seen recently winning down under, he does strike me as a bigger threat if Ascot were to get further rain prior to the race.
Barney Roy returned to the track and has done ok since but isn’t in the same league as Japan. The four-year-old from Ireland is going to be my nap of the day.
Afaak - Each Way
Royal Ascot (15.35)
Five places on this race are ideal given how warm it is. I have my eye on a couple at double-figure prices.
Afaak did me a huge turn last year winning at the meeting when a big price. His record in this race is exceptional having come second in the 2018 renewal too. Cieren Fallon is a brilliant booking who takes a useful three pounds off here.
Walhaan - Each Way
Royal Ascot (15.35)
Afaak is joined on the shortlist by Walhaan for Ian Williams. The four-year-old arrives with some interesting French form.
The mark assigned is hard to assess but this horse going straight in at the deep end is a big call and is perhaps worth chancing at 50/1 to outrun his price.
Tactical - Each Way
Royal Ascot (16.10)
We get the chance to see a pair of American raiders in the Windsor Castle from Wes Ward’s travelling party. Ward has had plenty of success at Royal Ascot in previous years, yet the vibe around his squad doesn’t seem as strong as usual.
Chief Little Hawk was a nice winner at Navan but is having to back up that run with just a week in-between starts. My selection will be Tactical of Andrew Balding. Owned by the queen, he ran a nice debut at Newmarket two weeks ago. Eye of Heaven won that day and is favourite for the Norfolk later in the week, and Tactical was unlucky when hampered in the final furlong.
I think at 4/1, it is hard to see him not being involved here if he gets a bit more luck in running and the race doesn’t arrive too soon.
Here And Now - Each Way
Royal Ascot (16.40)
The closing handicap on day two has plenty of options but I am prepared to take a chance on a horse at a huge price.
Here And Now arrives at Ascot off the back of the best part of nearly two years off the track. If we go back in time, this horse is one of the few to have beaten Stradivarius way back in 2017. Plenty has happened since and both horses’ careers have gone in different directions.
The fact connections have persevered has to give backers some hope he is showing the in-form trainer Ralph Beckett something at home. It is pretty conceivable he will be in need of the run but this is some place to start him back.