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Royal Ascot Friday Tips – Four More Best Bets for Day 4 of Royal Meeting

Friday at Royal Ascot features multiple Group 1s as well as the traditionally competitive handicap fare. Across the seven races, our editor Joe Napier has four best bets.

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3.45 Royal Ascot – Coronation Stakes

Two 1,000 Guineas winners (Elmalka and Rouhiya) and an Aidan O’Brien-trained daughter of Justify (Opera Singer) will dominate the build-up, the latter likely to improve similarly to City Of Troy to some extent. However, preference against that entire trio is for RAMATUELLE, who probably should have won the Newmarket Classic and has broadly looked as talented as any of these throughout her career.

Christopher Head’s filly, another of Justify’s progeny, was just a short neck from beating the unbeaten juvenile Vandeek in Group 1 company last season. She also readily won a pair of Group races on good-to-soft and good ground, before returning this season, firstly in low-key fashion at Deauville prior to her 1,000 Guineas third.

Aurelien Lemaitre would probably give anything to ride that race again, kicking for home too soon before getting collared in the dying strides. Oisin Murphy takes over having already ridden three winners at this year’s meeting and his mount can claim an overdue first top level success.

Coronation Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Fillies)

4.25 Royal Ascot – Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes

One of the strange nuances of this race is that despite being run round a bend and with numerous runners, no horse drawn inside of stall 9 has won this in the last decade. Though this is surely a quirk, being drawn on the inside and finding yourself boxed in can be an awkward situation to extract a horse from, and so slightly wider draws are preferred.

A sporting chance is given here to EPIC POET, who was a Listed winner and Group placed in France before failing to beat a rival in two starts at that level for the Meades. He was also down the field in the Cambridgeshire, but he has now switched to David O’Meara, who often excels with former French-trained horses.

His first run for the yard was full of promise when running on for sixth over 1m2f at York behind a ready winner from an inopportune position in-running. He was less than a length off third that day, is worth a go back up to this trip, and is very well-handicapped if able to recapture anything near his best form.

Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)
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5.05 Royal Ascot – Sandringham Stakes

Hot favourite Indelible is well-bred and an obvious contender, especially as the last two runnings of this big-field handicap have gone to the market leaders. However, getting less than an each-way price about any contender in a field this big, many of whom will not have revealed their best yet, is a no-go from this writer’s betting perspective.

Instead, we peek down the market to find SOPRANO for George Boughey. HIs filly went off favourite for Listed honours last term against the likes of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Fallen Angel, and was placed at Group level on three occasions after her maiden success. She was also drawn poorly when seventh in the Group 1 Cheveley Park when comfortably beating her two rivals down the near side.

She has not quite found her stride this term, but has probably been given too much to do in both her starts. She was finishing fast for third in Listed company at Musselburgh over 7f last time out, so should get 1m, as she should on pedigree too, and a strong pace for her to aim at might be just the ticket for success.

Sandringham Stakes (Fillies’ Handicap)

5.40 Royal Ascot – King Edward VII Stakes

The last four runnings of this race have seen just six runners go to post, so it is delightful to see a packed field of 14 this time around. Nevertheless, Royal Ascot’s Derby equivalent could be turned into just as much of a procession as when King Of Steel won last year courtesy of DIEGO VELAZQUEZ.

Plenty in this lineup have obvious claims for improvement, but perhaps none more so than this 2,400,000gns purchase as a yearling. It is no wonder he fetched that sum, being a Frankel half-brother to Broome and Point Lonsdale, both of whom have been fine servants in the last few seasons for Ballydoyle.

Diego Velazquez has performed admirably at times on soft and heavy, but his two wins as a juvenile came on good ground, so he must be ready for quicker conditions once again. While he disappointed in the Prix Du Jockey Club last time, heavy ground may well have taken its toll, and his fast finishing fourth in the French 2,000 Guineas strongly suggested middle distances would be his thing, and that he can compete at the top level.

King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings)
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