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Royal Ascot ITV7 – Day 4 Picks For Friday’s Action

The ITV7 jackpot continues to offer life changing sums of money to one lucky winner. Seven more tough races are included from Royal Ascot on Friday and Joe Napier gives his picks.

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Race 1 – 2.30pm Royal Ascot – Albany Stakes

The Aidan O’Brien duo of Fairy Godmother and Heavens Gate are feared, but MOUNTAIN BREEZE has looked out of the ordinary in her two starts at Newmarket. The form of her second win at that venue has taken some knocks, but she won stylishly under a penalty and is a three-parts sibling to superstar juvenile and former Royal Ascot winner Pinatubo. She looks highly likely to play her part in the finish.

Albany Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies)

Race 2 – 3.05pm Royal Ascot – Commonwealth Cup

Elite Status and Jasour won their trials for this in good style, but the best performance in the warm-up races for this was reserved for INISHERIN. The drop back to sprint distances paid immediate dividends for Kevin Ryan’s 2,000 Guineas sixth, as he waltzed away with the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, putting the former favourite for this, Vandeek, firmly in his place. That was on soft ground, but a quicker surface should not impede him and he looks a potential powerhouse to follow in this division for the season.

Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (No Geldings)

Race 3 – 3.45pm Royal Ascot – Coronation Stakes

French-trained runners have won three of the last nine renewals of the Coronation Stakes and RAMATUELLE looks a leading candidate to enhance that record. She would almost certainly be arriving here as a 1,000 Guineas winner had her jockey shown just a little more restraint before kicking for home at Newmarket, but that performance clearly marked her as having developed as a three-year-old. Oisin Murphy, a winner three times this week already at Royal Ascot, takes over in the saddle and a more canny ride can see her gain compensation.

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

Race 4 – 4.25pm – Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes

This is a race worth taking a chance in courtesy of EPIC POET, who was very useful when trained in France and may finally be finding his feet in British racing after a second switch in this country to David O’Meara’s yard. His handler now has excelled in recent years with European imports, and even though he took a longer route here after an unsuccessful spell at Freddy & Martyn Meade’s yard, he took a step forward on anything shown before in the UK when sixth from an inopportune track position at York. He is worth a go up in trip and is dangerously handicapped if improving as expected for that effort.

Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)

Race 5 – 5.05pm – Sandringham Stakes

Preference is for another at a price here in SOPRANO, who was well-touted as a juvenile and regularly competed at a high level last season. She went off favourite against the likes of Fallen Angel and Shuwari at Sandown last term, was placed three times at Group level and would have been much closer in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes had she not been inconveniently drawn. Her two runs this season have suggested she is gearing up for a big run and this step up to 1m may help bring that about.

Sandringham Stakes (Fillies’ Handicap)

Race 6 – 5.40pm – King Edward VII Stakes

Any number of these may improve for this trip and ground, but the most likely to do so appears to be DIEGO VELAZQUEZ. The half-brother to the likes of Broome and Point Lonsdale has a way to go to justify his 2,400,000 guineas purchase as a yearling, but his two wins from five starts came on good ground, and he may only have been simmering away on soft and heavy surface since. He was still good enough to be a staying on fourth in the French 2,000 Guineas over a trip almost certainly too short for him and this 1m4f distance looks exactly what he requires to be at his best.

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

Race 7 – 6.15pm – Palace Of Holyrood House Stakes

The form line which stands out is Jubilee Walk’s victory at York last month, in which the third, Pilgrim, then bolted up next time out. Both run here, with the winner now 2lb better off with the third, but the runner-up, VANTHEMAN, is yet to run again, and easily comes out best at the weights for this rematch between the trio. He is 7lb and 9lb better off with the aforementioned duo, has untapped potential for 5f, and the last two winners of this race have emerged from the bottom three in the weights; he is 27th of the 28 runners to get in, so gets weight from most of his rivals.

Palace Of Holyrood House Stakes (Handicap)
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