image-left-align  Sam Turner's Best Bets BlogThe opening day of the Royal meeting was further evidence, if any was required, at the unparalleled ability of John Gosden to condition and place his horses.

Victories for Calyx and Without Parole again advertised Gosden’s enviable record in identifying when to pitch a young and seemingly inexperienced horse in at the deep end, while the tricky Monarchs Glen completed a memorable first day for the Newmarket maestro.

STREAM OF STARS (Ascot. 3.05) is the latest off the conveyor belt as he bids to graduate from an Ascot maiden win to a Group race success and the time of his victory at the Berkshire venue suggests he can make that leap. Partnered by man of the moment, Frankie Dettori, the son of Sea The Stars was a cosy winner last month but the speed figure belied the manner of the performance and he can graduate to Pattern-race success this afternoon.

The talents of Jamie Spencer on the straight track at Ascot have been well documented this week and RAISING SAND (Ascot, 5.00) could provide the Irish rider with another Royal winner in a ferocious renewal of the Hunt Cup.

The selection’s reappearance in a similarly competitive renewal of the Victoria Cup over seven furlongs at today’s venue is probably best forgotten as it appeared the Royal meeting was the primary objective. Raising Sand has produced a series of good course performances and looks to have plenty of pace to run at with last year’s winner Zhui Feng drawn low so could go well at a price.

ROMAN RIVER (Ripon, 8.20) looked a sprinter to keep onside at Haydock last time and his speed figure endorsed the view so he should be backed until beaten given the superiority of his performance last time.


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