By News Team
18th June 2020
Another fantastic card at Royal Ascot on Friday and our man, Nick Luck, has previewed all of the action for us at William Hill.
Fallon’s mount can Keep the favourite Busy
And so, to Friday, and to Royal Ascot 2020’s customary minefield, the Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap (1:15pm) to kick start the day. Clearly Art Power is a bit of a machine, and connections would have had every right to go for the Commonwealth Cup. There’s zero value here, however, and I am hoping he gives a nice lead to KEEP BUSY who ran a stormer at Sandown last weekend and looks well handicapped on that evidence at 12/1. She is hard as nails, thrives on racing, and has Cieren Fallon taking off another three pounds. She looks lovely each-way material.
Melody has a Golden chance in the Albany
The Albany (1:50pm) looks a warm race with all the usual suspects represented, but I am sensing a rare William Haggas Ascot two-year-old winner here in GOLDEN MELODY at 11/2.
I have been really impressed with the progeny of Belardo so far, and this filly was apparently coasting through the final furlong while posting a highly respectable time. It is notable that three fillies behind all had priority nominations for Ascot.
Eye drawn to Heaven in Norfolk
I am happy to stick with favourite EYE OF HEAVEN at 11/8 in the Norfolk (2:25pm). This looks a spicy edition of the race, and it was impossible not to be impressed with the stride and power shown by the son of Exceed and Excel on his debut. Frankie Dettori rides again, and this pair can prove too streetwise for their rivals.
Given the number of two-year-olds Richard Hannon has at his disposal, I am quite interested that he is running debutant Ventura Tormenta (25/1) here, and I’ll be keeping a close eye.
Defoe can score in the Hardwicke again
The Hardwicke (3:00pm) looks quite tricky, and with some reservations, I am siding with DEFOE at 6/1, who posted a career best when winning this last year. He has disappointed since, but probably paid the penalty for trying to chase Ghaiyyath at Newmarket after a long break and should have the race run more to suit here.
Elarqam looks as though he might get the trip, but it is not certain, while Anthony Van Dyck looks a short enough price for a horse whose only previous Ascot visit was pretty forgettable.
Ward’s filly the play in the Commonwealth Cup
KIMARI (6/1) can give Wesley Ward another Ascot success in the Commonwealth Cup (3:35pm). This filly is no one-dimensional speed freak. Indeed, she likes to come from she way back, but she has a real turn of foot, and was unlucky to have her Queen Mary run in soft ground last year. That was good form as it stands, though, and she has had the perfect prep for this.
Nobel can give O’Brien yet another Royal Ascot Prize
The Queen’s Vase (4:10pm) is full of potential improvers at the trip, but the one whose pedigree gives most encouragement – as a brother to Highland Reel and Idaho – is NOBEL PRIZE at 5/1, who ground out his maiden win over the stiff mile at Naas in really dour fashion. Better ground should help, and I’m not too deterred that Ryan Moore has opted for the other Ballydoyle runner.
Charmer can End the day on a good note
I’ll keep it simple in the Duke Of Edinburgh (4:40pm) with WEST END CHARMER – he was ridiculously impressive on his comeback run after a long absence and, provided he doesn’t bounce, should make his final foray in handicap company a memorable one. He looks worth supporting at 6/1.