Top tipster Simon Rowlands landed a 20/1 winner with Thesis on Thursday and has five selections plus analysis for the fourth day of Royal Ascot, live on Sky Sports Racing.
There is no let-up in the quantity, or quality, on Friday as we reach day four of Royal Ascot 2022.
Well over 100 horses have again been declared for seven races which include two Group One contests, a Group Two and a Group Three. With over 600 declarations across the five days and 35 races, you will not be hearing any mutterings about “the blight of small fields” from this quarter for a while!
That brace of Group Ones are the Commonwealth Cup (3.05) and the Coronation Stakes (4.20). They are the kinds of races any enthusiast should be able to enjoy, irrespective of financial involvement, and that is my recommendation where the latter is concerned.
Your view of the outcome of the Coronation Stakes is likely to revolve around just how good you think Inspiral still is. She was a mighty good two-year-old, and had the subsequent 1000 Guineas second and first, Prosperous Voyage and Cachet, comfortably beaten off in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October.
The problem is that she has not been seen since, due to initially failing to please in training, and has been a mere onlooker as her form has been boosted. Cachet followed her Newmarket Guineas win with a second to Mangoustine in the French equivalent at Longchamp, getting the run of things slightly more than the one who beat her.
There are also some significant also-rans from the Newmarket race, not least Tenebrism, who seemed not to stay but who is given another go at a mile, and whose Cheveley Park win is probably second-best on show behind only Inspiral’s form.
I would give a definite shout also to Discoveries, the Moyglare Stud Stakes winner at two, who shaped as if needing the race when seventh in the Guineas. She has a bit about her of Alpha Centauri, the top-class filly who ran away with this in 2018, which is no surprise given they are sisters.
Expect a better run from Discoveries now, but this is a real puzzle from a betting point of view and one I am happy to sit out.
Jet backed to fly high in Commonwealth Cup
Tenebrism would have been close to favourite in the Commonwealth Cup had that been chosen for her. Instead, another Guineas non-stayer (2000, not 1000) in Perfect Power is.
He has every right to be, given his two-year-old record and his win in the seven-furlong Greenham at Newbury on his return. But he does not have much in hand of a few others, such as El Caballo, Flaming Rib, Go Bears Go, Sacred Bridge and Twilight Jet.
I am prepared to give the last-named a chance at a bigger price given how strong his recent Naas Group Three win over 108-rated New York City appears to be. He made all and scored readily by three lengths that day on ground that was firmer than the advertised “good”.
Twilight Jet was a smart two-year-old who was asked to do too much in the lead when fifth to a more patiently ridden Perfect Power in the Middle Park Stakes on his penultimate appearance. It is at least possible that Twilight Jet is better than ever, and he should not be far away even if he is not.
A less speculative play is the favourite Changingoftheguard in the so-called Royal Ascot Derby, the King Edward VII Stakes (5.35). He ran in the Derby proper and was better than his position of fifth behind Desert Crown having done too much up front. Ryan Moore takes over from Wayne Lordan and can afford to be more measured in this smaller field.
He is comfortably better than his rivals on known form, courtesy of any easy win in the Chester Vase before Epsom, though Lysander and Ottoman Fleet both have potential still. I would have Changingoftheguard not much bigger than evens, so he represents a bet at current odds.
Both the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap (3.40) and the Sandringham Handicap (5.00) are among the tougher races to crack on the face of it, but both contain horses who look clearly ahead of their marks.
Trawlerman is the one for me in the former contest, as a lightly raced four-year-old who won a surprisingly strong handicap at Chelmsford last time on his first start in a year. The last time he ran at this trip of 12 furlongs, he demolished 91-rated King Frankel, who won or was second in his next three races. He also finished a staying-on sixth in the hottest Sandown Classic Trial in many a year in between.
Trawlerman showed quirks, as well as plenty of ability, at Chelmsford and may well need some finessing in this 19-runner field. Frankie Dettori takes back over here.
I am going with the girls in green, pink and white – the famous Juddmonte silks – in the Sandringham, in which Crenelle and Invigilate both have something to recommend them.
The former looked a good prospect when beating next-time listed winner Fonteyn fair and square in a maiden at Newmarket and can probably be forgiven a defeat since by the very useful With The Moonlight back on the same course over 10 furlongs. A strongly-run mile could be the ticket, and that is what she looks set to encounter here.
Invigilate made late gains when chasing home Washraa (another solid contender in this) at Nottingham last time and is another who appeals as likely to benefit from these circumstances. She already has winning form on top of the ground, and there is no sign yet of the surface at Royal Ascot being anything but that.
I had the opening Albany Stakes (2.30) priced up similarly to the market – there looks to be little on paper between Meditate and Mawj but with plenty of others in contention – while the concluding Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap (6.10) is one of the most open races of the entire week, according to the betting. I do not disagree!
Simon Rowlands’ best bets…
3.05 Commonwealth Cup – TWILIGHT JET (1pt win)
3.40 – Duke of Edinburgh Handicap – TRAWLERMAN (1pt win)
5.00 – Sandringham Handicap – CRENELLE (1pt win); INVIGILATE (0.5pt win)
5.35 – King Edward VII – CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD (2pts win)