Royal Ascot Tips: Billy's Banker, Blowout and Big Price for Royal Ascot

Five Sensational Days of Flat Racing Await
Five Sensational Days of Flat Racing Await

Before you know it we will be at Royal Ascot week and with The Oaks and The Derby now behind us, all eyes can focus on the brilliant week of racing to come in Berkshire. Getting us into the swing of things, Billy Grimshaw has scoured the antepost lists and picked out his banker, a blow-out worth laying and his big priced pick that could hit the frame at the very least...

Banker - Homeless Songs @ 11/8 in the Coronation Stakes

Heading into the Irish 1000 Guineas, eventual Oaks winner at Epsom Tuesday was all the rage in the betting. She had ran well in the British equivalent at Newmarket behind Cachet in third and with that run expected to bring her on further she was sent off 11/4 favourite on the day at the Curragh. In the end she finished a good second but was absolutely laughed at by eventual winner HOMELESS SONGS. It was impossible not to be impressed by Dermot Weld's filly's stunning turn of foot to put this race to bed in a matter of strides once Chris Hayes pushed the button around three furlongs from home. She eventually ran out a five and a half length winner but was value for much more and this was undoubtedly the top display by any filly at a mile this campaign. Immediately after the race she was priced up for the Coronation Stakes at a ridiculous 4/1 by some firms, which was gleefully snapped up by eagle-eyed punters. The following prices of 5/2 and then 15/8 also proved too big and she has settled now at around the 11/8 mark. This still in my opinion underestimates her chances and if I were laying odds about this race she would be odds on to emulate past Classic winners who have gone on to win this race such as Winter and Alpha Centauri. The visual impression she gave at the Curragh was stunning and the numbers back up what was visible to the naked eye. She is one of the strongest fancies of the week and at current prices is the best bet.

2022 Coronation Stakes
Homeless Songs silk

Homeless Songs

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Blow-out - Golden Pal @ 15/8 in the Kings Stand Stakes

On his sole visit to Royal Ascot so far in his career, GOLDEN PAL was backed like defeat was out of the question but was just touched off by The Lir Jet in the 2020 Norfolk Stakes. The Wesley Ward trained speedster headed back stateside after this and racked up three consecutive impressive wins, before another raid on Britain saw him line up in the Nunthorpe of 2021. This time sent off second favourite at 5/2, he bolted out in custom Ward style but despite the race being run on his preferred good to firm surface, could not maintain his lead and eventually weakened badly to finish in midfield and seventh.

Three more American runs have followed his second overseas adventures and three more wins were secured. Undoubtedly, this is a horse of serious speed and talent. Nevertheless, he is very short in the market for one with two runs and no wins when travelling compared to six wins from seven starts back home. Additionally, the 2022 Kings Stand looks to boast a particularly stacked field should all the main protagonists take their chance. Of the raiding party I would prefer to be with Australia's Nature Strip, currently second in the market behind Ward's charge. He seemingly has more of a wow factor about him and is more versatile when it comes to the surface. With Nature Strip in the field and a host of home-team challengers, GOLDEN PAL is my lay of the week at this stage.

2022 Kings Stand Stakes
Golden Pal silk

Golden Pal

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Big Priced EW Pick - River Nymph @ 25/1 in The Royal Hunt Cup

Course form is crucial across both disciplines of racing and just like at Cheltenham, returning specialists are held dear to racing fans. Handicappers returning to Ascot for the Royal meeting on the level should be afforded the same adulation. The Victoria Cup is one of the most prestigious early season handicaps at Ascot and with this race being contested over seven furlongs it can prove informative for connections of runners who do not quite get the win on the day as to whether their charge should go up, down or indeed stick to the trip. If the runner is deemed to be crying out for a bit further but seemed to enjoy the test Ascot provided, a logical next step is The Royal Hunt Cup at the Royal meeting. 

One such horse who to my eye looked to fit this profile perfectly in this year's contest was RIVER NYMPH, who eventually finished third in the 2022 Victoria Cup. He actually won the race a year earlier in 2021, so the course is obviously to his liking and as he ages he seems to be relishing every inch of the trip. In this season's contest he was slightly hindered by his track position and had to use valuable energy to get into a more favourable place. Despite this, he was doing all his best work late and looks one who will relish another big field in this contest. At odds of 25/1 at the time of writing, and of course with the perils of the draw still to come, River Nymph is one worthy of an each-way play.

2022 Royal Hunt Cup
River Nymph silk

River Nymph (EW)

Royal Ascot Odds
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