Royal Ascot Tips Day 4 - Three Handicap Selections For Friday's Racing
Steve Chambers tackles the handicaps on day four of Royal Ascot, and has three tips for what is a stunning day's racing on Friday...
17:00 - Sandringham Stakes
The last two winners of the Sandingham Stakes have been priced at 33/1, so that just emphasises what an ultra-competitive betting heat it is, and the 2021 renewal on Friday is no different with the bookmakers going 12/1 the field, at the time of writing.
Aidan O'Brien's Friendly is one of those vying for position at the head of the market, and the top-weighted Ballydoyle contender has to be on most people's shortlist for this one mile cavalry charge at Royal Ascot. Glesga Gal, Belief and Create Belief all take their chance on the back of a win last time out, and they are another eye-catching triumvirate at the top of the market, but it's further down the list we look for a value alternative.
With five and six places freely available with bookmakers in the each-way market, then punters are gaining some favourable concessions, and one horse that could sneak into the top six is the Richard Hannon-trained TEODOLINA, who at 25/1 at the time of writing, marks excellent value.
Not out of the first four in her eight career starts, the daughter of Kodiac is a real model of consistency, and she showed when winning an Ascot handicap on her first start this season that she could be a handicapper to keep an eye during the 2021 campaign. A winner off 84 that day, Teodolina was next seen putting up a creditable effort when third at Haydock off 90 in heavy going. She remains on that same mark for the Sandringham, and has to come into calculations with a return to the Berkshire venue.
She is one that could enjoy the hustle and bustle of this event, and with her ability to act on a host of surfaces means any significant wet stuff that hits Ascot shouldn't bother her too much. Hannon, who trained Osaila to victory in this race in 2015, will be confident that Teodolina can continue to improve this season, and she is most definitely one of the more eye-catching runners in the line-up.
17:35 - Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
Nineteen go to post for the penultimate race on day four of Royal Ascot, and the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes is another devilishly difficult conundrum for punters to work out on Friday afternoon. However, it could be a race that sees a Group performer emerge in the shape of the Simon & Ed Crisford-trained AADDEEY, who is heading the betting at the moment.
As short as 5/1 with some firms, there are others dangling a real carrot of 13/2, and the hugely progressive four-year-old could still be comfortably ahead of the handicapper, and a win on Friday could see him catapult into Pattern company on his next start.
One win from three starts during his two-year-old campaign failed to show his qualities, but since taking to the track this season, the son of New Approach has gone from strength to strength. His second to Flyin' Solo at Newbury in April has been boosted with that charge coming out and winning again at York, but it was Aaddeey's next performance that really showed his potential quality.
Sent off an odds-on favourite for a Newmarket contest last month, Aaddeey readily won by over four lengths at Flat HQ, and it was a performance oozing class. Handed a significant 13lb rise for that victory, Crisford's charge will line up off a mark of 100 here, but the manner in which he cruised to success in that Newmarket event suggests that the 13lb rise won't be enough to halt his progression up the ladder.
Hughie Morrison's Quickthorn is another rapidly on the upgrade in handicap company, and he looks the biggest danger, but Aaddeey can have favourite backers rejoicing on Friday and he can claim an emphatic win.
18:10 - Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap
Sprinters will line up in the final race on day four of Royal Ascot, and the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap will only be having its second running of the 5f dash, but with Art Power going on to significantly bigger and better things after his win 12 months ago, then it could be a race that unearths emerging sprinters.
Mo Cellita has been in sensational form this season, as the Adrian Nicholls-trained filly has won five on the spin, and she is bidding for a spectacular six-timer on Friday, so she has to be considered, while the likes of the hat-trick-seeking Boomshalaa and Get It both take their chance looking to continue their winning ways.
But, the one last time out winner that is worth siding with is the Charles Hills-trained EQUALITY, who was a mightily-impressive winner of a Wolverhampton novice event over five furlongs in April, and there looked a multitude of improvement to come this season. Kicking clear off the bend at Wolverhampton under James Doyle, Equality showed a blistering turn of foot to put the race to bed, and it left connections dreaming of Royal Ascot glory.
He will need to show he can act on the turf having won on the Polytrack last time out, but now sent into handicapping off a mark of 88, the son of Equiano could show he's a sprinter to watch over the coming months by bounding clear in this finale on Friday.
Hovering around the 6/1 favourite mark, at the time of writing, Equality has certainly been found in the betting, but the manner in which he scorched to victory last time out suggested his mark of 88 is very workable, and he can duly show that by getting his head in front on day four of the Royal meeting.