Racing tips for Royal Ascot Friday: Tipple makes each-way appeal

Friday's feature is the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup over six furlongs.
Friday's feature is the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup over six furlongs.

Nick Seddon runs through the card on the Day Four of Royal Ascot, which is headlined by the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup...

13:15 - Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap 

Friday's opener is another of the new races on this year's schedule, and the 22-runner field is befitting of the rather long-winded title. This big field handicap for three-year-olds over five furlongs is likely to be a frenetic affair, though it's very difficult to look past the well-supported Art Power.

He's looked a smart sprinter in the making in his three starts so far, and picked up where he left off last autumn when sealing a second career success on return at Newcastle at the beginning of the month, scooting clear of a useful-looking field. He's been handed an opening mark of 97 on the back of that, which looks more than fair, and he's fancied to take this on his way to pattern company later in the summer. 

Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap
Art Power silk

Art Power


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13:50 - Albany Stakes 

Another tricky two-year-old puzzle to solve, and it's interesting to see Flying Aletha prominent in the market for the Wes Ward team. Her yard has an excellent record at Royal Ascot, and while she showed plenty of speed to make a winning debut at Gulfstream last month, the continuing rain is a concern, plus her two stablemates far from dazzled on Wednesday. Each of Golden MelodySetarhe and Dandalla all made winning starts earlier this month and are respected, though it could be worth siding with Willabell.

She was just touched off by the William Haggas-trained Kadupul on debut at Yarmouth last time, though she showed plenty of ability that day and looked unlucky to bump into a similarly useful type, with the pair pulling a long way clear of the remainder of the field. She's the first foal out of a particularly well-related dam, and it seems likely that there will be more to come from her second time up for her top connections. Of course, that comment also applies to the Aidan O'Brien trained Mother Earth, who shaped well on debut at Navan last time, though she's shorter in the market and Willabell makes the most appeal at the prices. 

Albany Stakes
Willabell silk



14:25 - Norfolk Stakes 

This is likely to prove just as difficult to solve as the Albany, and a whole host of nice types are lurking in this 14-runner field. However, it's hard to ignore the fact that Qatar Racing swooped to purchase The Lir Jet on the back of his deeply impressive debut success at Yarmouth earlier this month. It was difficult not to be taken with how he was able to pull away from the field that day, and bearing in mind that his sire Prince Of Lir won this back in 2016, there looks to be plenty of value in the 6/1 that's available at the time of writing for him to find the necessary improvement to follow up.

Norfolk Stakes
The Lir Jet silk

The Lir Jet


15:00 - Hardwicke Stakes 

It's difficult to look past last year's Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, who already has Group 1-winning form under his belt. Admittedly, his Derby wasn't the strongest renewal we'll ever see, and he hasn't won since, but he's still capable of very smart form on his day.

Indeed, Anthony Van Dyck took a firm step back in the right direction when producing a fine effort to finish second in the Coronation Cup behind Ghaiyyath earlier this month, looking more than capable of winning a valuable prize or two over middle distances this summer. The form of that run is easily the strongest on offer, and bearing in mind he won't face a rival as strong as Ghaiyyath here, a reproduction of that effort should be enough for him to take this - and he's a strong fancy to regain the winning thread.

Hardwicke Stakes
Anthony Van Dyck silk

Anthony Van Dyck

Royal Ascot Tips

15:35 - Commonwealth Cup 

This race regularly proves to be one of the hottest of the meeting, and was a fine addition to the line-up back in 2015. There are plenty of interesting types in here, including the Wes Ward runner Kimari and the unbeaten Pierre Lapin, though it feels far too soon to be completely writing off Mums Tipple - who looks overpriced at 16/1. A few of his followers may well have already lost faith in him after two below-par runs either side of the winter, though there were conceivable excuses for both of those outings, and he simply didn't stay a mile when ridden under restraint in the 2000 Guineas last time out.

However, he's capable of showing devastating speed at his brilliant best, and the form of his effort to win a valuable sales race at York last summer is right up there with the very best on offer in this field. Granted, he arrives here with an element of having something to prove now, but it feels too soon to be writing him off on the back of a kick in the stalls from Siskin in the Middle Park and a run over a trip which stretches him, and while the ground may not be ideal if the rain persists, he certainly has the speed to get involved. Indeed, the 16/1 on offer just feels too big, and he looks a good each-way bet at the prices. 

Coronation Cup
Mums Tipple silk

Mums Tipple (EW)


16:10 - Queen's Vase 

This race is seen as a potential pointer for the St Leger at Doncaster, so it is fascinating to see the filly Born With Pride take her chance in this rather than in Tuesday's Ribblesdale Stakes over a mile and a half. She looked a two-year-old to follow when completing the rather unique feat of winning a listed race on debut in testing conditions at Newmarket last November, and that form has worked out really well since, with the runner-up going on to win the Irish 1000 Guineas. 

Admittedly, she was disappointing on reappearance in the Classic Trial over a mile and a quarter at Kempton earlier this month, but a line can be drawn through that bearing in mind that she shaped as if she needed the run that day. The track at Ascot will be much more to her liking compared to the tight turns at Kempton - with any rain between now and post time welcome - and bearing in mind that she appeals as the type to improve the further she goes, she gets the vote to take this.  

Queen's Vase
Born With Pride silk

Born With Pride


16:40 - Duke of Edinburgh Stakes 

We finish Day Four with another painstakingly tricky heat, a 19-runner handicap over a mile and a half. There are a few upwardly-mobile types lurking, though playing Medal Winner each-way could prove to be the sensible option for the Archie Watson team.

Watson is best known for his exploits with his juveniles, though this lightly-raced four-year-old has been a model of steady improvement in his four starts to date, and he looked a good way ahead of his opening mark when winning on handicap debut at Newcastle at the beginning of the month. This big field scenario should suit his hold-up style, and with this extra two furlongs likely to bring out extra improvement, he's fancied to take another step forward and hit the frame at the very least. 

Duke of Edinburgh Stakes
Medal Winner silk

Medal Winner (EW)

Royal Ascot Day Four Odds

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