Royal Ascot Day 4 Picks & Analysis for June 18

Friday arrives at Royal Ascot ... our American turf-man has you covered on what is one of his favorite days of the year. See why, below ...
Friday arrives at Royal Ascot ... our American turf-man has you covered on what is one of his favorite days of the year. See why, below ...
  • Royal Ascot - Day 4 Selections

Royal Ascot - Day 4 Selections

  • Race 1: 11-6-2-9
  • Race 2: 1-8-5-2
  • Race 3: 21-13-2-20
  • Race 4: 7-8-2-10
  • Race 5: 15-14-1-19
  • Race 6: 2-9-15-13
  • Race 7: 18-8-15-7
  • Best Play: Suesa, Commonwealth Cup
  • Best Value: Novemba (GER), Coronation Stakes
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ROYAL ASCOT DAY 4: Friday 18 June

Over 5 days of racing at Ascot, on full display will be the very best that turf racing on the flat has to offer.

As Her Majesty the Queen presides over what is known as the Royal Meeting, we at HorseRacing.net/us have you covered when it comes to signature “tips.”

Below, you will find select analysis of some of the biggest contests to be determined during this highly-specialized event. Be sure to check the weather reports as the week progresses, as it will have a major impact on the “footing.”

Horse Racing Picks

Race 1: Albany Stakes (G3), 6F, 2F

The opportunities to wager on sprints are narrowing as Royal Ascot enters its second-to-last day. This race, the Albany, is a highlight for young fillies who are looking to race across the international stage. Which one of these will become the next superstar? Here are some clues …

I am fairly certain that Flotus #6(5), Hello You #9(6), and Prettiest #12(11) will all garner the monied interest of punters as they jockey for position on the tote(s). They are from strong outfits, but if you put their names in a bag, shook them up, and poured them out, it wouldn’t make much of a difference who came out first. Instead of accepting a shorter price, I want to look a little further down, and back runners like Cachet #2(8), Oscula #11(12), and Sows #14(1). They are all up to snuff, so to speak, and should be over 10/1 come post time.

The first pair (#2/#11) are both trained by George Boughey. The 2nd filly has the most experience, with 3 tries under her belt already. She won the EBF Stakes over good ground at Epsom last out, and her speed is an impressive weapon. If she can harness that again at R.A., then she could win the Albany with Mark Crehan as pilot. Nicola Currie is the bosun for the other Boughey entry, and she was aboard at Newmarket, winning convincingly on debut. Look out for these freshmen burners …

The other speedy that I want to include (she will be my top choice) is Richard Hannon’s entry. The #14 is out of Kodiac, and her price has drifted in the Euro markets to nearly 20/1. That is excellent. Though her debut was at Nottingham, do not underestimate her ability. Trainer Richard Hannon has something up his sleeve at this very short meeting, and I want to be in on it when it happens. There is a history here ... Hannon's runners can pay major dividends.

Wagering Opportunity: $2 Exacta Wheel, 2/11/14 w 6/9/12

 

Race 2: King Edward VII (G2), 1 Mile, 3F211yds, 3

With some weather conditions rapidly deteriorating as the week points towards Saturday, we need to keep our eye on the sky and the rain gauge. Most of these runners like the “give,” but the turf is going to set up much differently for sure. The King Edward can be an excellent test for 3-yr-old colts and geldings. Form follows function in this one …

A field 8 finds us, and I am intrigued by Charlie Appleby’s entry, Yibir #8(6). This conditioner’s fame continues apace, after he became the captain of the Godolphin training ship. This fellow can ship, and he sends able-bodied members of his stable from sea to sea. Daughters and sons of Dubawi can settle early, and rate wonderfully on the grass.

Since I am on a roll spurning the top favorites in here like William Haggas’ Alenquer #2(3) and Aidan O’Brien’s The Mediterranean #6(7), a price play like Tasman Bay (FR) #5(8) seems appropriate. I like this colt’s sneaky back class because he ran against the likes of Hurricane Lane and John Leeper. That experience counts. As he tries a longer distance, extending out, that should not be an issue. Sir Mark Todd has him going in the proper direction, and the price will make for an overlay to be sure.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to think long and hard about Mark Johnston’s Gear Up #1(1). He is plenty classy, although some might think that he took a step back last time at Epsom. Recall, that was a very difficult Group 1 race, won by Adayar. The best news coming into Royal Ascot for this runner is that he is getting James Doyle back aboard. Last October, the seasoned jock won a nice G1 at Saint-Cloud (FR). If the pair can get back to that kind of effort, he could couple that nicely with his recent experience. Handling a soft course is in the cards too. 

Many options in here … should make for an exciting renewal of this classic contest.

Wagering Opportunity: $2 Trifecta Box, 1/2/5/6/8

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Race 3: Commonwealth Cup (G1), 6F, 3

Pound-for-pound, my favorite pair of consecutive set of races at “Royal A” are the Commonwealth Cup and the Coronation Stakes. Both are Group 1s and they have some of the best 3-yr-old talent sprinting and routing on this celebrated turf. The 6F “Cup” is a speed duel that can give and taketh away. Go too early, and you might not have enough gas left towards the end; wait too long, and you might not be able to catch those that are bold enough to strike the front.

North American bettors will be out in force on Friday when they see that Wesley Ward’s Campanelle #13(14) is entered. At this point, the 3-yr-old could be his best chance to score @R.A. Some misses earlier in the week have left him without much dry powder. He can make amends in this one. Last year in the Queen Mary (G2), Frankie Dettori made a strong charge, as he tends to do. The super jockey from Italy is back, after he tried to catch Aunt Pearl in last year’s Juvenile Turf (G1). Ward is lucky to have him. Despite this tag team, I am not feeling it … I’m against. With no recency, it is hard to know how he will react on debut. Even with Ward’s capable instruction, this is a big ask. He is not even 2/1 … that speaks volumes.

As an antidote to Ward’s power, I like a challenger from across the Channel by the name of Suesa #21(8). This is a filly from the Rohaut Barn who is a 4/4 dating back to last October. George Strawbridge’s runner has a lovely gait, breakaway speed, and will be underestimated like many entries are that hail from the Continent. Yes, running only at Chantilly appears to be an impediment, but I am optimistic. Coming to Ascot could be the proverbial “gamechanger,” as William Buick takes the mount. He is an aggressive rider, and can push the envelope when the time is right. Clearly, as this week has progressed, her odds have steadily moved from 8/1 towards 4/1. Strong backing can be a good a sign, and reading the tea leaves tells me this is a bet.   

Wagering Opportunity: $25/$50 WP, #21

 

Race 4: Coronation Stakes (G1), 7F213yds, 3

The vantage point is becoming more and more familiar … the senior O’Brien vs. the junior … Once again, Aidan will be pitted against Joseph in this spot, the Coronation Stakes. The older, more experienced conditioner sends Mother Earth #6(8) into this contest, and she is the reigning 1,000 Guineas Champ. Following up that superb performance, she was 2nd at Longchamp in the French version—Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1). Now, rolling into Ascot O’Brien has her primed. She is going to end up being a classic underlay … don’t bite. Remember Hermosa, a short-priced accomplished filly from 2019? She missed in this race … ominous.

As for J. O'Brien’s entry Pretty Gorgeous #10(5) (who happens to be owned by John Oxley), this filly has some major game that dates back to last year. She wasn’t very bristly in her 2021 bow, so that may turn some off. Recall, that was the Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1) and Dad O’Brien’s Empress Josephine #2(4), a rival once again, was the young queen that day. My sense is that “Pretty” needed a freshening, and O’Brien already has an innate sense when it comes to spotting. Personally, I am hoping for a price, and I just may get one. Do not write this one off.

Speaking of those named for Napoleon’s significant other (she gave him fits, btw), this “Josephine” stunned the crowds of punters enroute to that signature win at The Curragh. To make that jump took talent, and it was not an anomaly. Now, with Seamie Heffernan turning the knobs once again, she is going to try and best her stablemate. This one is going to be interesting to watch, but I am not sure putting her on top is the answer.

Speaking of other “shots” in here, I have a pair of them that I am going to use. Mrs. Jessica Harrington has always trained on the flat and the jumps, but she stepped up her Royal Ascot presence a few years ago. Her barn is excellent, and she has Shane Foley in her corner when it comes to the saddle. In this spot, she has what is probably the longest shot on the board in Oodnadatta #8(3), which as I learned last year before the Breeders’ Cup when I interviewed her, is a horse named after the central town in all of Australia. This filly was overmatched in Lexington at Keeneland back in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). No one was going to beat Aunt Pearl that day. Now, she is back for her 2021 start, and I like her chances to cause some chaos. At 50/1 her price is amazing, and she is bred well. Her conditioner can use this opportunity to her advantage.

Let’s couple Mrs. Harrington’s runner with the German bred who is flying into Ascot; the Schiergen Barn’s own, Novemba #7(1). The 1,000 Guineas winner in Dusseldorf (GER) was the site where she just powered through for a 7+ length win. That was impressive, even if you do not think that the field was that special. Little respect will be given this daughter of Gleneagles, and I want to capitalize on that fact. Dare I say it … I am putting her at the head of my list. The young David Egan, who conquered Saudi and Dubai on those racetracks gets the call. What a budding superstar, as the next great turf “settler.” Let’s go … it is time for the Coronation Stakes!

Wagering Opportunity: $2 Superfecta Box, 2/6/7/8/10

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Enjoy the very best that the 5-day event at Royal Ascot has to offer! Best of Luck!

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