Live long and Prosper

Royal Ascot crowds in the grandstand overlooking the racecourse

Royal Ascot Day two selections Wednesday 21st June

After an absorbing start to the Royal meeting we have a varied card on day two to enjoy. One of the big betting races, the Hunt Cup is a highlight along with Group 1 action in the St James’ Palace. In all I have selections from four races once more. We got off to an ok start to the meeting with Vauban (advised 13/8) a winner and Law of the Sea (advised 9/1) and Weston (SP 28/1) both placed in the staying handicap for the each-way bets.

Ascot 3.05: Crystal Caprice

This does not look the strongest of races for the Royal meeting and can go to the classy CRYSTAL CAPRICE back in handicap company.

She is 2-2 in that sphere having won both here and at Glorious Goodwood last summer. She was then third in listed company over this mile trip at Newmarket and has has excuses since. She finished lame at Lingfield and then appeared not to truly stay 10f in two races this term.

I think a stiff mile is her preference and on recent evidence in this race a wide draw is not a handicap so stall 20 need not be a negative, especially with Ryan Moore likely to steer a reasonable path on the filly. I think she is still capable of making her mark even off a rating of 101.

Ascot 3.40: Jumbly

A really strong traveller usually I think this straight mile should suit JUMBLY ideally and she can build on a strong debut for Joseph O’Brien at the Curragh recently.

She chased home Paddy Twomey’s rejuvenated filly Just Beautiful on that occasion and ought to improve for the run too. Last year she won a Group 3 on fast ground at this track in midsummer, proving her stamina for a mile having been narrowly defeated in the Fred Darling at Newbury in the spring. Her high cruising speed should be a real asset in what could be a strongly run affair.

Ascot 4.20: My Prospero

A fascinating feature event can go to the way of MY PROSPERO.

This race is full of genuine Group 1 contenders, but none are really totally reliable. Former Derby winner Adayar goes well fresh, but is not guaranteed to back up a solid win at Newmarket recently. Bay Bridge has been a little underwhelming this term and might prefer softer ground. Luxembourg returned to form last time, but this is harder. My Prospero though is very consistent.

He ran as if a mile was too short in the Lockinge at Newbury but was not beaten far here in the Champion Stakes last autumn. I think the faster ground today will suit him more than some of his rivals. He was also a strong third in the St James Palace at this meeting last year, but 10f is surely his trip nowadays.

Ascot 5.00: Intellogent, Astro King, Perotto

I think the 2022 renewal of the Hunt Cup will be a strong pointer to this year’s version with the second and fourth home fancied.

INTELLOGENT was second and loves a strongly run mile, something he rarely gets the opportunity to compete in. He flew home in this last year, just failing to catch Dark Shift. He then followed that up with a strong third over 10f in the John Smith’s Cup at York.

Because of his rating he has largely had to race in group contests since. However he rarely gets a strong pace to chase in those types of races. He was back in handicap company at Newbury last month and I thought he shaped more than encouragingly when sixth in a slowly run race. The stronger pace today will play far more to his strengths.

ASTRO KING has twice been placed in this race, finishing fourth last year from a 3lb higher mark. The handicapper has given him a chance by dropping him to 99 and he has moved on to join the Kubler team this season.

I thought his first run for the yard when storming home into fourth at York was at least as good a run as when he was with Michael Stoute and this track, being stiffer in nature is always going to bring out the best in him. Fast ground is also a positive.

PEROTTO is another to have changed yards this season, moving from Marcus Tregoning to Roger Varian. He too shaped well for his new handler on return, keeping on nicely into seventh over an inadequate 7f here in the Victoria Cup.

His big moment came here in 2021 when winning the Britannia from a mark of 99 and inconsistent form last year has seen his mark plunge to 96. However the signs from his comeback suggest a change of scenery has brought about an improvement and I am prepared to back that to be maintained here from his favourable rating in a race that should set up well for him.

Recommended bets:

1pt each-way – Crystal Caprice – 3.05 Ascot – 10/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)

1pt win – Jumbly – 3.40 Ascot – 11/4 general

1pt each-way – My Prospero – 4.20 Ascot – 5/1 general

1pt each-way – Intellogent – 5.00 Ascot – 12/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 6)

1pt each-way – Astro King – 5.00 Ascot – 11/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 6)

0.5pts each-way – Perotto – 5.00 Ascot – 8/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 6)

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