ROYAL ASCOT 2020: Today's tips as Pinatubo and sprint star Sceptical set to enhance reputations

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James Doyle riding Pinatubo to victory in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot last year. He will look for another win in the Group One St James's Palace Stakes.
James Doyle riding Pinatubo to victory in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot last year. He will look for another win in the Group One St James's Palace Stakes.

Charlie Appleby could be afforded a sleepless night as his prized asset bids to put some sparkle back on their resume at Royal Ascot, writes James Toney

Last season PINATUBO carried all before him as he was crowned champion juvenile with four stunning victories, including a searing win in the Chesham Stakes at the royal meeting.

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However, a disappointing third on his Classic bid at the Qipco 2000 Guineas means reputations must be redeemed in a fascinating St James's Palace Stakes (3.00pm).

Aidan O'Brien's Wichita, who finished a career best second in that race, is a big threat and John Gosden's unbeaten Palace Pier another danger in a red-hot renewal over one mile.

But Appleby is confident his charge will improve on their seasonal debut and show the type of form that had fans ticking off the days this winter to see him back on the track.

The booking of Frankie Dettori makes SCEPTICAL even more appealing as Ireland's top sprinter looks set to cement his status in a wide-open Diamond Jubilee Stakes (3.35pm), though One Master will be a big danger if the ground remains soft.

And in the first of three high-quality Group Ones, Jessica Harrington's ALPINE STAR - a half-sister to former winner Alpha Centauri - could trigger a memorable day for the popular Italian jockey.

Roger Charlton's Quadrilateral, who ran third when well-supported in the 1000 Guineas, was the star two-year old filly last season.

But Alpine Star has already claimed the scalp of Santiago, a horse now being talked up for the Derby following his win in Friday's Queen's Vase.

Admiral Nelson looks a proper speed machine for O'Brien, who has picked up one winner each day of the meeting with almost relentless efficiency.

A confident winner of their first race at the Curragh last week, the Ballydoyle handler immediately targeted this, which he has won nine times in his career.

However, Mark Johnston's QAADER - with red-hot jockey Jim Crowley as pilot - looks the pick in the Coventry Stakes (1.50pm) after searing to victory on their debut at Newbury.

The SWINDLER appeared promising last season and was twice a winner at Ascot, which makes him the marginal choice in a tough to call Silver Wokingham Handicap (12.40pm).

Harrington's record with two-year old fillies looks set to be further franked by DICKIEDOODA in the Queen Mary Stakes (1.15pm). She was electric on debut last week and could give rising star jockey Tom Marquand his first Royal Ascot winner, 24 hours after girlfriend Hollie Doyle banked hers.

Clive Cox's talent with sprinters was underlined with a Commonwealth Cup victory for Golden Horde on Friday and another speedster could have slipped under the radar in the Wokingham Stakes (4.10pm).

And all the trends seem to point to his charge LETHAL LUNCH, who looks a big price for a race known to throw up a shock.

And finally THE GRAND VISIR, a winner off top weight of the Ascot Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago, could oblige again in the Queen Alexandra Stakes (4.40pm), the 36th and final race of the meeting.

Today’s Royal Ascot selections: 12.40 Swinder, 1.15 Dickiedooda, 1.50 Qaader, 2.25 Alpine Star, 3.00 Pinatubo, 3.35 Sceptical, 4.10 Lethal Lunch, 4.40 The Grand Visir

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