Royal Ascot got under way on Tuesday with great races in prospect every day this week. Here is your guide to the fourth day of one of flat racing’s finest meetings.
Royal Ascot 2021 tips and best bets for today
2.30pm Albany Stakes
Rarely do you see a 2-year-old make a winning debut by 5 lengths or more at Newmarket, but that is exactly what CACHET did on her only racecourse start, in the process adding her name to a very exclusive list of horses to have previously done exactly that. In winning, Cachet clocked a smart time and, perhaps crucially, showed plenty of knee in her action, which bodes particularly well for what could be soft ground by race time; she can take the beating here. Hello You & Flotus created similarly deep impressions on debut, and are just two of many in with lively chances here.
3.05pm King Edward VII Stakes
ALENQUER has made giant strides up the ranks with every start and, on just his 4th career start, he can relish the step up to 1m4f and take plenty of beating on his first try in Group 2 company. He took the scalp of none other than this year’s Epsom Derby winner Adayar when the pair met on Alenquer’s only start this season in the Group 3 Sandown Classic Trial and, with the forecast rain unlikely to cause too much of a hindrance, he is the one they all have to beat. Title has shown Group-class potential in two starts this season and can give the selection the most to think about.
3.40pm Commonwealth Cup
Big field assembled for this year’s Commonwealth Cup, reflecting its open feel. METHOD was not without his supporters when making a pleasing seasonal reappearance in last month’s Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, hitting the front with a furlong to run before fading late to finish 5th against rivals who all had match fitness on their side. He can take a big step forward here and, having proven himself on soft ground, can outrun his likely big price. Suesa has looked a potential Group 1 filly in winning all four of her starts in France, and can make her trip across the Channel more than worthwhile by running a big race.
4.20pm Coronation Stakes
Alcohol Free: Winner of the Fred Darling Stakes, a race that has worked out particularly well. Ran with credit in the Guineas; rain is a potential concern but holds each-way claims all the same.
Empress Josephine: Winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas on heavy ground. Dam won this race in 2010; whether her Guineas form is good enough remains to be seen, however.
Fev Rover: Plenty went against her in the Irish 1000 Guineas and, whilst she is entitled to run much better here, soft ground remains a concern; perhaps best watched if the ground is soft.
Flirting Bridge: Possibly flattered by her proximity to the winner in the Group 3 Irish 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. Ground should suit but looks outclassed in this company.
Lullaby Moon: Racing 3 wide with no cover unlikely to have helped her in the French 1000 Guineas. Ground can suit, but questions over her stamina at a mile remain; others preferred.
Mother Earth: Consistent filly who followed up her victory in the 1000 Guineas by finishing runner-up in the French equivalent. Greatly respected in this company; must go close once again.
Novemba: German raider who romped home by 7 ½ lengths in the German 1000 Guineas last month. Well drawn in stall 1 to go forward, but this is a much tougher task altogether; place claims at best.
Oodnadatta: Useful filly, but her low action suggests that she might struggle with soft ground, especially on slow ground in the deepest field she has encountered so far; best watched.
Potapova: Wide-margin winner of both of her starts in novice company, looking every inch a Group performer in the process. Thrown right in the deep end here but could surprise.
Pretty Gorgeous: Group 1-winning 2-year-old who shaped like she would take a big step forward when 7th in the Irish 1000 Guineas on seasonal reappearance; can go very close.
Primo Bacio: Showed an electric turn of foot to win a Listed race at York. Soft ground could blunt her acceleration here and perhaps best watched, for all that she could be a Group 1 filly of the future.
Shale: Needed the run when 5th on seasonal reappearance back in April. Her absence since is a touch concerning and has work to do to figure, especially from her wide draw.
Snow Lantern: Raced too freely to give herself any chance last time out at York. The prospect of cover and a good gallop to chase can really help her today; big chance.
Verdict: SNOW LANTERN (NAP) has shaped like a potential Group 1 filly ever since she made a taking debut at this track last July and, having failed to settle last time out, today’s big field and likely stronger pace can give her every chance of settling enough to make an impact in the finish. She has an action that suggests soft ground should be no issue and we should see a much different filly today to the one we saw at York. Pretty Gorgeous can take a big step forward from the Irish 1000 Guineas and chase her home, with the booking of Frankie Dettori more than catching the eye.
5.00pm Sandringham Stakes
Irish raider CREATE BELIEF clocked a smart time when winning a mile handicap at the Curragh on soft ground last month, and a 10lb rise in the weights may not stop her rise through the ranks. Her sole blip came when not staying the distance on her only try at 1m2f, but in three starts at a mile she has quickly built a very solid record indeed. With the ground sure to suit her well, she can go very close. Glesga Gal impressed on her only start of the season at Wolverhampton; she has a sharp turn of foot that can stand her in excellent stead here; she too can go close.
5.35pm Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
It was hard not to be impressed by the manner in which QUICKTHORN romped away with a 1m4f handicap at Haydock last month, powering away from his rivals to score by 8 ½ lengths and, perhaps crucially in this context, showing a pronounced knee action in the process. Trainer Hughie Morrison is not overly frivolous with his Royal Ascot entries, and thus anything he brings into this meeting invariably demands a great deal of respect. From a potentially favourable double-figure draw, Quickthorn can prove the one they all have to beat. Tritonic ran an excellent race to finish 2nd at this meeting last year, and can go very close once again.
6.10pm Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes
MO CELITA has been making hay on soft ground through the first half of this season, winning 5 consecutive races in a little over 2 months, and once again the rain looks to have come for her on her biggest stage yet. Given the likely ground conditions, the drop back to 5 furlongs should not inconvenience her too much and, with Oisin Murphy assuming riding duties, she looks set to run another big race, with further improvement impossible to rule out. David Loughnane enjoyed an outstanding 1-2 in Wednesday’s Kensington Palace Stakes and sends forward the consistent Caroline Dale for her seasonal debut; she can reward each-way support.
2.30 Eve Lodge
5.00 Glesca Girl
6.10 Dream Composer NAP