IT'S hard to believe, but we are already on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot 2020 and as with most good things in life it seems to have come and gone so quickly.
That said, don’t forget in many ways the best is still to hit us, as Friday’s card is exceptional.
For now, though, let’s enjoy this afternoon and try and find a winner or two.
Friday kicks off with the Holyrood House Handicap over 5f. Hard to get away from ART POWER, who looked an absolute monster first time out this season for Tim Easterby and Silvestre de Sousa.
A promising youngster with a victory at York, Art Power hacked up at Newcastle and could be very special.
Next up is the Group 3 Albany Stakes for youngsters over 6f. As with all the juvenile races this week plenty of guesswork, but I’ll have a few quid each-way on SETARHE.
Trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Andrea Atzeni, my selection was fancied and scored at Newmarket on her debut and looks sure to go on to better things for a stable who landed this event in 2014 and 2019.
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The third race on the card is another for juveniles in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes over 5f. I’m not opposing EYE OF HEAVEN here who really took the eye when winning at Newmarket on debut.
That was on good to firm ground, but hopefully he will cope with conditions and he’s a big colt with scope.
There’s another Group 2 next with the Hardwicke Stakes over nearly 1m4f and the return of a Derby hero in ANTHONY VAN DYCK.
I backed him in the Derby and I will do so again in this after a very promising return to action at Newmarket.
That was in the Coronation Cup when he stayed on strongly, and while he might not be the best of Derby winners he’s certainly not the worst for O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
It’s Group 1 company next, and the Commonwealth Cup for sprinting three-year-olds over 6f.
GOLDEN HORDE is held in the highest regard by Clive Cox and might be able to improve enough this term to run huge here. His second in the Middle Park was a fine effort and I was lucky enough to see him at his stables last week and he looks tremendous for Adam Kirby.
Stamina is key in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase over an extended mile and three-quarters.
Born With Pride was taken out earlier in the week to run in this and if the stamina holds out she is fascinating.
I’ll back SANTIAGO each-way at about 4-1, who is by Derby winner Authorized and should relish stepping up massively in trip. He landed a little race at Listowel in battling fashion in September of last year but will prove much better than that in time.
And finally another handicap with the Duke of Edinburgh over nearly a mile and a half. DURSTON could be interesting off the pace here for Dave Simcock.
He probably needs to improve again to land this type of event, but he’ll be held up off the pace by the hugely inform Jim Crowley and can come thundering home. Back him each-way in case he gets unlucky in running.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas!
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