Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Royal Ascot - Day 2 Preview

Royal Ascot - Day 2 Preview


Neil Morrice provides us with a race-by-race preview for the second day of Royal Ascot 2020.



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Race 1 SILVER ROYAL HUNT CUP (Handicap)
No4: BRIAN EPSTEIN
Trainer: Richard Hannon - Jockey: Pat Dobbs


Richard Hannon must have a good chance of taking out this consolation race for those that didn’t get into the Royal Hunt Cup in fielding both race favourite OUZO and BRIAN EPSTEIN. Preference is for the latter, who failed to make the cut for the Buckingham Palace Handicap on Tuesday. The four-year-old came back from training issues to run a cracker behind Cap Francais at Haydock last week, going down by a length and a quarter as the pair pulled well clear of the rest. While fit enough to do himself justice, that race is thought to have brought Brian Epstein to concert pitch, and Pat Dobbs’s sympathetic handling of the gelding can now be rewarded on the biggest stage.

Ouzo was a progressive horse at three and came within an ace of putting another on the board when grabbed right on the line on seasonal reappearance at Newmarket. He’s been very popular in ante-post exchanges for this race and has to be taken seriously. PRESIDENTIAL made a winning return for Roger Fell at Doncaster to indicate he’s going to be at least as good this year as he was in 2019. He should enjoy the way this race is run, while MAYDANNY is another northern raider with an obvious chance, having returned with a smooth triumph at Yarmouth on what was only his third career start. He’s been raised a chunky 10lbs, but Mark Johnston’s horses are running well in every section of the racing spectrum.

Prediction: 
1st BRIAN EPSTEIN
2nd Ouzo
3rd Presidential
4th Maydanny

Race 2 HAMPTON COURT STAKES (Group 3)
No3: FIRST RECEIVER (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute - Jockey: Frankie Dettori


This should result in a ‘hat’s off’ victory for FIRST RECEIVER, owned by Her Majesty The Queen. While those hats won’t be launched skyward from the track itself, there will be plenty aficionados at rooftop and garden parties throughout the nation that don the traditional garb, and I expect many toppers to fly!

The son of New Approach had delighted his connections before making an impressive winning return over an inadequate mile at Kempton and has continued to wow his trainer in his work at home. And while Ryan Moore is unable to maintain his partnership with the colt, Stoute has reached for the dazzling alternative that is Dettori. The combo should quickly get a handle on proceedings, and I don’t expect them to come back.

JUAN ELCANO is vying for favouritism with my selection and will bid to give a first endorsement to the 2,000 Guineas, in which he finished fifth to Kameko. BERLIN TANGO looked impressive enough in landing the Classic Trial on Kempton’s Polytrack, but it needs reflecting that a couple underperformed in that race. Derrinstown Stakes runner-up RUSSIAN EMPEROR will almost certainly come on for that effort, and is another to consider.

Prediction: 
1st FIRST RECEIVER
2nd Berlin Tango
3rd Juan Elcano
4th Russian Emperor

Hollywoodbets Back on Track Punters' Challenge

Race 3 KING GEORGE V STAKES (Handicap)
No13: KIPPS
Trainer: Hughie Morrison - Jockey: David Probert


Morrison usually brings a horse to the meeting that’s been specially prepared for one of the handicaps. Enter KIPPS. On only a fourth career start there is so much to like about the grey son of War Command. He shaped in eye taking fashion when second on his reappearance at Haydock and has taken the tried and tested route of others from his yard that have either won or been placed in such races.

He is racing off the same mark, and taking stock of the fact there should be abundant improvement to come, there’s little wonder he’s been so popular in the ante-post market and is contesting outright favouritism.

CONVICT is a son of Australia, whose progeny usually benefit from a trip. He won two of his last three in 2019 and trainer William Haggas will be keen to put one on the board for his father Brian, the proud owner of the chestnut. With Sir Mark Prescott’s horses in winning ways, it’s not inconceivable that BODYLINE could step up to the plate and earn at a bigger price, while WIN O’CLOCK was a stylish scorer at Haydock, and possibly good value for the 4lb penalty picked up for his troubles. TO NATHANIEL tries for what would be a magnificent hat-trick, but is also penalised.

Prediction: 
1st KIPPS
2nd Convict
3rd Bodyline
4th Win O’Clock
5th To Nathaniel

Race 4 PRINCE OF WALES’S STAKES (Group 1)
No3: BARNEY ROY
Trainer: Charlie Appleby - Jockey: William Buick


The blue riband of the week is all about quality and while Aidan O’Brien’s JAPAN is many people’s idea of a second-day banker, I think BARNEY ROY has a great chance to spoil the party for Godolphin.

Sheikh Mohammed’s operation has a very good record in the contest, and although blowing a gasket in last year’s Queen Anne, Barney Roy has looked right back to his best in 2020, scoring back-to-back successes impressively at the Meydan Carnival. Against that Japan was in upwardly mobile form after being touched off in a blanket finish to the Investec Derby. He impressed in the King Edward VII Stakes here before staging a career-best to follow-up in the Juddmonte at York.

There’s no denying the natural talent of Roger Charlton’s HEADMAN who like ADDEYBB is going to relish any downpours. He showed his affinity for the soft with dual Group 2 successes in France last season. Equally, Addeybb benefitted from William Haggas’s foresight to make hay in Australia in the early spring where the easy conditions played fully to his strengths as he plundered two Garde 1s, the Queen Elizabeth and the Ranvet. He’d shown his class by giving Magical something to think about in the Champion Stakes here before plundering £900,000 in prize money in Oz.

Prediction:
1st BARNEY ROY
2nd Japan
3rd Addeybb
4th Headman

Jockeys Ride Horses

Race 5 ROYAL HUNT CUP (Heritage Handicap)
No14: BELL ROCK
Trainer: Andrew Balding - Jockey: Oisin Murphy


The combination that took out the 2,000 Guineas with Kameko can strike in this betting extravaganza with BELL ROCK. The give away with this horse is that Balding ran him in a Group 1 on just his third career start, and although losing his way afterwards, there were mitigating circumstances that have been eradicated via a gelding operation. That was clearly evident when he pipped Ouzo on his Newmarket return, teeing himself up beautifully for a race where if there’s a ‘blot’, he’s almost certainly it.

ALRAJAA looked a Group horse in the making when completing a four-timer on his final start last year but John Gosden’s charge has felt the full force of the assessor and has to give away weight all round. KYNREN has shown a liking for these situations and is going to go forward from his run behind Space Blues at Haydock.

He looks a tasty outsider, as does WILLIE JOHN, who changed hands for a king’s ransom and needs to raise his game now dropped back in trip. In the same colours as Alrajaa, MONTATHAM could also prove a shrewd inclusion in your exotics following his win at Newmarket.

Prediction: 
1st BELL ROCK 
2nd Alrajaa
3rd Kynren
4th Willie John 
5th Montatham

Race 6 WINDSOR CASTLE STAKES (Listed)
No14: TACTICAL
Trainer: Andrew Balding - Jockey: James Doyle


Although Wesley Ward has a massive soft spot for the race that heralded his first Royal Ascot winner, the American might have his plans to again take this out with SUNSHINE CITY or SHERIFF BIANCO shattered by the equally promising TACTICAL.

The latter did little wrong in the Newmarket contest won by Norfolk-bound Eye Of Heaven, and that eye taking third can be greatly stepped up on by this taking son of Toronado. Frankie Dettori’s booking for Sunshine City suggests that Gulfstream winner is the Ward stable pick, but Sheriff Bianco is certainly no slouch either, and could step up considerably for the application of first-time blinkers with Oisin Murphy in the hot seat.

Coolmore’s CHIEF LITTLE HAWK dominated his Navan introduction when advertising the status of his rookie sire Air Force Blue. There’s little doubt Ryan Moore’s mount will attract a good chunk of the betting handle in this very competitive affair.

Prediction:
1st TACTICAL
2nd Sunshine City
3rd Sherrif Bianco
4th Chief Little Hawk

Race 7 COPPER HORSE HANDICAP
No10: FUJAIRA PRINCE
Trainer: Roger Varian - Jockey: Andrea Atzeni


Thunderstorms that threaten to hit the track throughout the week are good news to connections of FUJAIRA PRINCE. Although having to negotiate a horrible draw, Andrea Atzeni’s mount has that advantage of being at his best fresh, and in the mile and threequarters contest the jockey should have time to overcome it.

The selection is well handicapped with COLLIDE, who picked up a 5lb penalty when scoring at Chelmsford and meets Fujaira Prince on 7lbs worse terms than when finishing two places behind him in last season’s Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes. Mark Johnston’s THEMAXWECAN beat only one home when returning at Haydock but that three and a quarter length defeat is better than it looked, and should spark a bundle of improvement.

DEAL A DOLLAR has been getting better race by race for David Simcock. However, the blinkered son of Frankel has never run on turf for his trainer, while both successes for his previous handler were on sand. SELINO is also worth consideration from the base of the handicap. James Fanshawe’s charge is remarkably consistent and is chasing what would be a fine hat-trick, were he to oblige.

Prediction:
1st FUJAIRA PRINCE
2nd Themaxwecan
3rd Deal A Dollar
4th Collide
5th Selino

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