Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Royal Ascot - Day 4 Preview

Royal Ascot - Day 4 Preview

Royal Ascot - Day 3 Preview

Neil Morrice provides us with an in-depth preview for day four of Royal Ascot which features the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup.



Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Race 1: PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE HANDICAP
No7: ART POWER
Trainer: Tim Easterby - Jockey: Silvestre de Sousa


If ART POWER is what he looked when scorching home on seasonal reappearance at Newcastle then he must have a great chance of converting and giving his owners a first winner at the meeting in this addition to the traditional Friday card. Easterby has sent out the Dark Angel colt to land the last two of his three starts, including a novice in soft ground at York last autumn. That is important, as conditions could be quite testing by the start of the Day 4 proceedings.

There’s a huge field that is just two under the biggest of the week but it’s a race that I give a chance to only a few of. Lurking at the base of the handicap, DANCIN INTHESTREET is an eye taking runner for the William Haggas stable and should have finished closer than third on her handicap bow at Haydock. This filly should also go in the ground. Recent scorer NEVER DARK may also be well in but needs to show he handles soft turf after five earning runs on the all-weather. Another northern raider that is worth consideration is KEEP BUSY, stepping out soon after her second to the classy Lazuli in a Listed race at Sandown.

Prediction:
1st ART POWER
2nd Dancin Inthestreet
3rd Keep Busy
4th Never Dark

Race 2: ALBANY STAKES (Fillies’ Group 3)
No7: MAHALE
Trainer: Mick Channon - Jockey: Oisin Murphy


If there’s value in this cracking juvenile contest then the 25-1 about MAHALE is where you need to go. Channon has had a number of high-class fillies through his hands over the years, and while Mahale isn’t in the league of Queens Logic or Flashy Wings, she’s certainly gone forward a long way from her debut fourth at Newmarket judging from the standard of her work.

Aidan O’Brien’s MOTHER EARTH is also a potential improver that didn’t score on her debut, stepping in for More Beautiful who waits for tomorrow’s Queen Mary. There’s a persistent whisper for DANDALLA, who unless the goalposts suddenly change is in the right spot against the stands’ rail. Karl Burke’s Dandy Man filly impressed on debut at Newcastle 17 days ago, giving her time to get over those exertions.

GOLDEN MELODY also delivered first time up and is bred to enjoy cut in the ground, as she showed in that win for William Haggas at Haydock at the beginning of the month. But the one that deserves to start favourite based on her trainer’s record with juveniles here is FLYING ALETHA. She’s enjoyed a month’s break since opening her account on debut at Gulfstream and looks sure to be suited by the move up to six furlongs. If showing the same speed she will lead, and could be hard to peg back.

Prediction: 
1st MAHALE
2nd Dandalla
3rd Flying Aletha
4th Mother Earth
5th Golden Melody

Race 3 NORFOLK STAKES (Group 2)
No 4: EYE OF HEAVEN (NAP)
Trainer: Mark Johnston - Jockey: Frankie Dettori


EYE OF HEAVEN may not carry the Godolphin blue but the colt is essentially owned by part of Sheikh Mohammed’s operation, making it all the more interesting that Frankie Dettori takes the ride. The Exceed And Excel colt represents a Newmarket race that has worked out supremely well, threatening to make him a very warm order on this stiffer and more suitable track. His dominance at HQ was growing on the climb to the post, and following the Windsor Castle success of the third home Tactical here on Wednesday, it all points to the chestnut following-up for Mark Johnston.

Stall 1 could prove a stumbling block for THE LIR JET, who looked the part converting first time at Yarmouth and is bred to be fast. His rookie sire Prince Of Lir took this out four years ago, and many will bet him to make history repeat itself. LIPIZZANER has twice been turned over at Naas, but the fact that he’s Aidan O’Brien’s only runner will attract plenty towards him.

The one that could cause more of a problem to Eye Of Heaven is GOLDEN PAL, who like Lipizzaner is by US stallion Uncle Mo. He was beaten on his Gulfstream introduction but that was a month ago, and Wesley Ward has lauded praise on his charge in subsequent exchanges with the media. And with Dettori on the favourite, Andrea Atzeni comes in for a ride he possibly didn’t expect to get.

Prediction:
1st EYE OF HEAVEN (Nap)
2nd Golden Pal
3rd Lipizzaner
4th The Lir Jet

Jockeys Ride Horses

Race 4: HARDWICKE STAKES (Group 2)
No2: ANTHONY VAN DYCK
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien - Jockey: Ryan Moore


ANTHONY VAN DYCK looks to be in a good spot to post a first success since his dramatic Investec Derby triumph a year ago. His subsequent form contains some sterling efforts in defeat, and especially when coming back to chase home Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket. His efforts to place in the Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf in California were other highlights, and he landed the Lingfield Derby Trial in the soft.

ELARQAM is a no-nonsense foe that figures to cause the main pick problems for an owner/trainer/jockey combo that’s enjoying a memorable week. The son of Frankel and Attraction had his narrow defeat by Lord North at Haydock firmly endorsed when the winner bolted up in the Prince Of Wales here on Wednesday. He just needs to shown that a mile and a half is within his stamina limits. Anthony Van Dyck has the clear beating of DEFOE on the evidence of Newmarket although the grey is quite capable of raising his game to make a bold fist of trying to repeat his 2019 triumph in this contest.

One that could improve and challenge the more established fancies is HAMISH, who won in the soft at York last autumn and has the look of a likely improver as he gets older. The only filly in the field is FANNY LOGAN, who was possibly given plenty to do over 11 furlongs at Haydock 12 days ago and is a fascinating contender for the Gosden/Dettori combination. She has German breeding in her chart and will certainly act on the ground.

Prediction:
1st ANTHONY VAN DYCK
2nd Fanny Logan
3rd Elarqam
4th Defoe
5th HAMISH

Race 5: COMMONWEALTH CUP (Group 1)
No13: WOODED
Trainer: Francis Graffard - Jockey: James Doyle


French-trained horses are always worth a second look when there’s cut in the ground and that certainly applies to WOODED, who looked very good dropped back to this trip on his first start of the year at Chantilly. He landed that Group 3 by three and a half lengths which is a long way in a Pattern sprint and suggests he’s a proper Group 1 horse. Having never put in a bad one in five races in his homeland he’s going to bring plenty to the table for this first venture to Britain.

GOLDEN HORDE has very good form for Clive Cox, and on a line through Earthlight is going to be of interest wherever he goes this year. Roger Varian has an exciting candidate in PIERRE LAPIN, whose half-brother Harry Angel ran well in this. He defends a two-race unbeaten record and goes to post with glowing reports from the Newmarket gallops.

Aidan O’Brien’s LOPE Y FERNANDEZ reverts to sprinting after a solid enough run behind Siskin in the Irish 2,000 Guineas while US challenger KIMARI also needs respecting, having beaten all but Raffle Prize in last year’s Queen Mary and won three of her four other starts at home.

Prediction:
1st WOODED
2nd Pierre Lapin
3rd Lope Y Fernandez
4th Golden Horde
5th Kimari 

Hollywoodbets Back on Track Punters' Challenge

Race 6: QUEEN’S VASE (Group 2)
No2: BERKSHIRE ROCCO
Trainer: Andrew Balding - Jockey: Oisin Murphy


Although having no answer to the finishing salvo of English King in the Derby Trial at Lingfield, BERKSHIRE ROCCO rain a fine race in his own right and is going to delight in this step up to a mile and threequarters for a stable that’s already been almost the winners here. He looks rock solid, and can prove more than a match for SANTIAGO and AL DABARAN. Santiago represents Aidan O’Brien, and though winning just a Listowel maiden could have made any amount of improvement in the close season.

His stablemate NOBEL PRIZE is also a likely player for an outfit that’s won five of the last 10 renewals of this stamina test. Frankie Dettori takes the reins on this Sir Philip Oppenheimer-owned Naas maiden winner, who also needs to step up. Al Dabaran has shown good form in the soft in France for Godolphin, with two near misses there to back up a brace of successes in Britain, and could give the selection plenty to think about with the addition of first-time blinkers.

Prediction: 
1st BERKSHIRE ROCCO
2nd Al Dabaran
3rd Santiago
4th Nobel Prize

Race 7: DUKE OF EDINBURGH HANDICAP
No3: WEST END CHARMER
Trainer: Mark Johnston - Jockey: William Buick


WEST END CHARMER was a rare visitor to the racecourse with just three appearances in 2019, but he took his form to a new level when returning to make all for an impressive triumph at the Guineas meeting. His trainer has triumphed four times in this race, and if Buick is able to control the pace from the front as was the case at HQ there’s every chance this progressive individual will defy a penalty on the way to better things. I have him down as a horse to follow.

DURSTON brings very good form to the table, with his third in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes looking rock-solid, and David Simcock has a chance of bagging a belated first winner of the season with the Sea The Moon gelding. MEDAL WINNER has won his last two and gets weight from the entirety of the field but his form is at minor tracks, leaving him with a bit to find if the truth be known. I prefer at bigger odds the likes of DAL HORRISGLE, whose trainer hasn’t hit the form he’s capable of, and the filly HEREBY who is bred to revel in the easy conditions and has a good shot at getting in as a reserve with horses likely to drop out on the ‘unsuitable ground’ card.

Prediction: 
1st WEST END CHARMER
2nd Hereby
3rd Durston
4th Dal Horrisgle
5th Medal Winner

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