Hugh picked out 33-1 winner The Grand Visir on the first day of Royal Ascot and has three bets online for Thursday's card - live on Sky Sports Racing.
Updated 9.15, 9.25 20/06 - all selections online.
KING ADEMAR and an each-way play on BARRISTAN THE BOLD are my two selections in the Britannia Handicap on day three of Royal Ascot (5.00).
King Ademar looks to have standout claims off 8-09 here given how his form has worked out this year. On his seasonal debut he finished second to King Of Change at Nottingham. That form has worked out very well in generally, but specifically in terms of the winner, who finished runner-up in the 2000 Guineas next time.
King Ademar was beaten again at Nottingham next time, but he faced a very stiff task trying to give 13lb to Ouzo, who won cosily off a 6lb higher mark next time. The pair pulled a long way clear of the remainder, including the fourth-placed Amadeus Grey, who won a handicap off the same mark next time.
The time was faster than that recorded by some very useful older horses in the 0-110 handicap that followed over the same course and distance, and King Ademar, who has cheek-pieces fitted for the first time, looks well handicapped off 93.
Barristan The Bold’s profile is a long way removed from that normally associated with a Britannia winner, as he seemed exposed as 2yo. However, he has shaped much better than the bare result on both starts this season, forced widest of all on each occasion, and I’m taking the view that he’s an improved performer this season.
Whether that will be good enough to see him in the shake-up of a race at hot as this remains to be seen, but he’s a big price and having sneaked in off bottom weight, I think he might outrun his odds.
The ground on the straight track will probably dry up quite quickly today given the forecast, but I’d expect the round course still to ride testing, and that might bring MAJESTIC DAWN into the equation in the King George V Handicap (5.35).
He showed much improved form upped to 1m3f on soft ground at Newbury in April, perhaps having the run of the race to a degree but impressing with how strong he was in the final 150 yards.
He was dropped in trip on much quicker ground in the valuable London Gold Cup next time, and although he wasn’t quick enough against some very smart 3yos under those circumstances, he still shaped reasonably well in sixth.
The ground and trip are likely to be more in his favour today, and although he might lack the long-term potential of some of his rivals, he might be a big player under today’s conditions off his light weight.
Hugh's Best Bets (scale 1-5 points):
5.00 ROYAL ASCOT, THURSDAY - BRITANNIA STAKES
2pts win KING ADEMAR (12-1 bet365, Ladbrokes, 11-1 Betfair Sportsbook, Coral, Paddy Power)
1pt each-way BARRISTAN THE BOLD (28-1 bet365 (1/4 odds, 5 places), Unibet, William Hill, 25-1 general)
5.35 ROYAL ASCOT, THURSDAY - KING GEORGE V STAKES
1pt each-way MAJESTIC DAWN (25-1 general - bet with firms paying 5 places)
Hugh gives a daily indication of when the column will be published via Twitter.com (username is HughRacing). You can also listen to a Final Furlong Podcast special in which Hugh explains the methodology behind the column here.
Hugh recorded a profit of +345pts in 2018, and a ROI of 1.55, his highest ever. With regards to Betfair SP, Hugh recorded a profit of +66pts (ROI of 1.11) before commission. You can view his monthly figures by clicking the links below:
2018 results ROI 1.55 +345pts
2017 results ROI 1.46 +282pts
2016 results ROI 1.44 +281pts
2015 results ROI 1.34 +207pts
2014 results ROI 1.32 +199.79pts
2013 results ROI 1.32 +210pts
2012 results ROI 1.31 +222.65pts
2011 results ROI 1.28 +302.64 pts
2010 results ROI 1.23 +324.79 pts
2009 results ROI 1.26 +500.36 pts
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