Royal Ascot Day 3 Tips: Best Bets for Thursday’s ITV Racing card

Thursday is Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot and this year’s edition looks wide open

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8 months ago

The Ascot Gold Cup (4.20) takes centre stage on day three of Royal Ascot and the 2023 race looks the most competitive edition for many a moon. In the absence of last year’s winner Kyprios and retired four-time champion Stradivarius, 14 runners are set to contest the Grade 1 prize.

Thursday’s Royal Ascot tips have a selection in the showpiece as well as a Britannia Stakes pick that got within short head of beating a subsequent Classic winner earlier this season and a filly that you might be advised to back for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before she runs in the 3.40.

Royal Ascot Tips: Day 3

3.40 – Al Asifah to win @ 5/6
4.20 – Eldar Eldarov to win @ 10/3
5.00 – Bless to win (each-way) @ 22/1

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Shadwell should make a profit on supplementing exciting filly

The Shadwell thoroughbred racing organisation paid £13,150 to supplement AL ASIFAH for the Ribblesdale Stakes after the daughter of Frankel blew away her rivals to win a listed Goodwood fillies race by upwards of sixth lengths on June 11.

Co-trainer Thady Gosden described that success as ‘little more than an exercise gallop’ in his At The Races stable tour, also confirming she’d not lost any weight whatsoever from her exertions.

Despite having raced just twice to date, Al Asifah is 7lbs clear of the field on Racing Post Ratings and is already trading as short as 12/1 with some of Betzone’s competitors to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for a yard that landed the race twice with the superstar Enable in 2017 and 2018.

Prize money of £133,765 awaits the winner of this Grade 2 affair and that’s expected to mean a return of over 10 times on Shadwell’s late entry fee.

Bet: Al Asifah to win @ 5/6

St Leger winner can announce himself as a star in the staying ranks

Potential SP favourite Coltrane has enjoyed a fairytale rise from handicapper to Ascot Gold Cup favourite since winning last year’s Ascot Stakes off a BHA mark of just 98 (he was also ridden by a 5lb claimer, so effectively raced off 93.

He’s now rated 117, but there’s a strong suspicion his mark has been inflated after beating the declining Trueshan by a neck in the Doncaster Cup last term. Beating the then-103-rated Wise Eagle by four-and-three-quarter lengths on his sole outing this term adds credence to the theory.

ELDAR ELDAROV, the 2022 St Leger winner, looks like the horse most likely to usurp Coltrane for favouritism and Roger Varian’s four-year-old is already the highest-rated runner in the contest.

A Royal Ascot scorer last year when taking out the 1m6f Queen’s Vase, he’s yet to win over further than the 1m6f1/2 Leger trip, but shaped as if the extra distance will bring about further improvement when staying on with great resolve to grab second in the Yorkshire Cup.

Bet: 4.20 – Eldar Eldarov to win @ 10/3

The Britannia Stakes is one of those irresistible handicap puzzles Royal Ascot does so well and true to form virtually every runner in the field has at least one piece of evidence to recommend them.

None, however, bar BLESS, can claim to have run one of this season’s Classic winners to within a nose within the last few months. Back in March the selection was gunned down in sight of the line over a mile at Chantily by Marhab Al Sanafi, who went on to win the French 2,000 Guineas.

The latter has since gone on to finish third in the Prix du Jockey Club (the ‘French Derby’), while Isaac Shelby, the horse he beat in the French Guineas finished fourth in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal Meeting on Tuesday.

Bless has been beaten by no more than two-and-a-half lengths in two Longchamp conditions races since that noteworthy March outing and there must be potential that he can find further improvement now sent handicapping.

Both his sole career success and the second to Marhab Al Sanafi came on polytrack and with Ascot known as one of the UK turf courses where all-weather form is most likely to translate, he looks a fascinating contender.

Bet: Bless to win (each-way) @ 22/1 ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>5.00 – Bless to win (each-way) @ 22/1