Friday at Royal Ascot boasts twin Group 1 highlights in the Commonwealth Cup (3.05) and the Coronation Stakes (4.20) and Aidan O’Brien saddles leading chances in both events.
The trainer’s Little Big Bear is the hot favourite in the Commonwealth, while his filly Meditate will bid to turn around the Irish 1,000 Guineas form with Tahiyra in the Coronation.
Unfortunately for O’Brien, it’s quite feasible that he’ll go nought for two in the top flight contests on day four of the meeting and we’re taking him on in the Commonwealth.
Royal Ascot Tips: Day 4
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Return to sprinting should suit Becket filly down to the ground
Aidan O’Brien’s Little Big Bear is 11/10 to win the Commonwealth Cup after getting back to winning ways in the 6f Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock following his failure to stay the mile in the 2,000 Guineas.
A lofty official rating of 124 puts him 10lbs clear of the field if the handicapper is to be believed but he only came home one-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of the reopposing Shouldvebeenaring (rated 112) last time out.
He looks worth taking on at the prices as a result and another horse returning to a sprinting trip after a moderate showing in a mile Classic appeals most in the shape of LEZOO.
Ralph Beckett’s filly came home eighth behind Mawj in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but was a Group 1 winner over 6f as a juvenile, also landing a Group 3 over course and distance last term.
That top tier success came in the Cheveley Park, where she accounted for both Mawj (third) and Meditate (second) despite Beckett admitting he’d feared that his charge had gone over the top for the season. Meditate went on to land the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on her next start.
At several times the price of Little Big Bear and with a 3lb sex allowance in the bank, she could have what it takes to upset the favourite.
Tip: 3.05 – Lezoo to win (each-way) @ 8/1
Flying Prescott operation can land handicap if reserve gets his chance
Sir Mark Prescott may be one of the elder statesmen of the training ranks at 75 but his Heath House team are showing no sign of slowing down having saddled six winners, two seconds and a third from his last 13 runners at the time of writing.
OMNISCIENT is currently second reserve for the 19-runner maximum field Duke of Edinburgh Handicap (3.40) but has to be backed if finding his way into the race.
Prescott is a renowned for the shrewd campaigning of his charges, so it must be of interest when his sole potential runner at the Royal Meeting is turning up off the back of a 262 absence.
Last seen winning eased down on his first try at today’s 1m4f trip in October 2022 he’s likely to go very close from an ideal stall-12 draw if sneaking in at the bottom of the weights.
Tip: 3.40 – Omniscient to win (each-way) @ 16/1
Derby second to prove Epsom silver was no shock by seizing Group 2 glory
KING OF STEEL put up a massive performance to outrun odds of 66/1 and bag second in this year’s Epsom Derby, half a length behind winner Auguste Rodin.
That narrow defeat came on his first start for Roger Varian and only his third career run overall and he now boast a handicap mark of 120 as a result, 7lbs clear of his highest-rated opponent Arrest.
The latter finished 10th in the Derby having reportedly lost a shoe mid-race and is joined in the King Edward VII Stakes by fellow Epsom also ran Artistic Star, who finished seventh.
While Arrest’s six-length win in the Group 3 Chester Vase suggests he’s better than he showed at Epsom, he’s also raced twice more than the selection without reaching his level.
Tip: 5.00 – King Of Steel to win @ 1/1