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Will bookies regret overpricing Becket filly? Get 2019 Royal Ascot day 3 tips

Trainer Ralph Beckett (credit:Mike Egerton/PA Archive/PA Images)

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the three feature races on day three at Royal Ascot and provides readers with his tips on Thursday 20th June.

Her majesty The Queen and her Royal entourage will descend upon Berkshire on day three of Royal Ascot, all ready to partake in the glitz and glamour that is Ascot Gold Cup day. Surrounding that famous Group One on Thursday’s card are three further Grouped races, including the electrifying Norfolk Stakes sprint and a fascinating renewal of the Ribblesdale.

Our expert has taken a look through all three of these prestigious races and provided readers with his ante-post betting suggestions.

2019 Royal Ascot Day Three Tips

2:30pm Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) (2yo) 5f



King Power racing moved swiftly to snap up Paddy Twomey’s Sunday Sovereign, after the Equiano colt secured back-to-back victories over some nicely-bred opposition in Ireland. It’s easy to see why the bookies make Sunday Sovereign the favourite, but you can’t help but feel six furlong would be more suitable for Twomey’s charge and he could be vulnerable on quick ground.

Wesley Ward will likely fire two arrows at this prize, with American Pharaoh’s son Maven his leading candidate. Ventura Rebel took the notable scalp of Lady Pauline when the US raider made her Ascot debut last month and Richard Fahey’s juvenile looks a good value bet, but I’m going to take a chance and back Keiran Cotter’s GEORGE CORNELIUS (16/1 Unibet) at an each-way price.

Cotters’ colt approached the stalls at Dundalk as a 14/1 outsider as he made his stable debut. Mark Gallagher’s mount got off to a smooth start, sweeping to the front after a furlong and the duo never looked back, slowly extending their advantage under a hands-and-heels ride before eventually scoring a tremendous ten length success.

George Cornelius was handed an impressive RPR of 96 for that demolition job. He also gave his sire, Bungle Inthejungle another healthy boost. He enjoyed a fantastic first season as a sire in 2018, with Molecomb Stakes winner, Rumble Inthejungle the most successful colt out of his first crop. There’s clearly more to come from George Cornelius and it would be quite the fairy-tale if a small-time trainer like Cotter could saddle a Royal Ascot winner.

Main Bet – GEORGE CORNELIUS e/w (16/1 Unibet)
Next Best – VENTURA REBEL e/w (8/1 Ladbrokes)

3:40pm Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) 1m4f



Queen Power earned her Royal Ascot berth with an impressive victory in a competitive Listed race at Newbury last time out and Andrew Balding’s filly will be a big player. Yet, the previous two winners of the Ribblesdale have come to Ascot on the back of an outing in the Oaks, so that Classic at Epsom looks a very good place to start.

Anapurna got the better of Pink Dogwood in the Oaks, but I’d be surprised if either were dropped back in class at Ascot. Mehdaayih was one of the favourites heading into Epsom and disappointed slightly in finishing a well-beaten seventh. Rab Havlin’s mount didn’t react well to being bumped and barged in the middle of the pack. This year’s Ribblesdale is likely to be just as competitive and the prospect of good ground won’t fill Mehdaayih’s team with too much confidence.

I thought Frankelina ran a mighty fine race at Epsom, staying on to claim sixth after treading a wide track throughout. While William Haggas’ filly is sure to come on from the run, MANEULA DE VEGA (8/1 Ladbrokes) ran even better from a similarly unfavourable position and I think Ralph Beckett’s filly looks exceptionally overpriced in the Ribblesdale market.

Harry Bentley’s mount may have lost her unbeaten record in the Cheshire Oaks, but the race was run to suit the soft ground loving Mehdaayih and I thought Manuela De Vega stayed on nicely enough down the straight to claim a comfortable second. Beckett was then left cursing his luck after his filly drew the coffin stall, gate one in the Oaks, but Manuela De Vega got out nicely enough, slotting in alongside Pink Dogwood, some eight or nine lengths off the pace.

As Ryan Moore angled out to find some open air on the eventual runner-up, Bentley went the other way and took the inside route. Manuela De Vega was forced to muscle her way past the fading Maqsad and Mehdaayih to find some open air. Once she managed got the better of that battle, Bentley’s mount had a little too much to do, finishing off her race very nicely to claim fourth.

Manuela De Vega was very good value for her three length defeat and could even have challenged for the win, given a more favourable draw and a smoother passage through the field. Conditions at Ascot should be perfectly suitable and there are no worries about this hardy filly seeing out the trip. 8/1 looks cracking ante-post value.

Main Bet – MANUELA DE VEGA e/w (8/1 Ladbrokes)
Next Best – FRANKELINA e/w (14/1 bet365)

20/6/19 4:20pm Ascot Gold Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) 2m4f



Stradivarius enjoyed an unbeaten campaign during 2018, earning John Gosden the Wetherby’s £1m Bonus after winning at Ascot, Goodwood and twice at York. While Stradivarius’ achievements last term were admirable and he looked good when winning the Yorkshire Cup on his return to action, the staying division was particularly weak last term and I think last year’s Gold Cup winner will be vulnerable in a more competitive race.

I've long thought that Dee Ex Bee would make a strong stayer and Mark Johnston’s colt has taken to two miles very well this season. Southern France also looks open to improvement over staying trips and any of Aidan O’Brien’s runners have to be respected. Yet, the proven Group One horse to take Stradivarius on with is CROSS COUNTER (5/1 William Hill), who progressed beyond belief last term and could have a little more left to give.

Charlie Appleby’s charge has improved 20 pounds over the last ten months, stealing the headlines at Glorious Goodwood when breaking the track record during a blistering renewal of the Gordon Stakes. The Godolphin flag-bearer than made his name down-under, swooping home down the centre of the track under Kerin McEvoy to claim a famous victory in the Melbourne Cup.

Cross Counter built on his Melbourne Cup triumph with a simple success in the Dubai Gold Cup, comfortably holding Ispolini and Call The Wind at arm’s length with a cool, composed display. Cross Counter stays two miles extremely well, he goes on all kinds of ground and boasts winning form around the track at Ascot. He could have too much pace for even Stradivarius to cope with.

Main Bet – CROSS COUNTER (5/1 William Hill)
Next Best – SOUTHERN FRANCE e/w (14/1 bet365)


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Will bookies regret overpricing Becket filly? Get 2019 Royal Ascot day 3 tips

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the three feature races on day three at Royal Ascot and provides readers with his tips on Thursday 20th June.

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