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Royal Ascot day three tips - Get Brian's race-by-race selections for the third day of the top-class fixture

Brian Healy 16 Jun 2016
Royal Ascot enters its' third day on Thursday, with the Gold Cup the highlight of the afternoon's racing action.

Brian Healy gives his day three selections for Thursday's quality race-card at Royal Ascot.


The 2016 Royal Ascot festival enters a third day of top-class horse racing action on Thursday, and the feature race of day three is the Group One Gold Cup, a marathon contest over 2m 4f and boasting a scheduled ‘off-time’ of 4.20pm.

Also on a quality race-card on Thursday is the Group Two Norfolk Stakes, and the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes; while the competitive Britannia Stakes handicap is another highlight of the afternoon’s action.

2:30: Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 5f
3:05: Tercentenary Stakes (formerly The Hampton Court Stakes) (Group 3) Cl1 1m2f
3:40: Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) Cl1 1m4f
4:20: Gold Cup In Honour of The Queen´s 90th Birthday (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Cl1 2m4f
5:00: Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 1m
5:35: King George V Stakes (Handicap) Cl1 1m4f

The Channel 4 Racing cameras will again be on hand to bring every race live into punters’ livingrooms, and Brian Healy looks ahead to the third day action.

Selections:

2.30 - LEGENDARY LUNCH (8/1, Sky Bet
3.05 - ABDON (7/2, Betfred
3.40 - EVEN SONG (4/1, Ladbrokes)
4.20 - MIZZOU (12/1, BetFred)
5.00 - OUT AND ABOUT (10/1, BetVictor)
5.35 - HARRISON (14/1, Sky Bet)


2:30: Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 5f


With the ground a possible concern for plenty of these, it could be worth chancing LEGENDARY LUNCH (8/1, Sky Bet) to continue his progression, given he seems at his best on softer ground.

Richard Hannon’s charge is 2-2 on ground softer than good, and was possibly coming to the end of his reserves when just holding on to land an Epsom Listed contest earlier in the month over six furlongs.

He had travelled really strongly into that contest, and he looked sure to post a convincing success only to be almost overhauled by the fast-finishing Danielsflyer, before prevailing by just a nose at the line. 

This drop back to five furlongs looks ideal for the Dragon Pulse colt, and with the softer conditions another bonus, he’ll surely have to improve again; but Richard Hannon rarely leaves Ascot empty-handed, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him find the requisite progress to get in the mix in this contest.


Legendary Lunch needs to improve again, but is well suited by conditions and can run a big race in the Norfolk Stakes.

3:05: Tercentenary Stakes (formerly The Hampton Court Stakes) (Group 3) Cl1 1m2f


Blue De Vega sets the standard on form, having finished third to Awtaad in the Irish 2000 Guineas, but it may pay to side with Sir Michael Stoute’s ABDON (7/2, Betfred) to reverse recent form with the re-opposing Hawkbill, who beat the selection last time out at Newmarket.

Stoute has won this contest twice in the last five years, and the Cacique colt was a good debut winner on his sole start last term, readily seeing off Navajo War Dance and others despite looking in need of the experience.

That was on soft ground, and he lost little in defeat stepped up in trip for his return to action at Newmarket in April when beaten just over one length on better ground behind Hawkbill in Listed company. 

Like many from the Stoute camp this term, he was entitled to need his first run of the season and should strip much fitter now; with further improvement likely, the return to a softer surface could well see him reverse that Newmarket form with the Godolphin runner and he get back on the scoresheet here.

3:40: Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) Cl1 1m4f


Architecture looks an obvious starting point on the back of her excellent runner-up effort in the Epsom Oaks; but there is a chance this may come too soon for Hugo Palmer’s charge, and she is taken on with Ballydoyle representative, EVEN SONG (4/1, Ladbrokes), who should be sharper for her reappearance run last month, where the re-opposing Chicadoro finished in front of her.

The Mastercraftsman filly finished third on that return, where she possibly needed the run, although she encountered plenty of trouble-in-running, having twice been blocked when trying to deliver a challenge.

She had earlier looked a filly filled with promise when winning at Leopardstown on her final start as a juvenile; but while race hasn’t worked out too well, she looked a much improved sort on her return to action in the Pretty Polly, and likely to be suited by this even greater emphasis on stamina, she can resume winning ways to enhance Irish-trained horses’ good record in this event.


Even Song can give Aidan O'Brien another Royal Ascot winner.

4:20: Gold Cup In Honour of The Queen´s 90th Birthday (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Cl1 2m4f


Order Of St George will prove a tough nut to crack if he sees out this marathon trip, but it could be worth siding with last year’s seventh in this race, MIZZOU (12/1, BetFred), who has looked a thorough stayer in his races and remains relatively unexposed.

A dual-winner of the Sagaro Stakes over this course, Luca Cumani’s charge had both the re-opposing pair of Clever Cookie and Flying Officer behind when making a winning return to action in that race back in April when landing the second of his victories.

Also a soft-ground winner at Pontefract a couple of seasons back, these conditions shouldn’t pose an issue for the Galileo horse, although he may ideally prefer better ground given his best has come on quicker underfoot conditions. Nevertheless, he is a versatile sort with regards to how the race might pan out, and is able to race prominently or when held up. 

A hearty battler who won’t go down without a fight, he can sometimes race lazily and can take plenty of driving; but he seems to go well fresh, having won first time up in each of the past two seasons, and he has been freshened up by a break since his Sagaro Stakes exploits.

He  can be expected to give another good account as he bids to better that result twelve months on, and he can go close in the Thursday feature.


Seventh in the race twelve months ago, Mizzou (red cap) can win the Gold Cup.

5:00: Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 1m


Low-drawn numbers seemed to dominate the big-field events on the opening day of Ascot, and so OUT AND ABOUT (10/1, BetVictor) is taken to land the hat-trick, following earlier successes at Redcar last term, and on reappearance at Haydock in May when beating Fighting Temeraire by one length.

William Haggas’ Fastnet Rock gelding won a shade cosily that day, keeping on strongly to land the spoils on what was his handicap debut, and the third horse home has won since. He has understandably been thumped by the handicapper, who had delivered an 8lbs rise as a consequence, but that may not be enough to stop another bold show.

Soft ground on debut at Newbury last August didn’t seem to faze the selection as he ran fourth behind Justice Law in a race which has subsequently thrown up a Listed winner in Tashweeq, and so he shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the conditions here; and open to considerable improvement still, he can go close here under Ryan Moore.

5:35: King George V Stakes (Handicap) Cl1 1m4f


HARRISON (14/1, Sky Bet) can round off the day three action by landing a competitive handicap for trainer Mick Channon and jockey Sylvestre De Sousa.

The Sixties Icon colt ran out a good winner of a Goodwood handicap on only his second start, beating Cameraman by almost two lengths, and looking a useful prospect in the process. That race has since thrown up a Listed winner in Algometer, who subsequently finished seventh in the Epsom Derby.

Following a solid return to action behind Stargazer at Sandown in April, Mick Channon’s charge found the step up to Group Two company for the Dante Stakes at York a step too far, and he struggled to get competitive, eventually trailing home in eighth place.

This is a more realistic assignment he takes in now, but he nevertheless still faces a tough test against equally unexposed rival; still, he can make his presence felt under the current champion jockey, and a big run wouldn’t come as a surprise.


Sylvestre De Sousa can bag a winner on day three of Royal Ascot by steering Harrison home in the King George V Stakes.

2016 ROYAL ASCOT - DAY THREE SELECTIONS


2.30 - LEGENDARY LUNCH (8/1, Sky Bet

3.05 - ABDON (7/2, Betfred

3.40 - EVEN SONG (4/1, Ladbrokes)

4.20 - MIZZOU (12/1, BetFred)

5.00 - OUT AND ABOUT (10/1, BetVictor)

5.35 - HARRISON (14/1, Sky Bet)


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Royal Ascot day three tips - Get Brian's race-by-race selections for the third day of the top-class fixture

Brian Healy gives his day three selections for Thursday's quality race-card at Royal Ascot.

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