Our tipster Jones Knows is +16 in profit for Royal Ascot week and he is continuing his search for winners on day four with three big-price selections.
Commonwealth Cup (3.05)
I’m not in a rush to take on hotpot Little Big Bear at the head of the market – there is strength in depth behind him too in Sakheer and Shaquille – but sometimes horses just tempt you in with their attitude and that’s the case with this selection. She will probably find one or two too good but Jessica Harrington’s charge absolutely relishes the game, running powerfully through the line in her last three starts.
The pick of those performances came in the Group Three Lacken Stakes at Naas where despite being poorly positioned on the wing she flew home to almost pick up The Antarctic in the closing stages. She came out the best horse in that race, without question. A stiff six furlongs will be perfect for her and she is one to keep onside with as the season progresses. She’s a consistent, hardened filly to follow.
Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (3.40)
Low draws are not the place to be over the 12-furlong start at Ascot. Horses drawn 10 or higher in races run over that trip in the last 25 years have a record of 16-172 which a huge overperformance on what the market expects. In this race, in particular, horses drawn five or lower have a record of 1-100 – a huge underperformance with 17 of those horses starting at single-figure odds.
Using that theory narrows the field down nicely and I’ve come down on the Alan King horse, who heads to this race in the form of his life following a switch of stables which has seen him record his best two races of his career on the figures.
His reliability is seen through the fact he’s not finished out of the first two in his last nine races. Yes, this is a step up but this prominent racer who has never finished out of the frame at Ascot in four starts has a great make-up for a race of this nature.
Sandringham Stakes (5.00)
Johnny Murtagh won this race in 2021 with Create Belief and he’s taken the same path with the selection. Like that impressive winner, Clounmacon ran in a very competitive handicap at the Curragh for fillies in May. And despite finishing second, she was the horse to take out of the race, flying down the outside late showing a willing attitude as she was just touched off by Bellaphina. Over a stiffer mile, with hold-up tactics used on the straight mile, I’d be surprised if she can’t be competitive off a 2lb higher mark, especially with Sky Bet paying eight places.