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The Mandarin’s Royal Ascot Racecard for Tuesday 18th June 2024

The Mandarin’s Royal Ascot Racecard for Tuesday 18th June

Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) 2.30
Big Rock
The best miler in Europe last year, winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes here by 6 lengths at the end of last season. That capped off a terrific season where he was only outgunned in the French Derby by Ace Impact, who of course went on to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and second again in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp before coming over for the Ascot race. Not seen to best effect when he couldn’t get the lead in the Lockinge at Newbury, but will strip fitter for that run and the tactics here will be plain for all to see, get to the front and run the race out of this field up Ascot’s stiff finish. Roger Varian’s Charyn is feared most, along with Lockinge scorer Audience and for each-way value keep course specialist Docklands on side, but Big Rock to take this home to France

Coventry Stakes (Group 2) 3.05
Camille Pissaro
Aidan O’Brien has won the Coventry Stakes more than any other trainer, a record ten times, and Camille Pissaro can make that eleven. This Wootton Bassett colt was an easy winner on his debut under rules at Navan, and only lost out by a head to smart prospect Arizona Blaze in a Group 3 at The Curragh next time out. Karl Burke has his string firing on all cylinders so Andesite makes the shortlist, while there’s plenty of each-way value in Yah Mo Be There, The Actor and Midnight Strike. Camille Pissaro to make it Coventry Stakes win number eleven for Aidan O’Brien

King Charles III Stakes (Group 1) 3.45
Big Evs (nap)
Mick Appleby’s speedster Big Evs can land Group 1 glory, despite going up against some more experienced sprinters here. A fine two year old season saw this Blue Point colt sign off with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, and he got this campaign off to a perfect start when breezing up in a Listed contest at York. There’s a few likely types to get into the mix including Asfoora, Believing and Kerdos, but a three year old Bradsell won this race last year and Big Evs can repeat the trick. Big chance

St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) (Colts) 4.25
Rosallion (nb)
We tipped Rosallion for the 2,000 Guineas and the Irish 2,000 Guineas and we’ll stay faithful to Richard Hannon’s Blue Point colt. Of course, the Newmarket Classic went to Charlie Appleby’s Notable Speech, so it’s no surprise to see the unbeaten Dubawi colt head the ante-post markets, but at The Curragh, Rosallion really delivered and can do so again on Ascot’s stiff finish. He has course form here from the Pat Eddery Stakes last year, which just gives him the edge over Notable Speech, so Aidan O’Brien’s Henry Longfellow might give Rosallion the most to think about. These are the three, but Rosallion to exact revenge over Notable Speech

Ascot Stakes (Heritage Handicap) 5.05
My Lyka
As if taking the British National Hunt Trainers’ Championship wasn’t enough, Willie Mullins can now plunder Royal Ascot with My Lyka. This French import just went down by a nose on his stable debut at Killarney for Ireland’s foremost Jumps trainer, but showed that he’s got this trip in his legs and should be right there at the business end, with Ryan Moore booked for the journey an added plus. Sir Mark Prescott’s Pledgeofallegiance and Harry Eustace’s Divine Comedy are the each-way angles in a typically hot Handicap, but My Lyka wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to land this

Wolferton Stakes (Listed) 5.40
John & Thady Gosden seem to have all the aces for this Listed race with Israr and Torito. We’ll side with Torito, one of the recent recruits to the well funded Wathnan Racing, and his seasonal reappearance run at Newmarket gave notice that there’s more to come over this 10 furlong trip. Israr is more exposed than his stablemate, and has yet to break his Ascot duck after three attempts, so the main contender may turn out to be Roger Varian’s Botanical, most impressive in a big field Handicap at York last month. Ancient Rome offers the each way value with Jamie Spencer up top, but the unexposed Torito is taken to continue to progress with James Doyle in the hot seat

Copper Horse Handicap 6.15
A wide open renewal of this recently added fixture to Royal Ascot’s timetable, and plenty that appeal, but Intinso gets the nudge. There is sure to be support for Belloccio from last year’s winning trainer, Willie Mullins, but Intinso is unexposed at 14 furlongs, having just faded late on when third on his first try over this trip at Newmarket. There should be more to come and Hollie Doyle knows how to get the job done at Royal Ascot, so that adds to the appeal. Solid each-way claims

The Mandarin

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