James Stevens backed two winners yesterday and looking to better that record on day three of the Royal meeting.
2:30 Norfolk Stakes – McErin, It Don’t Come Easy ew
Wesley Ward’s colt McErin won very impressively on debut and has to be fancied in this good running of the Norfolk. He won by a huge margin at Keeneland, before another strong run at when third Churchill Downs. From research the dam was a very good two-year-old and I expect McErin to follow in her footsteps.
It Don’t Come Easy broke the course record at Musselburgh and should give a good account of himself on the quick ground. His draw isn’t ideal but if he can be switched, then he has to have a good chance.
3:05 Hampton Court Stakes – Mirage Dancer, Bay Of Poets ew
He’s a risky gamble, but I do think he will win good quality races. He won well on debut before going straight into listed company at Chester. He didn’t run too badly in that event, when beaten not too far off Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher. His pedigree is exceptionally strong and if he lives up to potential can run a big race.
Bay Of Poets has been running very well in big contests and has been gelded since finishing three lengths behind in the French Derby. He’s another who can strike at this level.
3:40 Ribblesdale Stakes – Mori
A beautifully bred prospect for Sir Michael Stoute who has been improving from each run. She won her maiden on only her second start picking up well and showing a lot of promise over similar conditions at this track. She stepped up to listed level, but looked better than ever when powering home at Goodwood. This another big step up but she will enjoy the quick conditions, looks to be going the right way and can run a huge race.
4:20 Gold Cup – Order Of St George, Torcedor ew
Order Of St George was a brilliant winner of this race last year and if he can get back to his best he could be very hard to beat. He finished third in the Arc too which proves his ability at the top level. He ran a great race to win last time and should be better back over this staying trip. The ground looks fine for him, and if he brings his best form he will win.
Jessica Harrington won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and may well have a very good chance of completing a rare double at Royal Ascot. Torcedor represents her and goes into the race searching for her third straight victory. She’s run some strong races and deserves her place at this level.
5:00 Britannia Stakes – Son Of The Stars
Son Of The Stars is a lovely progressive colt for Richard Hannon who has been going well in three efforts. He won well on debut before following up in good style again on the all-weather. Last time out he was narrowly beaten but he may have needed that run, and may be suited to Ascot’s flatter track. He will appreciate the quick ground, is drawn well and can run a big race.
I tipped Afaak at a huge 12/1 when he won at Doncaster, and he’s an astoundingly big price once again. This beautifully bred Charlie Hills colt has won his last two starts in good style and should go well on these quick conditions. The draw isn’t ideal but he should still run well.
5:35 King George V Stakes – Atty Persse
Atty Persse is a very nice colt for Godolphin and Roger Charlton who should be a lot better than his mark of 93 suggests. He won his first two races before facing a sole defeat at Haydock last time out. He may have wanted a faster run race, and did bump into a very progressive type that day. His breeding is outstanding and he can run a strong race.
Sofia’s Rock will try and make all the running for Mark Johnston, and could lead them all the way home. He’s posted some very strong efforts on fast ground, and has to be fancied to make the frame after an encouraging victory last time out.
Royal Ascot Day Two Tips
Norfolk – McErin @ 5/1, It Don’t Come Easy each-way @ 9/1 – click here for best odds
Hampton Court – Mirage Dancer to win @ 4/1, Bay Of Poets each-way @ 11/1 – click here for best odds
Ribblesdale –Mori to win @ 5/2 – click here for best odds
Gold Cup – Order Of St George to win @ Evs, Torcedor each-way @ 20/1 – click here for best odds
Britannia – Son Of The Stars to win @ 7/1, Afaak each-way @ 16/1 – click here for best odds
King George VI – Atty Persse to win @ 11/2 ,Sofia’s Rock each-way @ 9/1 – click here for best odds