Royal Ascot – Good To Firm Today

First off at 15h30

Royal Ascot Day 3 continues today, with the first off at 15h30.

The attendance for day two was 40,163, up eight per cent on the 2023 figure of 37,158!

The going update after racing on Wednesday was that Ascot remains Good to Firm.

Ascot’s Clerk of the Course Chris Stickels said: “We are going to put 5mm on everything. Tuesday night we put 5mm on the Straight Course and 4mm on the Round Course. We are just planning to maintain conditions as they are.

“It looks like it’s going to be fine and dry again today, that’s the forecast. There is a slight risk of some thunderstorms possibly later in the week, maybe on Saturday, but that’s quite a low percentage risk.”

Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore gives us the rundown of his rides today.

  • 15h30 – Whistlejacket

We were obviously disappointed when he was beaten by Cowardofthecounty first time up but, dropped down to 5f last time, he showed us what we were expecting on his debut as he made all to beat the subsequent Marble Hill winner Arizona Blaze pretty easily. I was very impressed and, while you have to respect a fair few of these, I like to think I am on the best horse going into the race. He is a very exciting prospect.

  • 16h05 – Chantilly

As with the Queen’s Vase on Wednesday, we run four in here and they all have their chance at the weights. I ride Chantilly. He bumped into a very smart horse in the shape of King’s Gambit in the London Gold Cup last time, and the fourth Persica, who also goes in here, came out and won well at Epsom, so I think a 2lb rise is fair enough. This will be the quickest ground he has encountered, but he should go well if he handles it. That Newbury form could be key, as the runner-up Poniros is also in here. This is a very competitive and deep handicap.

  • 16h45 – Port Fairy

There is very little between our fillies here; indeed they are rated the same on a mark of 97 and we are happy with both of them. They both have a bit to find here, though. Rubies Are Red’s sights are lowered after taking in the Oaks after a promising run from off the pace at Lingfield, while Port Fairy comes here a fresher horse after a good second at Chester and she is tried in a first-time visor. I ride the latter, so hopefully I am on the right one, but they both need to improve, as I have said.

  • 17h25 – Kyprios

The first thing to say is that you can make a case for several of these, but the second is that my horse is still the one to beat. Obvious, I know, but his 2022 form sets him apart from these and hopefully he is ready to return to his Group 1-winning best after winning his warm-up races, from stablemate Queenstown, at Navan and Leopardstown. Winner of this race in 2022, when he won four Group 1s on the spin, we are very happy with him coming into this.

  • 18h05 – Air Commander

He will clearly need to step up on his third at Naas last time, but I do think he is probably better than his mark of 90. He has to go and show it in the deepest race he has been in, but hopefully the Kingman colt can give a good account of himself in a first-time visor.

  • 18h40 – Portland

King’s Gambit will be the one to beat in here, as he was so impressive at Newbury, but the ratings tell you this is pretty open. My horse Portland is up there on the figures and he showed a good attitude to win for me over 1m4f at Leopardstown recently. The step down in trip should be okay, as he had fair form over a mile earlier in the season. It’s a very open race, though.

  • 19h15 – Divine Libra

I haven’t ridden him before but he certainly comes in here in good form, following up his Chester win with a close third at Newmarket last time. He is going the right way and it is just a matter of whether the handicapper has him now.

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