Which are the big stories for the four-day festival? We’ve taken a look at five horses that could be well worth a watch – and maybe a little flutter.
Time Test (The Juddmonte International Stakes)
Much of the talk around the International has been around the race’s ‘big two’: 130-marked Golden Horn and the dual 2000 Guineas winning Gleneagles. Many punters aren’t giving anyone much of a chance.
But Time Test, owned and bred by Khalid Abdullah, was one of Royal Ascot’s most impressive winners, romping home in the Tercentenary Stakes by 8 furlongs. And while this race is undoubtedly a step up and he’ll have to produce something very special to make an impression in this clash of the titans, it’d be quite a story if he does.
Check out our free Juddmonte International Betting Tips
Illuminate (Pinsent Masons Lowther Stakes)
This Group 2 race is one of the occasions when hotly-tipped two-year old fillies start to deliver on their huge potential, and there aren’t many in better form right now than Illuminate. The Richard Hannon-trained runner has won 3 in 3 and is fourth favourite with best odds of 11/2.
The fillie was impressive in beating fellow Lowther runners Besharah and Easton Angel in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes earlier in the year – while some have even suggested that she was in season at the time and ran within herself.
So while Lumiere is the big favourite with a big reputation, there’s a feeling that her reliability doesn’t match her low price. Illuminate could well step up and run another of her fast, late races.
Check out our free Lowther Stakes Betting Tips
Quest For More (Hamilton Lonsdale Cup)
This five year old was expected to run at York’s big Ebor Handicap on Saturday but has been selected by Roger Charlton to “lock horns” once again with Trip to Paris and Big Orange in the Class 1 race.
His form has been as solid as you might expect this season and was unfortunate to lose to Big Orange by a neck in the Goodwood Cup.
— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) July 30, 2015
Quest For More is certainly be a stayer and there will be many who are hoping that he can go that little bit further on Friday.
Check out our free Lonsdale Cup Betting Tips
Acapulco (Nunthorpe Stakes)
The big favourite is undoubtedly the horse to watch in the big-money sprint Nunthorpe Stakes. Acapulco may only be two, but the fillie is in fine fettle – “like a leopard”, according to her trainer Wesley Ward – and romped home in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Ward said that if Acapulco came home with the Nunthorpe Stakes, and in doing so beat Glorious Goodwood winner Muthmir and two-time Nunthrope champion Sol Power, it would trump everything else he’d achieved in racing. He said:
“To race a two-year-old against older horses is something that would never be contemplated in the States. People don’t believe it’s possible when I tell them what we’re planning. I’ve never felt I’ve had the right horse to do it in the past. This time I do have the right horse.”
That makes Acapulco worth the entry fee alone.
Check out our free Nunthorpe Stakes Betting Tips
Clondaw Warrior (Betfred Ebor Handicap)
With prize money of £275,000, the Betfred Ebor is the richest Handicap in Britain – and so it’s no surprise to see a slew of strong runners. However, many eyebrows will be raised upon seeing that the current 11/1 favourite is the eight-year old Clondaw Warrior.
The stats are against him. The last 7+ horse to win the Ebor was the great Sea Pigeon in 1979, while a favourite has only won the race once since 1999. But that’s what will make Willie Mullins’ colt so watchable.
He’s in decent form, having won his last two at Ascot and Galway, and is set to be ridden by Frankie Dettori. With another strong run, Clondaw Warrior could be Ebor’s big story.