It turns out, all you need is Love! Aidan O’Brien’s star returned with a bang on Day 2 of Royal Ascot and her performance lit up the show. Thursday is headlined by the Gold Cup, as Stradivarius bids for a fourth win in the race and equal Yeat’s record.
We’ll have Royal Ascot tips for all seven races, but I’m hoping to build on a 33-1 winner gained day one. The final three races on Thursday’s programme are handicaps and although many will describe them as a lottery, I call them an opportunity! I’ve picked out three who I believe can out-run their prohibitive odds, find them below!
5.00 Ascot – Britannia Stakes
He’s certainly not bred to get the mile, but the way BIG NARSTIE (40-1) has battled on over seven furlongs suggests he’ll relish this trip. Progressing with each of his four starts thus far, he was making his turf debut when second to a runaway winner over seven furlongs here last time.
Winning at Lingfield on his second career start, he bettered that effort when keeping on late in a Listed contest at Lingfield in March. That form has worked out nicely since and although he was no match for Aldaary last time, he wasn’t stopping as they went through the line.
A three-pound rise isn’t generous, but a mark of 95 remains achievable. Given that the stand’s rail has been a golden highway this week, being drawn in 29 is a huge positive. Hayley Turner, who has enjoyed plenty of success in the handicaps at Royal Ascot, takes over the ride, and at 40-1, I think he’s grossly overpriced.
5.35 Ascot – Military Mission
There’s plenty of rain forecast overnight and that would suit MILITARY MISSION (33-1) down to the ground. He ran to a good standard as a juvenile but has come alive in 2021, with form figures of 212 for Hugo Palmer.
All of those runs have come over ten furlongs, with his finishing effort catching the eye. Breaking through at Salisbury, his fifth attempt, he quickened up impressively after dictating his own fractions. His most recent run came at Chester, finishing second on his handicap debut behind a horse who had things all his own way.
Today’s step up to twelve furlongs should eke out further improvement and as previously mentioned, rain would be a plus. He’s run well on good ground, but his career-best came on soft and a deluge would give Oisin Murphy plenty of cause for optimism. A mark of 88 is more than attainable and he’s a strong each-way candidate.
6.10 Ascot – Buckingham Palace Stakes
A dual winner on the turf last summer, this race should play out perfectly to suit DOCUMENTING (40-1). He’s been somewhat below form in two starts this year, but they neither race went his way and a return to the turf can pay dividends.
He gained the first of those two aforementioned successes at York in July 2020, following that up with a course and distance victory. In a similar burn-up to the Buckingham Palace, he flew home late on after travelling strongest of all throughout. He’s only three pounds higher back at Ascot and having a break-neck gallop to chase is ideal for him.
He’s drawn poorly, there’s no doubt about that, but 40-1 is simply too big of a price. He’ll be weaving his way through late on under Trevor Whelan and there’s plenty of places on offer.
If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.