So far there have been shocks in the opening races on both days of the meeting so far.

Luckily, our money-back offer has you covered if you lose, so I'll be taking a chance on VINTAGE BRUT  .

Tim Easterby’s unbeaten colt was a magnificent 25/1 winner at Thirsk in April, sailing home by seven lengths.

He then battled on well to win a Listed race at Sandown last month, beating the likes of Sabre and Blown By Wind.

Proven over 5f , I think the Northern raider is a massive price here.

14.30 Ascot: Vintage Brut
{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 9/2


Godolphin sends three for the Hampton Court next up, but the one I like is NORDIC LIGHTS  .

Charley Appleby’s colt won his first two with ease at Lingfield and Newmarket respectively, but did disappoint in the Dante when well-fancied to trouble Roaring Lion.

The ground was potentially too firm for him that day, and I think he’ll settle much better with conditions here.

The other one to keep your eye on is VINTAGER  .

He was a huge 33/1 winner on debut at Newmarket but hasn’t quite replicated the form over 7f.

He finished third behind Without Parole and Gabr last time out at Sandown, which warrants praise, and, with the super Kieran Shoemark on board, I think he’s got an each-way shout.

15.05 Ascot: Nordic Lights
{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 15/2


This fillies’ Group 2 is a tough race to call, but I’m going to search for the each-way value and take a chance on DANCING BRAVE BEAR  .

Trained by Ed Vaughan, she notched up two solid wins on the All-Weather before finishing runner-up to Give And Take at York during the Dante Festival.

That previous run shows that the distance should not be an issue and, with Andrea Atezeni in the saddle, she should have a good shout of placing.

15.40 Ascot: Dancing Brave Bear
{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 16/1


This should be a classic Gold Cup, where I'm backing STRADIVARIUS  to give John Gosden and Frankie Dettori another big win.

He won the Queen’s Vase here last year and has since finished third in the St Leger, and then again here on Champions Day in the Long Distance Cup.

Order Of St George   beat him that day, but I think the performance of John Gosden's colt in the Yorkshire Cup was brilliant, and proof that he should be able to get the job done.

16.20 Ascot: Stradivarius
{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 15/8


We’re paying a huge seven places once again in the penultimate race of the day.

The one I really fancy is Simon Crisford’s OSTILIO  , who finally got off the mark last time out at Newmarket following four second places in a row.

The fact that the colt has already won a decent handicap over a mile and was a runner-up to Without Parole certainly puts him in contention.

Simon Crisford and Silvestre De Sousa riding have a solid 30 per cent strike rate when teaming up, so he should have a strong each-way chance.

The next one I like comes from William Haggas’ yard in COMPLETION  .

He’s had a great start with two wins, two seconds and a third on debut at Newcastle, including a tidy win at Redcar last month and a runner-up to favourite Crack On Crack On  in the Silver Bowl handicap at Haydock.

The final one that catches my eye is Mark Johnson’s VALE OF KENT  .

He had a really good campaign on the All-Weather with three wins from six, and has since followed that up with two thirds in handicaps at Chelmsford and Goodwood.

Joe Fanning has ridden all three victories and is nicely handicapped at 8-11, so should have an each-way shout.

17.00 Ascot: Ostilio
{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 11/1


I like two more from Johnston’s yard in the final race of the day.

The first is COMMUNIQUE , who won the London Gold Cup last time out following a string of placed finishes (22-32).

He won by just under two lengths that day, so the step up here should suit and he will go close.

The other I like as an each-way chance is MAKING MIRACLES  .

He's shown steady consistency with one win and four seconds from eight starts, with one of those victories coming over this distance in a handicap at Leicester last time out by 4½ lengths.

This is obviously a big step up but, carrying 7lb less than Cross Counter  could be telling, and he looks a nice price.

17.35 Ascot
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