Yesterday was a delicious feast for the eyes, a replenishing buffet of the highest quality action.
Ryan Moore could well have put to bed the top jockey contest as he switches allegiances to my top trainer bet Sir Michael Stoute today.
The master of Freemason Lodge is already two behind the favourite, Aidan O’Brien, but I had accounted for that as his chances are stronger later in the week.
Betway offer the concession of refunding as a free bet if your horse comes second, beaten less than a length, and that is part reason for my two selections. There is method behind my madness.
Prince Of Wales’s Stakes 4.20
Twelve of the last 15 winners finished in the first two on their most recent start and my pick Cannock Chase filled second spot last time out.
He won the Tercentenary at the meeting last year and in 2015 it is fair to say he has been below form. He has a bit of character about him and has no problem travelling well and then flattering to deceive.
The race has a truly international field and six of the last 10 winners were trained overseas. But the quirkiness of Cannock Chase offers up the opportunity to mix amongst them and catch them napping.
Plus the assistance of his old friend Ryan Moore can only be a bonus as the pair will be more familiar with the intricacies of the course than most of his rivals, with the exception of Frankie Dettori who will be guiding Western Hymn.
Finally, the biggest priced winner since the race was made a Group 1 in 2000 was 8/1 and Cannock Chase currently loiters around those odds, which could well contract as punters latch on to Ryan Moore.
Royal Hunt Cup 5.00
I was once told the bigger the field the bigger the certainty. Yeah right, but the affinity I hold for this race is enormous, seeing such a huge number horses thunder past me as I stand in the betting ring at the ½ furlong marker. What a spectacle, especially if the selection is hitting the front.
Back in May I was stood in the same place for the Victoria Cup, a similarly competitive handicap, and as they broke from the stalls Speculative Bid was towards the rear with the whole field in front.
I then had to put my head down to collate the starting prices and by the time I raised my head there was two furlongs to go and the horse was still in the rear. Jamie Spencer then weaved his wave through with such breathtaking acceleration that it has resonated with me ever since.
He must be a double figure price because of his style of running but the concession of refund as a free bet if beaten less than a length into second suits me with the come from behind tactics adopted.
Eight of the last ten winners raced no more than three times in the current season and 10 of the last 11 were drawn in double figure stalls. He qualifies for both. His trainer David Elsworth has executed well laid plans with Mighty Fly in 1983 and Pontenuovo in 1990. Are you convinced yet?
Read more on Day 2 at Royal Ascot…