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Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06

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My best bet: who I’ll be backing to win big at Ascot

INSIDE YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE

New Graduate (Royal Hunt Cup) New Graduate looked potentially better than a handicapper when unleashing a tremendous turn of foot to romp home by five lengths in a mile handicap at Ripon in April. The horse he beat that day, Kaeso, has since gone mighty close to landing Ascot’s Victoria Cup before winning cosily at Chester. James Tate has saved the lightly raced New Graduate for the Royal Ascot cavalry charge since Ripon and it looks a wise move as the son of New Approach strongly appeals as the proverbial Group horse in a handicap. Richard Birch Anna’s Fast (Albany Stakes) Wesley Ward has a wealth of two-yearold talent ready to run at Royal Ascot and it’s hard to split a number of his fillies on their first efforts as most dominated from the front in weak affairs. However, he has always been sweet on this daughter of Sawgrass Handicap winner Fast Anna and the way she blitzed her rivals on her debut at Keeneland in April was impressive and professional. She didn’t get the ideal trip that day, either, but she looked to have plenty left in the tank at the line to suggest six furlongs at Ascot won’t be a problem. Tom Collins Ickworth (Queen Mary Stakes) Despite winning her two starts in impressive style, the Willie Mccreerytrained filly looks to have been underestimated by the layers. She should be favourite for the Queen Mary. She put a Ballydoyle colt, who has subsequently finished second in a Listed race, firmly in his place over the minimum trip at the Curragh last time and the ease with which she travelled through that contest screamed Queen Mary winner to me. Mccreery said the Godolphin-owned daughter of Shamardal would adore quick ground given her pace and I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t make it three from three at the royal meeting. She’s lightning quick. David Jennings Agrotera (Duke of Cambridge) Easily won the Sandringham over this distance at last year’s meeting and returned from a winter break to record an impressive victory in a Listed race at Kempton in April. The Ed Walker-trained filly needs to improve again to be competitive in this Group 2, but that was a career-best effort judged on Racing Post Ratings and she will be suited by the return to this straight course. Still lightly raced and open to plenty of further progress, she is just the type who could elevate her form at this track and, provided she gets a good pace, she should be coming home strongly. Graeme Rodway

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