Best bets Wednesday 1st May at Ascot for Royal Ascot Trials Day
They have a decent card at Ascot on Wednesday for what is now known as Royal Ascot Trials Day. It could be a day for Jolly backers, though it looks like more than one will be odds-on.
The Wesley Ward-trained Lady Pauline is the name that leaps off the page at you for the 5f Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes at 2.15. We obviously do not know much about any of these but I have watched the video of her win at Keeneland earlier this month and the chestnut filly could not have been more impressive making all, travelling strongly throughout to win by nearly ten-lengths. A half-sister to stable's speedball Lady Aurelia she is already 5-2 best price jolly for the 5f G.2 Queen Mary at the Royal meeting – she wins this you’ll be lucky to get Evens. I have had the ante-post bet for June (see Royal Ascot page) as she will be un-backable at her odds on Wednesday being 2-5 already as of Tuesday lunchtime.
The stayers line-up for the Group Three Longines Sagaro Stakes over two-mile at 3.25. Dee Ex Bee never really went on after finishing second in the Derby last year but put in some fair efforts in defeat. The same comment about fair efforts in defeat applies to Weekender also, runner-up off top weight in the Ebor last season for example. Both have a habit of finding a way to get beat. Verdana Blue is better known for her exploits over the sticks, rated 157 at her best at that game. She won the G.1 Christmas Hurdle in December and was last seen winning the G.2 Scottish Champion Hurdle last month. She has had three runs on the flat on the all-weather acquitting herself well each time and getting a bit of weight here she has to be an interesting contender on her first start on turf on the flat. Oisin Murphy rides and I think she is well worth a punt at 5-1.
It’s the turn of the speedsters at 3.55 for the 6f Group Three Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes (Registered As The Pavilion Stakes)
Connections of Calyx opted for this in preference to Saturday's Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Winner of the Coventry Stakes over track and trip on his last start in June here at Royal Ascot my personal opinion has always been sprinting would be the way to go with this colt. Odds-on as soon as they chalked-up on Tuesday he can’t be backed in this and I have held off backing him for the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal Meeting as no-one is offering NRNB and Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said only the other day "He is now likely to run in the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot next Wednesday. Thereafter, the top mile races will be considered.”
The Listed Ascot Shop Paradise Stakes (A Queen Anne Stakes Trial) over a mile at 4.25 sees Barney Roy return to racing after an unsuccessful spell at stud. Now in the care of Charlie Appleby, he was, of course, the winner of the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes over track and trip in 2017. At his best, he would win this in a canter but has been off 18 months. If Charlie Appleby has him anywhere near tip-top condition for this return to action he will win. At 11-8 I am prepared to take a chance.