WE’VE reached the midway point of Royal Ascot 2021 and the Weekend Punt continues to search for winners.
Our man Jack Keene continued his hot streak at Epsom earlier this month with a 58-1 double – meaning he is £65 in profit to a level £1 stake since the column began last August.
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John Gosden has a stunning record in the Ribblesdale Stakes and I reckon he can win it for a fourth time in five years with TASLIMA (3.40 Ascot).
She is the yard second string, with Frankie Dettori opting to ride Gloria Mundi, but that doesn’t concern me as David Egan is a fine jockey in his own right.
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Taslima shaped with plenty of promise when second on her debut last December and she took a big step forward when third in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.
She was given plenty to do that day and kept on in eye-catching fashion, and the winner has since run with a huge deal of credit to finish second in the Oaks.
The progressive daughter of Golden Horn is bred to relish every yard of this 1m4f trip, and that can’t be said for a few of the runners in here.
The Britannia is always an absolute minefield but it’s good fun trying to crack the puzzle.
This year’s race could go the way of the Sir Mark Prescott’s ROYAL PLEASURE (5.00 Ascot), who makes his turf debut on the heat of a 30-runner handicap.
Horses have a good record when switching to the Ascot grass from the all-weather, given the sand-based nature of the turf, and he has shown a real engine around Wolverhampton and Kempton.
He is a strong traveller with a potent turn of foot, so the hustle and bustle of this cavalry charge will suit him down to the ground.
Sir Mark is no fool – he’ll have had this race in mind for a long time and there is zero chance he has shown his hand with this horse – and there looks to be plenty of pace on his side of the track.
Royal Ascot day three selections (advised odds correct at time of writing)
3.40 Royal Ascot – Taslima 1pt EW @ 16-1
5.00 Royal Ascot – Royal Pleasure 1pt EW @ 20-1
5.35 Royal Ascot – Lord Protector 1pt EW @ 20-1
- (Column started August 6) rolling P&L: +65pts
LORD PROTECTOR (5.35 Ascot) can maintain his unbeaten record in the King George V Stakes.
He has done nothing but improve throughout his short career, winning on debut before hitting the target at Windsor and Salisbury respectively.
He pulled a mile clear with a progressive type at the latter, and he has proven this season that he goes on any ground, which is handy given the slightly uncertain weather forecast.
It’s a positive to be drawn high over the 1m4f track here, so stall 20 is actually a positive, and he likes to race handily which is a plus as it can often be very difficult to make up ground from off the pace in middle-distance races here.
It’s the first time he has tackled 1m4f, but he is a very stoutly-bred gelding who could even get further in time.
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