I hate rain. New Graduate will win next time out on good ground. But unfortunately the first big bet of the week simply did not take to the conditions. He wasn’t helped by being drawn in stall one which turned out to be on the wrong side to be on anyway. Today I am expecting a big day for one owner in particular. Hopefully, today can be an improvement on a tough Royal Ascot for the punters so far. Still... plenty of big bets still to come across the remaining three days. We march on…

2:30 – Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
I’m actually relatively confident here. SUNDAY SOVEREIGN (5/2) has both looked very good and the form is stacking up. The horse he beat on his second start (Arizona) came out and won the Coventry Stakes on Tuesday. Sunday Sovereign has won on soft ground easily so if it doesn’t dry out in time, it won’t hurt his chances and he is taken to get favourite backers off to a good start on Gold Cup day. I’m on at 5/1 but I have gone in again at 5/2 since. I think he may be too classy for the British and Irish contingent in a weak looking renewal. His chances have been made easier by his two biggest rivals antepost having to miss the race and I expect him to just be too fast and too good here. A relatively confident NAP to start the day. The danger for me, and worth a few quid each way at a tasty 14/1, is the American raider MAVEN (14/1). I love backing Wesley Ward’s horses in this and cannot ignore him at that price when he’s rumoured to be working very well of late. Misty Grey may be best of the rest based on the speed he showed at Epsom in the Woodcote dropping back in trip but the ground may not be fast enough for him. The lump may be down on Sunday Sovereign but Maven is a tidy bet each way too at huge odds. A huge start to day three in prospect.

3:05 – Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3)
As group threes go, this contest is as good as it gets with multiple capable of going on to bigger and better things. King Ottaker beat a good field at Newbury before tiring late in the Chester Vase. FOX CHAIRMAN (4/1) was another who was beaten at Chester but he was unlucky in running that day and the winner franked the form on Tuesday when winning the St James’ Palace. He looked useful when winning on his debut and has major potential. Cape of Good Hope represents Aiden O’Brien and was fourth in the French Derby last time. The form of Sangarius and Roseman was given a boost when their victor at Sandown was a close second in a group 1 earlier this week. Kick On may be bets of the rest as one who will appreciate this slower ground than that of his run.

3:40 – Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)
Plenty of these are unknown on the likely softer ground with Fleeting the market favourite after a good run when stepped up in trip in the Oaks. She rattled home that day and looked every inch a stayer so she should go well. Frankellina is said to be improving with every run but will need to in order to overturn that form with Fleeting. Star Catcher and Sparkle Roll both disappointed somewhat in the Musidora behind Frankellina and Fanny Logan doesn’t look good enough for this. Shambolic has run two solid races in listed contests this season and could go well at a big price. QUEEN POWER (3/1) instead gets the vote making it three King Power Racing horses for me in the first three races. She has looked like a staying type and ought to have won this season here already but came too late. If she handles that step up in trip as expected, and is fine on the ground, she must go very close.

4:20 – Ascot Gold Cup (Group 1)
STRADIVARIUS (5/4) goes in search of back to back Gold Cups after his thrilling win in the race last year during his unbeaten campaign. He won at this meeting in 2017 and is the best stayer on the planet. However, the task this year is on both slower ground and against younger unexposed horses in Dee Ex Bee and Cross Counter. The former was a good three year old but has excelled this season as a stayer whilst the latter oozes class and won the Melbourne and Meydan Gold Cup over the winter break. Both are talented stayers but may just fail to the champion who has a perfect blend of talent and determination. His ability to quicken when needed is good but his gutsy nature to stay in front up the run-in is better and he gets the vote. Flag of Honour and Capri go for Aiden O’Brien but neither have won this season in five starts between the pair of them and it’s hard to see them beating the favourite here. Master Of Reality may be best of the rest at huge odds.

5:00 – Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
By complete chance, based on the form, I fancy another King Power Racing horse here in HERO HERO (14/1) who won easily at Chester last time. He will handle any cut in the ground and is my first selection in an open-looking handicap. Beatboxer soared home late last time but is inconsistent whilst Dubai Legacy is one of few who has run well on soft if the going remains that way. Velorum ha slooked good this season on a sound surface and Eclipse Storm looked likely to enjoy this step up in trip when finishing strongly last time at the Curragh. The second selection though is for MOTAFAAWIT (12/1) who beat the reopposing Awe. That form was boosted when that rival won last time and he should go well in an intriguing renewal of the Britannia.

5:35 – King George V Stakes (Handicap)
King Power Racing have two more runners hereto end the day and I fancy one of them to go well at a nice each way price. Fox Premier and GOOD BIRTHDAY (12/1) represent the cash-splashing ownership with the latter holding a big chance if seeing out the new trip – which admittedly is an unknown. Fox Premier is on a hat-trick but this is tougher. Sir Ron Priestley is another on a winning run but cannot afford to lose ground at the start again as he did last time at Haydock. Sinjaari is bred to stay so might go one better that his recent second whilst CONSTANTINOPLE (9/2) has always looked like a staying type. He has shown glimpses of class and is my second dart in another tough betting heat on a day I’m hoping will be memorable for the King Power Racing ownership.

Day 3 bets:
2:30 – Sunday Sovereign (NAP) (5/1 antepost & 5/2) & Maven (14/1 each way)
3:05 – Fox Chairman (4/1)
3:40 – Queen Power (3/1)
4:20 – Stradivarius (5/4)
5:00 – Hero Hero (14/1 each way) & Motafaawit (12/1 each way)
5:35 – Good Birthday (12/1 each way) & Constantinople (9/2 each way)