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DOUBLE HANDFUL; John Shaw's racing betting column.

Byline: John Shaw's

ONE of the best features of this year's Royal Ascot is all the short skirts and low-cut tops, although they do make me look a bit camp.

The weather has been hot for an unprecedented length of time, which can make things a tad uncomfortable out on the course. Mind you, spare a thought for my friend who works in Greggs and is baking.

Day four of Ascot isn't all about the heat, it's mainly about fast-improving three-year-olds, the highlight of which are two cracking Group 1s, the Coronation Stakes and the Commonwealth Cup.

The creation of the Commonwealth Cup has proved a big success, allowing young speedsters to flourish over their optimum trip rather than been forced to stay a mile.

This race has been billed as a clash between Godolphin and Aidan O'Brien, as most of them tend to be at Royal Ascot -- or indeed any Flat racecourse of note.

In the Godolphin camp are Blue Point and HARRY ANGEL, and in the O'Brien corner is Caravaggio.

These three horses are so head and shoulders above the rest of the field it wouldn't surprise me if they occupy the first three places in the July Cup.

The question is, in which order will they finish today?

O'Brien maintains Caravaggio is the fastest horse he's trained.

That's one hell of an endorsement but it ain't enough to make me put my money on him.

Blue Point only just beat Harry Angel at Ascot and that was when he was given a 4lb advantage and when the latter pulled wildly at the start. I'll be amazed if Harry Angel doesn't reverse the form this afternoon given the scintillating display he put in when winning the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last time out.

Caravaggio could well be a superstar in the making and if he's as good as some are saying he wins this by a street.

But Harry Angel has to be the value of the race -- he's likely to go off around 7-2, with Caravaggio a shade of oddson.


"Racing is the only sport in the world in which you can participate, spectate and j at socialise all at the same time" Peter Saville



Five stats and facts about today's racing at Royal Ascot

1 THE ALBANY STAKES: The last 12 winners have been drawn in stall 11 or higher

2 THE KING EDWARD VII STAKES: 11 of the last 12 winners had raced at least twice

3 THE COMMONWEALTH CUP: Grade 1 race open exclusively to three-year-old horses, including geldings across Europe

4 THE CORONATION STAKES: Ervedya was the last horse to win this race and the French 1,000 Guineas

5 THE QUEEN'S VASE: Longest race of the day, won by the late Sir Henry Cecil on eight occasions

WINTER will be my selection in every single fourfold I'll be compiling today. When, and not if, she wins the Coronation Stakes it will hopefully go some way to making up for all the bad winters I've endured in this country.

The dual-1,000 Guineas heroine simply won't be beaten today.

The daughter of Galileo is my banker of the meeting, in fact she should be everyone's banker.

Expect Ryan Moore to adopt waiting tactics and swoop at the finish. With the Aidan O'Brien team having three of the seven runners the pace will be strong from the start.

O'Brien speaks about her as if defeat is out of the question.

And you know what? It is.

GAMBLING WISDOM "Racing is the only sport in the world in which you can participate, spectate and socialise all at the same time" Peter Saville
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 23, 2017
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