Jack Milner of BetVictor.com brings you Monday’s best bets
Royal Ascot is just 9 days away and BetVictor have seen money for De Bruyne Horse to land the Coventry Stakes on the opening day of the royal meeting, with Richard Hannon’s well-bred colt backed into 5/1 from 9s with BetVictor for the Gp 2 contest over six furlongs. The son of Showcasing beat Mark Johnston’s Card Sharp on Derby Day at Epsom, and the latter franked the form by scoring impressively at Beverley on Saturday.
Hannon will run Guineas runner-up Barney Roy in the St James’s Palace Stakes, with the Greenham winner 3/1 to reverse the form with dual-classic winner Churchill. The 2000 Guineas winner is part of a small army of runners for trainer Aidan O’Brien who has similarly warm ante-post favourites for Caravaggio (10/11 for the Commonwealth Cup), Winter (8/11 with BetVictor for the Coronation Stakes) and Order of St George and the latter 5/4 from 6/4 in the week with BetVictor to win back-to-back renewals of the Ascot Gold Cup.
It will be a massive week for Godolphin after John Ferguson’s exit in the week, and the boys in blue enjoyed a terrific day at Newmarket with Culturati completing a 387/1 four-timer and cut to 12/1 from 25s with BetVictor for the Wokingham. William Buick rode three of the four winners on the card and is likely to enjoy further success aboard Chris Wall’s Oasis Spear (7.00) down at Windsor. The selection has improved on both starts thus far this term, finishing fourth last time out at Newcastle, and is now a pound lower than his last season’s course and distance success.
Buick must similarly go close aboard Nayyar (8.00) in the feature 5f Handicap. The selection, trained by Charlie Hills, beat one home when last seen finishing down the field at Sandown in April, but prior to that finished third in a competitive sprint handicap at Wolverhampton and is chanced to bounce back in a first-time tongue-tie.
Silvestre de Sousa is an eye-catching jockey booking aboard Red Master (9.00) for trainer Ed Dunlop in the closing handicap over an extended mile and a quarter. The son of Mastercraftsman is bred to get a trip and after finishing down the field in a trio of maidens should improve for both the step up in trip and the application of head-gear.
Afternoon action comes from Ayr and Brighton, with Poignant (2.00) expected to score at the former under Ben Curtis for fledgling trainer Archie Watson. The Newmarket-based handler, former assistant to William Haggas, has enjoyed plenty of juvenile success already this term, and the Sepoy colt sets a fair standard based on his three career runs thus far.
Curtis rode a good Saturday winner aboard Pennsylvania Dutch for boss William Haggas at Haydock and can complete a quick-fire double aboard Paradise Cove (2.30) for his boss in the Fillies’ Maiden over a mile and a quarter. She is upped in trip after finishing fourth last time out over a mile at Windsor and with further improvement likely is a confident selection to get her head in front at the third time of asking.
Hughie Morrison’s filly Aurora Gray (7.10) is up 15lb for winning handicaps on the all-weather but could be well-treated if translating her form to the turf up at Pontefract in the Stayers’ Handicap over an extended two miles. The daughter of Rip Van Winkle is unbeaten over today’s trip and should complete the four-timer under Robert Winston.
The pair can complete doubles with Special Relation (8.10) fancied to go close stepping up in trip to a mile and a half on his seasonal debut. The selection was a runner-up in three maidens on the all-weather over the winter but is bred to appreciate further and can make a winning debut handicapping from a lucrative mark of 76.
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