Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of this summer of sport, with some high-profile races to enjoy over the next few days. Given that, we’re looking to cover all angles at the festival.
We’ve called in help from the Racing Post for our daily Royal Ascot tips, with the best bets for the opening day listed below courtesy of Keith Melrose. Throughout the festival we’ll also have the latest free bets and special offers.
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2.30 Chesham Stakes
Experts’ Best Bet: Nemonte at 12/1
Aidan O’Brien’s horses are always popular, especially in the Chesham Stakes, but his son Joseph is almost as good as sharpening up a two-year-old for this race. Nemonte took half of his debut race to realise his job, but powered home once he did and he can improve now.
3.05 Jersey Stakes
Experts’ Best Bet: Quar Shamar at 14/1
This horse went from maidens straight into the Group 1 Irish 2,000 Guineas. He finished sixth in that race, despite not having the clearest run. He has a lot more potential and has a much better chance in this Group 3 than his odds imply.
3.40 Hardwicke Stakes
Experts’ Best Bet: Highfield Princess at 11/2
Last year’s champion sprinter finished second here on Tuesday. This slightly longer distance should play to her strengths now and horses running at Royal Ascot for the second time in a week have a strong record.
4.20 Platinum Jubilee Stakes
Experts’ Best Bet: West Wind Blows at 16/1
This gradual improver was last seen mugging off some established Listed-class horses in a Group 3 at Longchamp. This race will be tougher, but he can rise to meet the challenge and should not be available at nearly 20-1.
5.00 Wokingham Stakes
Experts’ Best Bet: Orazio at 6/1
This horse has looked like the Wokingham winner ever since he scooted in at Newmarket in April. The draw appears to have been kind and he looks as solid as you could wish for in a favourite for a big handicap.
5.35 Golden Gates Stakes
Experts’ Best Bet: Coco Jack at 33/1
The real fancy is Lion Of War, but if you like that horse at 15-2 you have to be keen on the horse he beat into second last time at 33s. Coco Jack is bred to stay well and is only just getting the chance to show it, so even though he has had plenty of runs in his career there is still room for him to improve.
6.10 Queen Alexandra Stakes
Experts’ Best Bet: Goshen at 16/1
Fans of jumps racing will know this talented sort only too well. Hardly a punter in the land does not have a hard-luck story about Goshen. Even so, this looks like the day it could all come together on the Flat. He loves a stiff, right-handed track over jumps and this represents a fairly rare run at such a course on the level. He gets one more chance.
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