Horse racing betting: Blue looks the perfect colour on Ladies’ Day

Bill Esdaile
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Ascot Races
Kieren Fallon will be on Blue De Vega in the Tercentenary Stakes (Source: Getty)

There may only be a field of nine declared for Thursday's Tercentenary Stakes (3.05pm), but what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality.

Aidan O’Brien, Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden all run lightly-raced colts with plenty of potential, but I’m sticking with the form in the book and siding with BLUE DE VEGA at 9/2 with Coral.

Admittedly, my selection is burdened with a 4lb penalty for his Group Three win as a two-year-old, and the recent rain that has fallen over Berkshire certainly hasn’t helped his cause.

However, Michael O’Callaghan’s son of Lope De Vega has been placed behind Awtaad on both starts to date this season, most recently when third in the Irish 2000 Guineas.

That form is head and shoulders above anything on offer here and he had Tuesday’s St James’s Palace Stakes winner Galileo Gold only one place in front of him at the Curragh.

He would have been a really strong selection if the ground had been sounder as his trainer is adamant that he is a better horse on a decent surface.

Conditions shouldn’t be any worse than they were at the Curragh, though, and I’m also hopeful that the step up in trip will help jockey Kieren Fallon squeeze out further improvement.

Abdon was once talked about as a possible Investec Derby horse and, with only two career starts under his belt, he looks a typical Sir Michael Stoute-trained improver.

He chased home Hawkbill on his reappearance at Newmarket and it would be no surprise if he reversed the form with the Godolphin colt who is looking to stretch his unbeaten run to five.

Irish trainer O’Brien saddles Long Island Sound who is unbeaten in all three runs to date.

Those have all been over a mile and the step up in trip looks sure to suit.

He could well be anything but the form of what he has achieved to date is well below what is required to win this.

Just the 30 runners go to post in the cavalry charge that is the Britannia Stakes (5.00pm) - horseracing’s alternative to the roulette table.

The majority of the field of three-year-olds are lightly raced, meaning the form book is actually of fairly minimal assistance.

Out And About and Chief Whip head the betting and it’s easy to make a case for both, but I’m prepared to take an each-way chance on a couple at bigger prices.

DEFROCKED looks quirky but definitely has bundles of talent as shown when winning at Windsor and Doncaster earlier this season.

There was plenty of cut in the ground at Windsor, so conditions won’t be a problem and he’s one that should find cover and settle well in a big field.

In Jamie Spencer he has the right man on board to cover him up and deliver him late to land this prize at 14/1 with Star Sports.

At an even bigger price, take a flier on FIGHTING TEMERAIRE who has been knocking on the door and looks to be crying out for a step up to a mile. He’s 20/1 with Betway.


Blue De Vega, 3.05pm, Royal Ascot

Defrocked e/w, 5.00pm, Royal Ascot

Fighting Temeraire e/w, 5.00pm, Royal Ascot

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