THERE are puzzles and then there is the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00pm), a 30-runner cavalry charge up Ascot’s straight mile.
As is often the case in this race, there are a number of unexposed four-year-olds towards the head of the market which is no surprise with five of the last six winners coming from that age bracket.
It’s hard enough predicting who will go off favourite but John and Thady Gosden hold a strong hand with Magical Morning, the mount of Frankie Dettori, and Lincoln winner Haqeeqy.
They can both go well, as can Finest Sound for the Crisfords who was an excellent second in last year’s Britannia Handicap and has been kept back for this since winning a handicap at Haydock in April.
However, I think the most well-handicapped horse in the race is Ed Walker’s MATTHEW FLINDERS.
He was an impressive winner of a decent mile handicap at Doncaster last September and reappeared with a fine third in Newbury’s Spring Cup.
Too keen at York last time, he should get the strong pace he needs to aim at in this and Walker has booked the services of champion jockey Oisin Murphy.
He is drawn in stall 15 which gives Murphy options and he looks a decent each-way bet at 12/1.
My other selection is WHAT’S THE STORY at around the 40/1 mark, who was fourth in this race three years ago.
Keith Dalgleish’s seven-year-old has performed well on both starts this season and while you couldn’t say he is well-handicapped off a mark of 105, I can definitely see him finishing in the frame.
It’s never easy to land the Hunt Cup Quinella but for World Pool bettors on Tote.co.uk I would advise putting in the two selections with Finest Sound and Andrew’s Balding Grove Ferry who also looks like he is on a decent mark.
Matthew Flinders e/w 5.00pm Ascot
What’s The Story e/w 5.00pm Ascot
Quinella: Matthew Flinders, What’s The Story, Finest Sound, Grove Ferry