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2.30 - Norfolk Stakes (Group 2, 5f)
Seven unbeaten records are on the line the Norfolk and this looks an absolutely wide open starter on day three. US trainer Wesley Ward is two-handed with Nakatomi and Lucci, once-raced winners at Keeneland and Belmont respectively.
Ward bagged this prize in 2013 and again in 2018 and it's the Qatar Racing colt - the mount of Oisin Murphy, seeking to win this race for the second year running - that makes most appeal for him.
He impressed in the manner he went about things at Keeneland in April and he had a subsequent dual winner behind in second spot. That was on a sloppy dirt-track, so he must now prove himself on this surface.
Second Wind is 2-2 for William Haggas already and the Kodiac colt has scope for more improvement, though the clock suggests he has work to do again to keep winning. He joins the likes of Project Dante, Perfect Power and Clive Cox's Instinctive Move in having improvement to offer in this competitive arena.
Andreas Vesalius made all to open his account at Naas last month on third start with a dominant run from the front but its Ballydoyle colt CADAMOSTO that earns the nod.
He's by No Nay Never and is bred for speed. He showed plenty early dash on his Dundalk Polytrack bow in April, easily fending off main market rival Silver Surfer by more than three-lengths and doing so in a quick time. He's open to lots of improvement here and may hand Aidan O'Brien a record-equalling fourth Norfolk success, his third since 2015.
3.05 - Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3, 1m2f)
A 4lb penalty must be carried by One Ruler but the Dubawi colt could still have a big say on this first crack at a mile-and-a-quarter. Charlie Appleby's runner has contested the Guineas and The Derby in two starts this season and ought to appreciate this ease in grade, despite spotting that weight to his nine rivals.
Absent from this month's Epsom showpiece at 11th-hour was MOHAAFETH after William Haggas took the tough decision to remove him on account of the ground. The Shadwell-owned son of Frankel had earlier posted a bloodless and deeply impressive Listed success at Newmarket (1m2f, good to firm) on the Guineas card in May, his third win of an already progressive season.
Secret Protector was five-lengths behind in second that afternoon but, in truth, it was anything but a race as Jim Crowley's mount dismissed his rivals with sheer ease. On that evidence he's laced with considerable potential and his bang in-form trainer (38 per-cent strike-rate lately) can be rewarded for his patience with a Hampton Court victory.
The aforementioned Secret Protector lends depth to the Appleby bid this afternoon and the War Front colt certainly should have place claims.
Aidan O'Brien sends Roman Empire (Ryan Moore) and Matchless (Seamie Heffernan) into battle. The former set a strong gallop in the Dante at York last month and did well to finish fourth in the circumstances (with Pythagoras behind in sixth). He could go well for top connections here.
Movin Time has an easy next-time-out winner behind in second when landing a Newmarket maiden over this trip in good fashion last month. He's the least exposed in this field and Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni will certainly feel there's more in his locker, ensuring he commands plenty respect rising in class now.
3.40 - Ribblesdale Stakes (Fillies' Group 2, 1m4f)
After winning a Wetherby novice (1m2f) on seasonal bow, Noon Star was short-price favourite to win York's Musidora Stakes afterwards. She could manage only second however as front-running 14/1 chance Snowfall held the field at bay.
With that rival having shattered records with her Oaks win at Epsom since, Sir Michael Stoute's filly can certainly have that apparent York setback reassessed.
The daughter of Galileo comes here after a month off and she should be amongst front rank now with James Doyle on board.
Divinely took a step forward to be third in The Oaks this month and is the single representative for Ballydoyle here. She has so far shown her best form with some give in the ground, however, so conditions here pose a question as things stand.
John Gosden has won three of the last four Ribblesdale renewals and will be hoping Gloria Mundi can continue that strong record now in his first season aligned with son Thady.
She lost her unbeaten record but little else when second to Eshaada in a Listed contest at Newbury last month. They had a real ding-dong battle, with Roger Varian's Muhaarar filly just winning out (she's now 2-2) and both look sure to be involved at the business end again now.
DUBAI FOUNTAIN was very strong in the market at Epsom this month on the back of a gutsy Cheshire Oaks win at Chester but Mark Johnston's Teofilo filly didn't take to the unique nature of the Classic-course on Oaks Day.
It's not necessarily a stick with which she should be beaten excessively and it might well pay to forgive the run. Johnston's horses so often leave a disappointment behind them quickly and this promising filly has a big run in her based on that Chester success previously.
4.15 - Gold Cup (Group 1, 2m4f)
The mighty Stradivarius bids to emulate Yeats and win his fourth Ascot Gold Cup this afternoon. He's been the dominant force in this division throughout his reign and his comeback win in the Sagaro Stakes here (2m, good to firm) was pleasing.
Never was he more impressive than when thrashing his rivals in a soft-ground renewal of this contest last summer and no doubting he's the one to beat for Frankie Dettori and Team Gosden.
The only thing going against Stradivarius is the price. He's odds-on and now faces the biggest Gold Cup field of his life. This is a strong renewal of this great race and there are many dangers lurking.
It will be a sight to savour if Dettori brings Stradivarius home in front - and he may well do that - but there are each-way alternatives for punters to explore too.
Aidan O'Brien goes with a trio - Serpentine, Santiago and Amhran Na Bhfiann - last year's Derby winner has Ryan Moore on board and was supplemented to run in this, interestingly. Like his two stablemates; he's got improvement to find and stamina to prove.
Emperor Of The Sun gives Donnacha O'Brien his first contender in this as a trainer and he could go well if the trip is to his liking.
Spanish Mission won the 2m2f Doncaster Cup last year and arrives here having defeated Santiago at York in a Group 2 over 1m6f last month. Stamina should not be a worry and Andrew Balding's charge is a place contender.
Long Distance Cup scorer Trueshan found only Japan too strong on his comeback at Chester (1m5½f) last month and could give Hollie Doyle a major spin for trainer Alan King on first try at this distance.
Princess Zoe has the stamina to go well here but fast ground is something of a worry and so instead it's to 2020 Melbourne Cup winner TWILIGHT PAYMENT we turn for an each-way play.
Joseph O'Brien's charge has run good races in two defeats this season in Ireland at 1m2f/1m6f - most recently when third behind Empire Of The Sun - but it's at this marathon trip that he could present a big danger, especially given the way he completed two-miles at Flemington in November.
He's a massive price to run into the frame under Tom Marquand and is worth taking a chance with on that basis given the trip may well suit him.
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5.00 - Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap, 1m)
Raadobarg created a nice impression with a winning handicap bow at Haydock last month and is viewed a key player here for Roger Varian and Jack Mitchell despite going up 11lb for that success. He beat some in-form rivals and the Night Of Thunder colt looks to have more to offer.
Mithras was progressing nicely prior to a Listed disappointment at Sandown on soft ground last month. He likely can bounce back quickly from that effort, though the market won't miss his chance here.
Big Narstie is a front-runner capable of giving Hayley Turner a good spin at a decent price, though they may prove vulnerable late on.
Air To Air is 8lb higher than when winning at Doncaster 12 days ago but Jamie Spencer rode him in uber-confident fashion on Town Moor and they won with plenty in hand. He could be arriving fast and late on the scene now and trainer George Boughey has his team in fine order.
George Peabody is a handicap debutant given a short break after successive spring novice successes at Doncaster and Thirsk, he cannot be crossed off, albeit this is a tough starting point.
If there's one the market that is wrong then maybe it is SUMMA PETO for Keith Dalgleish. He was a well-beaten 50/1 chance in a Listed race over 7f here last summer on third start, but he easily won over this trip in a maiden at Ayr (good to firm) in April and has since made short work of an opening handicap mark of 83 on the all-weather at Wolverhampton last month.
He's got more on his plate now for sure but that's built into his price and the Dialed In colt could easily outrun his current odds.
5.35 - King George V Stakes (Handicap, 1m4f)
As always, a hot 3YO handicap here and top connections are represented across the board. First Light demolished his rivals at Ripon in a maiden last month and now has Frankie Dettori on board for this handicap bow. They should be in the mix.
Sir Lamorak (Aidan O'Brien) and Siskany (Charlie Appleby) are bidding for hat-tricks and both need maximum respect upped in distance, while another Ballydoyle contender - Sir William Bruce - is also on the up after his Leopardstown win last month at this trip.
Lord Protector is unbeaten thus far (3-3) and has twice beaten a good rival in Wahraan at Windsor and Salisbury this term. Expect to see Ralph Beckett's gelding put up another bold showing in this more competitive environment.
June Fine can be forgiven his Newmarket return in April (race won by Mohaafeth) as he looked in need of the outing, Sir Michael Stoute's Royal runner could easily have lots more to offer and is worth noting in the betting but TOO FRIENDLY is fancied to make a challenge.
The Camelot colt cam unstuck in a Listed race at Epsom (1m2f, good) in April but his earlier Doncaster maiden win (turf bow/seasonal comeback) was very encouraging. He's drawn wide here in first-time cheekpieces but he is potentially on a very fair mark and he retains plenty of upside at this point.
6.10 - Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap, 7f)
The concluding trio of races on day three will leave punters exhausted as they are exceedingly tough but, conversely, finding a winner amongst them could be very rewarding.
Boardman is thriving and unlikely to allow his quest for a four-timer go down without a fight, while Aldaary is already a C&D winner this season and was a good third more recently at Goodwood - his only setback in four to date. Both are contenders.
Lincoln fourth Danyah ran another super race despite being a bit keen early over 1m at Newbury in April and Owen Burrows' gelding is by no means crossed off from this 3lb higher mark. Documenting can go well but may find a few better handicapped and in a tough finale DANCE FEVER gets the nod.
Clive Cox's charge won all three starts as a juvenile and ran two good races last summer at Windsor and here over a mile when second to a thriving rival in Tsar in a contest that worked out strongly. We haven't seen the Sir Prancelot gelding since but he has gone well fresh before and a strongly run 7f here could be ideal for Adam Kirby's partner.