1m (7f213y) (Rnd) St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Colts) (Class 1) (3yo)
This is the race of the day, given the competitiveness and no standout. The three Coolmore horses have fared well, drawn on the inside in 2, 3 and 4, so they’re likely to try and dictate things with Ontario the likely pacemaker. BATTLEGROUND looks their main chance and even though he’s been backed in since yesterday, I still like 11/2 given the draw and the fast ground in his favour. He was smashed in late on Guineas day and was said to not handle the track, so a return to Ascot tees him up for a make or break run. CHINDIT has been my long term fancy for the race and has been kept back for this. I love the horse and his only bad runs have come at the undulating Newmarket. He’s won at Ascot before – although never round a bend – and gets his optimum fast ground. At 9/1 he is a very live chance and both heart and head recommend him as a bet. Highland Avenue hasn’t fared well with the draw but I have no real issue with his 8/1 quotes – if he drifts he becomes very interesting too, as he’s full of potential and should thrive in these conditions.
1pt win Battleground 11/2, 16:20 Royal Ascot, Tuesday
1pt win Chindit 9/1, 16:20 Royal Ascot, Tuesday