0.75pts each-way Tribute Act @12/1, 15:40 Royal Ascot, Wednesday

With Ballydoyle failing to land a blow on day one of the Royal Meeting, it would be tempting to write-off Aidan O’Brien’s runners. But as we all know class is permanent and he has plenty of opportunities to rectify the situation on day two.

Rhododendron was one of his fancied raiders that got turned over on Tuesday, and another one of his talented fillies in the shape of Hydrangea is 13/8 favourite for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

She is the class act in the race with two Group 1’s already on her CV, but there are plenty of negatives – not least her odds – which makes her a vulnerable short-price favourite.

Her best performance was arguably on Champions Day when defeating Bateel over a half-mile further trip (1m 4f, sft-hvy). That was the first time she stepped up to the Oaks trip and looked to improve for it.

Her reappearance run might best be excused, but it was a well below par performance and I am prepared to take her on as she carries a 5lb penalty and is definitely a better filly with a bit of cut in the ground.

Aljazzi comes into this off of a decent reappearance and I was very tempted by the 2017 runner-up with the fast-ground in her favour. She was allowed to go off at 40/1 in this last year, but the bookies are not taking the same chance with her this year and is just a bit two short on balance as she is not ultra-consistent.

Beyond the front two in the betting, there doesn’t appear to be a huge amount of depth in the field. However, Urban Fox has previously been rated as high as 104 in her career and looked very impressive on her first start for her new trainer (William Haggas) over course and distance. The form of that race has also worked out well with the third and fourth winning next time out.

Urban Fox is entitled to come on for that run, but another certain improver must be the filly that finished second in to her in TRIBUTE ACT, who rides in the famous Elite Racing colours.

These connections have had a number of successful fillies over the years including the likes of pattern-winner Ribbons, who also raced in the same Ascot Class 2 handicap off a mark of 95 before being thrown in to win a Group 1 off a derisory mark.

Tribute Act could follow a similar path having just had the seven runs, but she will have to improve massively to figure from her current mark of 90. But James Fanshawe is a shrewd operator and he would have to think fairly highly of her to convince his owners to supplement for this.

A strong gallop is highly likely with Hydrangea wanting a decent gallop to bring out her stamina and considering there are several front-runners then tactics could be pivotal and it could set the race up for Tribute Act as she tends to put her best work in at the end of the race.

The same could be said for Aljazzi, but Tribute Act remains completely unexposed with just the five career turf starts and at odds of 12/1, she looks a nice each-way prospect.

0.75pts each-way Tribute Act @12/1, 15:40 Ascot, Wednesday (1,2,3 places, 1/4 odds with Bet365)

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