1pt win Rogue Lightning @12/1, 1pt win Valiant Force @16/1, 15:45 Royal Ascot, Tuesday

5f King Charles III Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3yo+)

Big Evs was the champion juvenile sprinter last year capping off an incredible campaign with a Group 1 success in the Breeders Cup. He also hold a course and distance win in the Windsor Castle Stakes to boast here as well and was nearly perfect other than on his one start against older sprinting opposition. He certainly could end up being the best sprinter in Britain, but he still has it to prove against older opposition.

Kerdos also put himself firmly in the mix for this with a fantastic Group 2 success on testing ground at Haydock last time out, he beat a few that reoppose him here including ROGUE LIGHTNING who I’m keeping the faith with here for Tom Clover in the Wathnan Racing colours. Acquired for £1m, Rogue Lightning wouldn’t have enjoyed how testing the ground was on his seasonal reappearance, but it was a perfectly acceptable comeback run finishing 3.5 lengths behind a race-fit Kerdos among other rivals.

The return to a sound surface and a stiffer track is sure to suit Rogue Lightning who is also a course and distance winner and in a race where there isn’t much to separate this field on official ratings, Rogue Lightning looks good value at 12/1 with him sure to come on from his first start of the campaign.

Another that could be underestimated at big odds is 2023 Norfolk Stakes winner, VALIANT FORCE. He was sent off at ridiculous odds of 150/1 last season to be one of Royal Ascot’s biggest ever winner and it would be foolish to completely write him off again. He has got his ideal conditions again on a track he clearly loves and although he is drawn quite wide in stall 14, he should get a toe into the race from the front-running Regional.

Admittedly Valiant Force has a small amount to prove having failed to sparkle on an experiment over 6f on dirt in the US, but he is back with his Irish handler, Adrian Murray and proved his Royal Asoct win was no fluke when being drawn wide in the Breeders’ Turf Juvenile Sprint to only go down by half a length to Big Evs. He could be every bit as good as the favourite under these conditions and I think he is worth rolling the dice with here.

1pt win Rogue Lightning @12/1, 15:45 Royal Ascot, Tuesday
1pt win Valiant Force @16/1, 15:45 Royal Ascot, Tuesday

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