Ruby Walsh gives Paddy Power punters his top tips ahead of day three of the Royal Ascot Festival.
2.30: Norfolk Stakes 5f
This two-year-old race is going to be very sharp with the ground drying out.
I spoke to Johnny Murtagh yesterday and he rides Ahern for David Barrons and he likes him. Aidan O’Brien’s Gale Force Ten improved from his run on the all-weather to win well the last day. A lot will depend on speed and there’s a couple of speed trainers there, former England international Mick Channon (Cay Verde) and Clive Cox (Reckless Abandon) can train a sprinter. I wouldn’t have a strong fancy for the race to be honest.
3.05 Ribblesdale Stake 1m 4f
I fancy The Fugue to win. I thought she’d win the Oaks but got hampered at the top of the hill before finishing fast to nab third behind Ballydoye’s winner Was. People say Royal Ascot doesn’t favour an Oaks runner but she’s had a week later to get over her exertions this year.
3.45 Ascot Gold Cup 2m4f
Fame and Glory is a good thing for this and his biggest danger is Saddler’s Rock for John Oxx and Johnny Murtagh. He’s a Group One winner over 1m 4f who happens to stay 2m 4f. He’s the best bet of the day and Saddler’s Rock at an each-way price is the second best bet of the day.
4.25 Britannia Stakes 1m
A decent race but a lot will depend where the pace is. 30 runners is a minefield. I don’t know what’s well handicapped or what’s not but I think you’ll need to stay well. Maybe one of the Mark Johnston horses Switzerland or Leqqaa at a price.
5.00 Tercentenary Stakes 1m 2f (Group 3)
There are plenty of unexposed horses in this but the one I fancy is Crius for Richard Hughes. Some of these could potentially be better than a Group 3 horse. It’s a good stepping stone. That’s what you get in this race sometimes, horse who can improve later in the season and maybe step up to Group One class and even run in the King George back here later on in the summer. There’s a couple of dark horses that could be open to improvement like Tales of Grimm (M Stoute) and Wrotham Heath (H Cecil).
5.35 King George V Stakes 1m 4f
You need a lot of luck in running in this with 22 runners. It’s a difficult one to call. Rocktherunway is on a hat-trick and wouldn’t have gotten in here if he didn’t win his last race. He’s still only 8st 2lb to carry now. I’d love to see Cathy Gannon win this on Rocktherunway.