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Ed Chamberlin previews the final three days of Royal Ascot 2013

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 19th June 2013 view comments

With a vintage Royal Ascot on-going and the First Lions Test plus the Champions Trophy Final this weekend, what a brilliant week of sport this is.

My mind also turned to the new Premier League season on Wednesday when the fixtures were announced; there are some brilliant games in the first few weeks of the season and some super Super Sundays and Monday Night Footballs look guaranteed.

Biographer: can run well in Gold Cup at Ascot, says Ed

Biographer: can run well in Gold Cup at Ascot, says Ed

As we reach the halfway point of Royal Ascot, I'm struggling to recall a better opening day; it always seems crazy that Ascot load the best races of the meeting on the first and quietest day of the week.

Last year Frankel stole the show and we had another sensational day on Tuesday, but I fear the rest of the week will struggle to come anywhere near it; the biggest crowds on Friday and Saturday see nothing like the same quality, which always seems strange to me.

I think Biographer will relish the extra distance and run a big race at a big price.

Ed Chamberlin
Quotes of the week

Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup-winner Animal Kingdom was the star attraction in the opener on Day One but was beaten early on and Declaration Of War was a brilliant winner, plus the perfect start for my Sky Bet selections.

The opening day also had a thrilling Group One sprint and a stunningly impressive Coventry Stakes winner, War Command, who is only 7/1 with Sky Bet to win the 2014 2,000 Guineas. The highlight of the day, though, came in the St James' Palace Stakes as Dawn Approach and Toronado went head-to-head and toe-to-toe.

The former came out on top for Jim Bolger and Godolphin but now sets up what should be a thrilling rivalry for the rest of the season. This will be brilliant for racing as I always think rivalries are much more effective and productive for the sport than superstars.

I would bet on Dawn Approach v Toronado in the Sussex Stakes getting more press coverage and headlines than Sprinter Sacre did before and after the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Thursday

I'm heading to Ascot on Thursday, which won't have Tuesday's quality but still looks like another excellent day's racing and could see the sport on the back and front pages of the papers.

The Queen winning the Gold Cup with Estimate would be a superb story. A Royal winner and the girl beating the boys would be an editor and headline writer's dream. The problem is that I'm just not sure Estimate will be quite good enough.

I'm hoping the horse writing the Gold Cup story and headlines will be Biographer. I have backed Biographer at 33/1 with Sky Bet as I think he can improve markedly over this longer trip. He acts on the track, having won over 1m 6f here in October when he stayed on in eye-catching fashion.

Biographer made an encouraging reappearance at Newmarket trying to give lumps of weight to Tiger Cliff, who did the form no harm at all when second on Tuesday. I think Biographer will relish the extra distance and run a big race at a big price.

The Queen also has a decent chance of a winner later on the card in the King George V Handicap as I've heard a big word for Bold Sniper. The wide draw is not ideal even over this trip but this is a horse open to a stack of improvement in handicap company and I can't resist one that Sir Michael Stoute lines up for this race.

One of my biggest fancies of the week is Alive Alive Oh in the Ribblesdale, a race in which the Irish have a really good record. Tommy Stack's filly was placed behind Magician on her only start as a juvenile and is unbeaten as a three-year-old.

She has shown a breath-taking turn of foot on both occasions and looks like a rapidly improving filly. She swerved the Oaks and has been targeted at this.

Day Three selections: Alive Alive Oh, Biographer (e/w), Bold Sniper

Friday

Day Four for me revolves around Sandiva in the Albany. I was with Richard Fahey at Windsor on Monday and what an exciting group of two-year-olds he has got - Parbold ran a blinder in the Coventry and he's been hitting the bar all week.

I sensed a glint in the great man's eye, though, when talking about Sandiva. She's looked really special on both her starts and the form of the Naas win is already looking particularly strong. I absolutely love Sandiva's giant stride and think she could be very good.

In the Coronation Stakes, I expect Dermot Weld's Big Break to finish much closer to Just the Judge than she did in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Big Break was too fresh after a long break that day and it's interesting Weld takes her on again and his filly certainly remains capable of a stack of improvement.

Hillstar is an interesting runner in the King Edward VIII Stakes; the horse has been expensive to follow so far but looks worth one more chance. Hillstar was heavily backed again last time at Newbury where he had to do all the donkey work having failed to settle. They will employ completely different riding tactics on Friday and the stable still think he's very good.

Day Four selections: Sandiva, Big Break (e/w), Hillstar

Saturday

My least favourite day of the meeting. The Diamond Jubilee and Wokingham look impossible, while the Hardwicke doesn't set my pulse racing. I will be focusing on the rugby.

Day Five selections: The Lions!

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