14:30 Ascot

With the likes of Big Rock, Audience and Royal Scotsman in the field this could suit a closer and that brings both MALJOOM (best priced at 10/1) and DOCKLANDS (best priced at 14/1) into the race.

The William Haggas trained four-year-old won his first three career starts before finishing an unlucky fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes at the meeting in 2022. He has been lightly raced since but he should step forward from his reappearance run here last time when the race wasn’t run to suit and reverting to hold up tactics should see him staying on strongly at the finish. 

Connections have Docklands have chosen to roll the big dice running in this Group 1 rather than the Wolferton Stakes and hopefully that decision will be justified. He has a good Ascot record with two wins and two places including a victory in the Britannia Handicap last season on fast ground and a close 3rd in the Balmoral Handicap on his final start last season.

He has finished 2nd on both of his starts this season but he should closing late on with four places widely available. 

Maljoom - 0.5pts e/w
Docklands - 0.5pts e/w

15:45 Ascot

Twilight Calls would still remain my main selection for the race (tipped at 16/1 on 4th June) but with the fast ground I would give a chance to last year’s Norfolk Stakes winner VALIANT FORCE (best priced at 18/1). The three-year-old was a shock 150/1 winner at the meeting last season on good to firm ground before finishing only ½ length behind Big Evs in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on fast ground at Santa Anita. 

Valiant Force ran well on both of his starts in the USA since but now returns to Adrian Murray and he should be suited by this return to Ascot and fast ground. With up to six places available, and no standout contender this season, he looks worth taking a chance on back at the scene of his only career victory.

Valiant Force - 0.5pts e/w

19:30 Brighton

The Tony Carroll stable remain in good from operating at a 24% strike rate in the past two weeks and the in-form LOCAL BAY (best priced at 6/4) should hold strong claims of completing a hat-trick of wins. The six-year-old beat the reopposing Rivas Rob Roy by 1 ¼ lengths at Bath earlier this month off a mark of 56 before following up on Saturday in impressive style by three lengths beating the in-form Andromedas Kingdom. 

The handicapper has raised Local Bay 7lbs for that victory but he instead runs here under a 5lb penalty meaning that he is 2lbs “well in” at the weights and he should prove hard to beat under talented 7lb claimer Jack Doughty.  

Local Bay - 1pt

20:00 Brighton

The John Berry trained CLOUDY ROSE (best priced at 5/2) completed a hat-trick of wins last season and she is unlucky not to be bidding to repeat all three of those victories this season. The six-year-old won by a length over this course and distance in April off a mark of 49 before staying on strongly to finish 2nd at Beverley a month ago when she was slowly away off a mark of 52. 

Cloudy Rose won this race last season off a mark of 51 and she is only 2lbs higher this year following her good run at Beverley last time and she should get back to winning ways in this race. 

Cloudy Rose - 1pt