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2020 Royal Ascot Day Four Tips – All seven races covered on Friday

  • Five Group races feature on Friday's card at Royal Ascot
  • The Commonwealth Cup is the main event
  • Pierre Lapin narrowly heads a very competitive betting heat
  • The Albany and Norfolk Stakes see top two-year-olds go head-to-head
  • Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck tops the market for the Hardwicke Stakes
commonwealth cup
A view of the runners in the 2018 Commonwealth Cup. (Getty)

We bring you our Royal Ascot Day Four Tips, covering all seven races at Ascot on Friday 19th June.

Friday’s card looks a little different to what regular Royal Ascot attendees have come to expect. The Albany and Norfolk Stakes have been moved to day four, as has the Hardwicke Stakes, which leads up to the feature race on the card, the Commonwealth Cup.

It’s been a decent week on the tipping front for me so far, with five winners and four long odds each-way placers. Let’s hope there’s more success to come on day four!

2020 Royal Ascot Day Four Card


Race Time
Race Title
1:15pmPalace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap (Class 2) 5f
1:50pmAlbany Stakes (Group 3) 6f
2:25pmNorfolk Stakes (Group 2) 5f
3:00pmHardwicke Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f
3:35pmCommonwealth Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) 6f
4:10pmQueen’s Vase Stakes (Group 2) 1m6f
4:40pmDuke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) 1m4f

2020 Royal Ascot Day Four Tips


Race 1 - Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap Tips


Keep Busy E/W1:15pm Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap (Class 2) 5fGET 12/1 HERE
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Art Power has looked a tremendous prospect on both his most recent runs, powering to effortless victories on soft ground at York, and the all-weather at Newcastle. Tim Easterby’s star has landed a kind draw down the stands’ rail, with plenty of pace in and around him, so you can see why he’s so far ahead of the rest in the betting.

That being said, large-field sprint handicaps are amongst the most unpredictable races on the level, so I can’t bring myself to back a runner carrying such a short price. I’d rather take Art Power on with a couple of each-way punts, the first of those being KEEP BUSY, drawn just two stalls outside the favourite in gate 21.

John Quinn got plenty of runs into his filly at two, with Keep Busy winning just two of her ten starts on British soil. She did, however, manage to win a Listed race on soft ground at Chantilly on her final two-year-old start. Keep Busy kept on to place second behind the impressive Lazuli in the Scurry Stakes last time out, and Cieren Fallon’s claimer leaves her carrying just 8-10 to post. She could go really well.

Classy Moon E/W1:15pm Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap (Class 2) 5fGET 25/1 HERE
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The other runner who whets my appetite at a slightly longer price is CLASSY MOON, who also looks to have picked up a favourable high draw. Karl Burke’s gelding bolted up on his debut at Carlisle, beating three future winners by three lengths. Classy Moon was then beaten around four lengths in the July Stakes over six-furlongs, and again behind A’Ali in the Prix Robert Papin. Classy Moon now makes his handicap debut off what looks a workable mark of 97 and any extra juice in the ground will do his chances no harm at all.

eye of heaven
Eye Of Heaven (centre) beating Get It (right) and Tactical (background) during the Guineas Festival. (Getty)

Race 2 - Albany Stakes Tips


Flying Aletha1:50pm Albany Stakes (Group 3) 6fGET 4/1 HERE
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Wesley Ward is yet to win the Albany Stakes, with Sunset Glow’s runner-up effort in 2014 the best any of his entrants has managed. Despite that, I was so taken with FLYING ALETHA’S debut victory at Gulfstream Park, I’m going to bank on her handing the US trainer his first win at 2020 Royal Ascot.

Flying Aletha was in with stablemate and odds-on favourite, Lime, and the two Ward runners pulled clear of the rest heading into the bend. As push came to shove on the favourite, Edgar Prado remained motionless on his mount, pulling five lengths clear as they crossed the line on the bridle.

Ward’s filly should have no problem at all stepping up to six furlongs, even if the ground is a little juicy. Although there’s been a strong stands’ side bias so far this week, the top five in the betting here are drawn between one and six, so we could see a change in fortunes for those who’ve been drawn low.

Race 3 – Norfolk Stakes Tips


Eye Of Heaven2:25pm Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) 5fGET 7/4 HERE
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With possible pace angles split evenly across the track, the draw may not make too much of a difference in this five-furlong dash. While I was very impressed with Jojo Rabbit’s second outing at Wolverhampton and fancy he could be a good each-way bet, I’m finding it hard to get away from EYE OF HEAVEN.

Frankie Dettori rode Mark Johnston’s colt to victory on debut at Newmarket, where Eye Of Heaven sat just behind the pace before forging ahead in the final 100 yards. The form of that maiden was boosted massively on Wednesday when third-placed, Tactical and runner-up, Get It finished first and fourth respectively in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

This beautifully bred son of Exceed And Excell looks to have an excellent chance. I just hope softer ground won’t dampen his turn of foot.

Race 4 – Hardwicke Stakes Tips


Anthony Van Dyck3:00pm Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) 1m4fGET 9/4 HERE
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Having finished a close second to impressive Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner, Lord North on his return to action, Elarqam has been backed to win on Friday. I, however, have never thought Mark Johnston’s star was crying out for a mile-and-a-half and I doubt there have been many, if any winners of this race who were having their first start over the trip.

Defoe won this race 12 months ago, but his form has been pretty poor since. Communique was poor on his reappearance. Fanny Logan has to step up her form considerably. Morando needs a bog to be at his best, and the rest only bring Group Three or handicap form to the table.

The stage is seemingly set for ANTHONY VAN DYCK to claim his first victory since winning last year’s Epsom Derby. Aidan O’Brien’s colt showed signs of resurgent form at the end of last season, and made excellent late headway to place second to runaway winner, Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup on his reappearance. At 9/4, Anthony Van Dyck is probably my best bet of the day.

Race 5 – Commonwealth Cup Tips


Read my full preview of the 2020 Commonwealth Cup and see which two horses I fancy will go very close at Royal Ascot.

If you want to watch day four’s feature on your mobile or tablet, check out our Commonwealth Cup Live Streaming Page.

GHAIYYATH
Anthony Van Dyck (right) stays on for second behind Ghaiyyath at Newmarket. (Getty)

Race 6 – Queen’s Vase


Nobel Prize E/W4:10pm Queen’s Vase Stakes (Group 2) 1m6fGET 13/2 HERE
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The bookies are finding it damn-near impossible to split the first four or five contenders in this year’s Queen’s Vase, and I’m not faring much better. I don’t think this will be a big betting race for me at all, but I am tempted to take a chance on NOBEL PRIZE, who battled hard through heavy ground to claim a maiden victory on his final two-year-old start.

Aidan O’Brien’s colt is a full brother to Group One winners Highland Reel and Idaho, so he’s certainly bred to improve between two and three, and reach a high-level over middle distances. An inside draw is a worry, but this looks a wide-open race and he offers a small amount of each-way value.

Race 7 – Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes Handicap Tips


Al Muffrih E/W4:40pm Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) 1m4fGET 12/1 HERE
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The weights for Friday’s card closer are extremely congested, with even bottom-weight Medal Winner carrying over 9-00. We know how important a wide draw can be in middle-distance handicaps here at Ascot, so I was pleased to see AL MUFFRIH drawn down in stall 18, and I’m hoping William Haggas’ charge can finally fulfil his potential.

This lightly-raced five-year-old ran just three times last year, finishing just two lengths adrift of the winner on his first start in the Spring Lodge Stakes. Having battled hard for a win on his second outing at Redcar, Al Muffrih was then heavily backed for the Old Newton Cup at Haydock. Sadly, William Haggas’ charge slipped on the final bend and was eased down soon afterwards.

Although four-year-olds boast a strong record in this handicap, All Muffrih has very few miles on the clock and Haggas’ stable have been in excellent form of late. If third-reserve Hereby was to get in at Ascot, I'd be very tempted to back him too. But, as things stand, Al Muffrih will be my sole each-way selection in Friday’s final race.

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