Arizona wins last year's Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Arizona wins last year's Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.|NBC Sports
Thoroughbreds

Garrity's Wednesday Royal Ascot Stakes: Picks are for the Hampton Court, King George V, and Prince of Wales

Garrity's first post time is at 8:50 am EDT.

Chris Garrity

It’s day two of the Royal Ascot meeting on Wednesday, and we can only hope the results on Tuesday, the opening day of the five-day meeting, are a sign of things to come: the quality of the racing was terrific, and the results were satisfying, if a bit chalky, with the best horses generally running the best races. We’ll cross our fingers that this trend can continue the rest of the week.

The headliner on Wednesday is the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, which is just a terrific race. We’ll look at that, plus two supporting races. Ascot got some rain on Monday, and we’re expecting the turf condition to be good or good to soft. Let’s go.

Ascot, Race 2, 8:50 am ET

Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, 3-Year-olds

The field of the Hampton Court came up a bit short, at least by Ascot standards, with only eight entrants. We like 8-Russian Emperor, an Aidan O’Brien trainee, who comes into this in good form, having run second, in good time, in a prep at Leopardstown in Ireland on June 5. That race was at a mile and a quarter, the same distance as this race, and we think that experience gives him an edge over the other runners, most of whom are stretching out from shorter. Russian Emperor showed an impressive turn of foot in his last race, rallying into a very slow pace to lose by a long neck, and we are expecting a similarly exciting move down the Ascot stretch to take the Hampton Court. He should also like the soft going very much. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Ascot, Race 2, $40 to win on 8-Russian Emperor.

Ascot, Race 3, 9:25 am ET

King George V Handicap, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 3-Year-olds

Eighteen sophomore colts will negotiate 12 furlongs in the King George V. The pick is a 3-Bright Melody, a Godolphin colt who is trained by Charlie Appleby. He’s as well-bred a turf horse as you’ll see anywhere, by Dubawi out of a Street Cry mare, and though he somewhat curiously has yet to run on grass -- both his career starts were over synthetic racing surfaces -- he has looked like a runner so far, and we think he will improve, in a big way, in his first start on turf, and his first start at this 12 furlong distance. Both of his two career starts were this year, one in January and one on June 3, so he should be ready to run, and he should also be fit enough to stay the mile and a half. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Ascot, Race 3, $35 to win on 3-Bright Melody.

Ascot, Race 4, 10:00 am ET

Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, 4 & Up

This race is both a highlight on the European stakes calendar, and one of the world’s very best 10 furlong grass races. This is international racing, and sport, at its absolute highest level. It’s good stuff.

This year’s edition drew seven runners, with the headliner 5-Japan, who’s 4/5 on the morning line after having collected a handful of classic wins in Europe last year, including the King Edward VII Stakes at the 2019 Royal Ascot meeting.

While Japan probably comes into this race with the best credentials, and while he’s probably the likeliest winner, we think his edge over the rest of the field is narrow, as he’s coming into this race off a long layoff, with his last race at Longchamps in Paris in October. At odds-on he, looks like a massive underlay to us -- and we always bet against underlays.

We like 1-Addeybb, and we like him quite a bit. The 6-year-old gelding is in the best form of his life, following up a successful 2019 UK campaign with a trip to Australia, where he won a pair of Group 1 races, against some pretty stiff competition, in March and April. Addeybb is in good form, he thrives at this 10 furlong distance, with four wins and seven in-the-money finishes in eight career starts, and he should absolutely love the soft going he will get at Ascot. His stretch run in his last race, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in Sydney, was absolutely sensational, and we think he looks poised for another top effort here. At 10-1, we think he’s a fantastic play, and will bet him to win. The bet: Ascot: Race 4, $50 to win on 1-Addeybb.

That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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