• Tue 17 May, 2022
  • 18:15 BST
  • 14:15 EST (BST-4)
  • 20:15 CEST (BST+2)

Fergie’s Friday Foursome

Paul Ferguson has four selections from Royal Ascot (Ten Sovereigns – 3.40; Hermosa – 4.20; Fujaira Prince – 5.35) and one from Goodwood (Just Benjamin – 6.55) for us on Friday.. Compare odds and bet.

Friday could be a really big day for Aidan O’Brien, who is responsible for three short-priced favourites at Royal Ascot. First up is Japan, who sets the standard in the King Edward VII Stakes, based on his staying-on third in the Derby last time. He faces a couple of real improvers, however, in the shape of Pondus and Private Secretary and this race comes just 20 days after Epsom.

Beaten 2,000 Guineas favourite Ten Sovereigns (3:40) comes up next, in the 6f Commonwealth Cup, where the drop in trip should certainly suit. Clear at the two pole on the far side at Newmarket, I don’t expect the easy ground to pose any problems and the stiff finish – at this distance – should also suit. He looks a worthy market leader, as does stable-companion Hermosa (4:20) who will be tough to beat in the feature of the day, the Coronation Stakes.

The Galileo filly was very impressive in completing the Guineas-double at the Curragh last month and being out of a Pivotal mare, she shouldn’t mind the easier surface. Sir Michael Stoute’s Jubiloso has looked good in winning at Chelmsford and Newbury, but this represents a big rise in class and Hermosa sets a very high bar.

Away from the Group races, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes is another of the middle-distance handicaps which I really like and although he was touched off at York last month, I’m keeping the faith with Fujaira Prince (5:35) for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni.

The lightly-raced grey had earlier completed the hat-trick on his reappearance at Doncaster and the easier ground will certainly be in his favour. He looks to have a big prize in him and that York second is working out well, with the Caliburn (5th) and Red Galileo (7th) winning subsequently.

The third and fourth from York again re-oppose and given that he finished a neck second in last year’s King George V Stakes, Corgi is very much respected and is another each-way option in what looks a hugely competitive affair.

Elsewhere, I’m looking forward to seeing December Second make his Flat debut at Goodwood, where he takes on Black Kalanisi over 1m6f in the concluding maiden. The former has won a couple of bumpers and also contested the Grade 1 at Punchestown, so clearly has a bright future.

Earlier on the same card, Just Benjamin (6:55) can complete the hat-trick for William Haggas, having beaten Gravistas (a Newmarket winner since) at Musselburgh last time. The improving three-year-old held an entry in the King George V Stakes earlier in the week, but this looks much more realistic and he remains on a sharp upward curve.

Friday’s selections:
3:40 Royal Ascot – Ten Sovereigns; 11/8 Coral
4:20 Royal Ascot – Hermosa; 10/11 William Hill
5:35 Royal Ascot – Fujaira Prince; 13/2 Coral
6:55 Goodwood – Just Benjamin; 13/8 Unibet


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