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Royal Ascot tips: Inisherin to dominate Commonwealth Cup, Pandora’s Gift can defy each-way odds

Friday’s Group 1 action kicks off with the prestigious Commonwealth Cup, an intriguing six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds that has been known to produce an upset or two in the past.

15:05 Royal Ascot: Commonwealth Cup  

  • Race details: 6 furlongs, Group 1, 3-year-olds only
  • 2023 winner: Shaquille (9/1), Oisin Murphy (J) - Julie Camacho (T)
  • Recent Trends: all 9 winners had won before over the same distance, 8 had run at Ascot before

Planet Sport Bet Royal Ascot Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Kind Of Blue finishes in the first 4 places, get a £5 Free Bet!

This race has produced its fair share of shock results in previous years, and there will have to be another one if the strongly-fancied Inisherin is to be denied his third career win in five starts.

Kevin Ryan’s colt almost landed a 50/1 upset when coming a half-length runner-up on debut at Newmarket last September, and after his winter break he wasted no time in going one better on season debut at Newcastle’s all-weather track in April.

Connections had seen enough to pitch him straight into the 2000 Guineas, and while he looked out of his young depth in the Newmarket Classic, he was far from disgraced in coming sixth of 11, less than five lengths behind the winner.

Suggested best bet: Inisherin in the 15:05 at Royal Ascot

A drop to six furlongs appeared to hit his sweet spot in the Sandy Lane at Haydock last time out 27 days ago, when he eased almost four lengths clear of his six capable rivals that included the reopposing Orne and the hitherto four-time-unbeaten odds-on favourite Vandeek.

Such is their confidence that Inisherin’s connections forked out £46,000 to supplement him for this race, and by ten past three on Friday afternoon, they could well be celebrating a seriously profitable return on that investment with the biggest prize on Friday’s card.

 

While it’s hard to see past the favourite to land this, there’s plenty of incentive for his 14 rivals to fill the three (or even four) each-way places that are up for grabs.

Immediately catching the eye at a tasty double-digit price is one of the two fillies in the line up, with Pandora’s Gift making her first start on turf after a stellar six-month career on the all-weather.

In five starts, only one of 48 rivals has got the better of Stuart Williams’ three-year-old, and that was on debut at Chelmsford in December, since when she has won all four starts by a combined 11 lengths, all over her clearly preferred six-furlong trip.

Best each-way bet: Pandora’s Gift each-way in the 15:05 at Royal Ascot

Experiencing turf for the first time in much stronger company than she has experienced before is a tough assignment, but this capable filly is clearly capable of performing way beyond the all-weather circuit.

She will be in the very capable hands of Sean Levey, who has already got a taste for Royal Ascot success, having steered Rosallion (5/2) and Jayarebe into the winners’ enclosure in the St James’s Palace and Hampton Court Stakes respectively.

Pandora’s Gift was available at odds as high as 25/1 on Thursday evening, but those prices have been slashed in half overnight, and while market support guarantees nothing, it does back the notion that she is expected to run better than the bookies initially gave her credit for.

 

With each-way options aplenty, anyone looking for some serious outsider value might do worse than consider following the top jockeys, with Oisin Murphy, Ryan Moore and Tom Marquand booked to bring the best out of Evade, Military and Lake Forest respectively.

The Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore team served us well with 12/1 winner Port Fairy in Wednesday’s Ribblesdale Stakes, so we’re going to keep the faith and plump for Military, who is available at a tasty 20/1+ at the time of writing.

Since winning on debut at Naas last September, he has continued to look useful without ever threatening to revisit the winners’ circle, and he was fourth of six behind the reopposing Givemethebeatboys when last seen at Naas a month ago.

He retains his blinkers from that outing, and while he does not appear to be the strongest prospect among O’Brien’s string, the Ballydoyle team has been in such hot form to land four wins here already that is would not be a major shock to see Military involved in the final-furlong melee here.

Outsider punt: Miltary each-way in the 15:05 at Royal Ascot

 

READ MORE: Royal Ascot Friday tips: Best bets for ITV action on Day 4, June 21

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