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Royal Ascot Copper Horse Stakes tips: High hopes for Alsakib in conditions set to suit

Six down and one to go, the final race on the opening day of the Festival is an intriguing longer-distance handicap that has given Tipstrr pundit Steve Jones plenty of food for thought.

18:15 Royal Ascot: Copper Horse Stakes Handicap  

  • Race details: 1 mile 6 furlongs, Handicap, 4-year-olds+
  • 2023 winner: Vauban (evens F) - Ryan Moore (J), Willie Mullins (T)
  • Recent Trends: Only 4 runnings, two winning favourites, two outsiders (33/1 and 16/1) 

 

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Only three of this big field of high-class stayers have ever won here before and one of those is Andrew Balding’s four-year-old, Alsakib, who drops back into handicap company following his never-nearer third of six in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester last month.

That race was won by the top-class Point Lonsdale, who is rated 116, so Alsakib had little chance on level terms with him, but the Balding runner, having his first try over further than 12 furlongs, finished off his race in very pleasing style and missed second place by less than a length behind Arrest, a dual Group 3 winner who is rated 114.

Now that connections know that Alsakib stays strongly, he can be ridden a bit closer to the pace and dropping down into handicap company on a track he is proven to like makes him an attractive proposition, especially on this lively ground.

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His only previous visit was for the valuable Lavazza Stakes, a Heritage Handicap run over 12 furlongs, in September last year. On good-firm ground, Alsakib came with a very powerful run down the home straight, going clear of a 0-102 field to win by an impressive three lengths.

Alsakib has now raced twice on good-firm ground, winning on each occasion, and now that his stamina is proven, new doors are open to him. Unexposed as a staying handicapper, he looks a good bet under this combination of conditions despite his big weight.

Suggested best bet: Alsakib in the 18:15 at Royal Ascot

 

Of the others, Intinso looks an interesting contender as one of two contenders for the Gosdens, who won this race in 2021 with another four-year-old, Amtiyaz, who is a half-brother to Intinso.

All-weather form seems to translate especially well to this track and Intinso has produced some high-class performances in that sphere, including at Kempton. He has recently extended that form to turf with his latest run, which saw him finish third of 11 after trying to make it all in a Heritage Handicap over this distance at Newmarket last month.

Connections are clearly confident about his stamina given the way in which he was ridden, but he didn’t go very fast in the early stages and was ultimately caught out for speed in the latter stages.

He will be better suited by sitting behind the likely stronger pace in a race like this, and he already has some good course-distance form, having run a close third of 10 in last season’s Class 2 Shergar Cup Classic.

Next best bet: Intinso in the 18:15 at Royal Ascot

 

 

READ MORE: Royal Ascot Tuesday tips: Best bets for ITV action on Day 1, June 18

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