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Royal Ascot tips (1740): Aurora Dawn a lively contender to land Kensington Palace Stakes

There's no let-up in the action at Royal Ascot, where the recent addition of the Kensington Palace Stakes gives more experienced fillies their chance to shine over a one-mile trip.

17:40 Royal Ascot: Kensington Palace Stakes Handicap

  • Race details: 1 mile (straight), Handicap, Fillies only, 4-year-olds+
  • 2023 winner: Villanova Queen (25/1) - CT Keane (J), Mrs J Harrington (T)
  • Recent Trends: Just three previous renewals, winners priced 12/1, 40/1 and 25/1 

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With the ground good-firm and the forecast dry, Aurora Dawn looks a very lively contender, having raced on good-firm ground twice before, winning once at Newbury, and going down by half a length to a particularly well-handicapped colt over a mile at Haydock.

The winner of that Haydock race, Pearl Eye, is a colt who won four subsequent handicaps and is now rated 18lbs higher than when narrowly beating Aurora Dawn, who in turn is only 4lbs higher than for her very easy win on the straight, galloping track at Newbury in this month last year.

That was over 7f on good-firm and she comfortably pulled two lengths clear of nine mixed rivals on what was her final outing of last season.

Following a 293-day absence, she returned to action on the all-weather in April, for a prep run in advance of her return to the turf at Goodwood last month. 

Suggested best bet: Aurora Dawn each-way in the 17:40 at Royal Ascot

In finishing a never-nearer sixth of 12 in that race, Aurora Dawn needs her run marking up very significantly because she was repeatedly denied a clear run on the far rail from before the two-furlong pole until inside the final furlong, when she finally got some space and finished very nicely without being given a hard time, the benefits of which we are likely to see today.

Given that she was very slowly away that day, and still in last place on the rail at the top of the home straight, it was an eye-catching effort from a filly who is very likely to come on again for her first turf run since her impressive fast-ground Newbury win almost a year ago.

Both her wins have come on straight, galloping tracks, this is her ground, and she looks set to peak following her eye-catching Goodwood run last month.

Marginally the quickest part of the straight track on Tuesday morning is down the far side (lower numbers), so stall 6 is a potentially positive draw.

 

Of the others, the lightly-raced Elim is of interest in just her third handicap following a very solid seasonal debut run which saw her finish fourth of 10 in mixed company in a straight-mile handicap on the galloping track at Redcar where the ground was good-firm.

She was backed down to clear favourite but ultimately needed the run (after a long 386-day absence) and it was a very good prep for this event, which is to be run under an almost identical set of conditions.

Off an unchanged mark, and with Jamie Spencer an interesting booking (very rarely rides for this yard), Elim can be expected to progress again this term after ending her three-year-old season with two successive wins over this trip.

Next best bet: Elim each-way in the 17:40 at Royal Ascot

 

READ MORE: Royal Ascot Wednesday tips: Best bets for ITV action on Day 2, June 19

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