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Royal Ascot tips: Tropical Storm can chase Whistlejacket home in Norfolk Stakes

Royal Ascot’s Gold Cup day kicks off with this tasty curtain-raiser that gives some of racing’s most promising juvenile sprinters their chance to strut their stuff over the minimum distance.

14:30 Royal Ascot: Norfolk Stakes 

  • Race details: 5 furlongs, Group 2, 2-year-olds only
  • 2023 winner: Valiant Force (150/1) - Rossa Ryan (J), Adrian Murray (T)
  • Recent Trends: 11/21 winners priced less than 13/2 (3 winning favourites), but last two winners were 50/1 and 150/1 

Planet Sport Bet Royal Ascot Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if the favourite (inc. joint/co) wins, get a £5 Free Bet!

All but one of the 14 runners have won at least one of their limited outings, with Andrew Balding’s Tropical Storm the only one to have missed out on a prior visit to the winner’s enclosure,

All eyes here will be on Whistlejacket, who arrives from the Ballydoyle stable as favourite by a country mile, and might even be backed into odds-on by the time the stalls are loaded.

He failed to justify similar support on debut in an 11-runner maiden at the Curragh in April, but could possibly have excuses that day, with both the longer six-furlong trip and the heavy ground appearing to work against him.

Suggested bet: Whistlejacket in the 14:30 at Royal Ascot

Whatever the reason, he only had to wait a fortnight to make amends at the same venue, this time in Listed company on better ground over this minimum trip six weeks ago.

Aidan O’Brien clearly has high hopes for this young filly, and a Royal Ascot success under the guidance of red-hot Ryan Moore could prove to be the launchpad for an illustrious Group 1 career.

 

Whistlejacket’s price might be prohibitive for the casual bettor, but those short odds can only help punters looking for enhanced each-way value elsewhere, with all of the favourite’s 13 rivals available at 7/1 or higher.

It's also worth remembering that Valiant Force was the 150/1 winner of this renewal 12 months ago, with runner-up Malc also an unfancied 66/1 shot, so the winner can clealry come from anywhere.

American trainer Wesley Ward is no stranger to Ascot success and will have high hopes that Saturday Flirt has not had a wasted journey across the Pond, while Richard Fahey’s Loom is an improving type who won at the second attempt a fortnight ago and should relish the challenge of Ascot’s track.

From a list of numerous suitable candidates, Shareholder also holds serious claims, but our final vote for a spot in the minor placings goes to the aforementioned Tropical Storm.

Andrew Balding’s colt might not have broken his duck yet, but he has been showing plenty of signs to suggest that his first win is likely to come sooner rather than later.

Each-way punt: Tropical Storm in the 14:30 at Royal Ascot

He shaped up nicely enough when coming fifth of eight on career debut at Newbury in April, finishing less than 2½ lengths behind the winner, with jockey David Probert not needing to give him too hard a time on the run-in.

Tropical Storm was clearly better for that run when showing huge signs of improvement to finish runner-up of seven in a valuable novice event at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting, running prominently throughout and only just pipped at the post in the final strides.

Oisin Murphy was at the helm that day, and will no doubt will have learned from that experience, so we won’t be surprised to see the former champion jockey timing his challenge a little better this time around, and what a fitting stage it would be for the only maiden in the race to land his first success. 

 

READ MORE: Royal Ascot Thursday tips: Best bets for ITV action on Day 3, June 20

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