Angus McNae's Thursday tips: Nordic can light up Royal Ascot

By Angus McNae
Thu 21 Jun 2018

I was delighted to see Without Parole win the St James's Palace Stakes on Tuesday.

Not just because I had a few quid on him and have been championing his cause ever since he fired a sensational Timeform Speed Figure at Yarmouth earlier this season.

Horses very rarely produce such figures at such an early stage of their career and that was an indication that a Group One win was just around the corner. And the fact that he has achieved that, and the signs that Calyx was also a potential top-nothcer, now really is evidence of the highest order of the importance of speed figures in this game.

They should be a key aspect to your punting armoury, if they are not already.

I have four selections for you at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

3.05 Royal Ascot - Nordic Lights at 8-1:

This horse has plenty of untapped potential.

I was impressed with his win in a fast time at Newmarket a couple of starts ago.

On the back of that I thought he would go close in the Dante Stakes at York. Unfortunately, despite being very well supported, he was unsuited by the relative test of speed that the race turned into and he finished fifth to Roaring Lion.

A good gallop would have seen him to much better effect and that is something he should benefit from in the Hampton Court.

At around 8-1 he looks tremendous value to confirm and improve upon what he showed us at Newmarket. Having James Doyle on board is an added bonus.

3.40 Royal Ascot - Magic Wand at 9-2:

This is a very good opportunity for this filly to confirm and enhance the tremendous impression she created when taking the Cheshire Oaks.

She went on run disappointingly in the Oaks itself, but having travelled well she floundered in the soft ground eventually finishing fourth.

I think she will be much better prtheon evmuacihli fngas ter ground. She is by Galileo out of Prudenzia, a Dansili mare, which further enforces my belief that fast ground will suit her best.

Ryan Moore is an added bonus and 9-2 is a fair price.

4.20 Royal Ascot - Vazirabad at 6-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power:

This is an excellent renewal of the Gold Cup with the likes of Order of St George and Stradivarius in there, but I cannot resist a small wager on this horse who is ridden by Christophe Soumillon. They are a match made in heaven.

Soumillon knows this horse inside out and both he and his partner produced a brilliant display to win the Dubai Workd Cup in March.

He also won a Group Two cozily last time out from the recent York winner Marmelo.

His bare form always hides his ability because he only ever does enough and needs delivering late by the Belgian.

I can see him being ultra patient here and charging late to deal with those whose hands were played earlier. This could be a Soumillon masterclass and it should be a joy to watch.

5.00 Royal Ascot - Ostilio at a generally available 16-1:

The Britannia Stakes is always fiercely competitive and this year is no different but at 16-1 this horse makes most appeal.

He won a Newmarket Handicap last time out in comfortable fashion.

Now off a 6lb higher mark he has a tougher task, but looks thoroughly progressive.

It is important to remember that he finished a decent six-length second to Without Parole at Yarmouth earlier this year and that does not look too shabby now!

Stall 15 gives his jockey Silvestre De Sousa options in terms of where he goes and this horse should go well in what is an ultra competitive event.

Angus McNae's Royal Ascot best bets:

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