17:00 Royal Ascot: Nichols Canyon to blast away rivals
There will not be too many more popular Royal Ascot winners than Disclaimer, should the favourite gain success in the Queen’s Vase.
The race is being run in the memory of Sir Henry Cecil and the legendary trainer had a fine strike rate in this 2m contest for three-year-olds, saddling eight previous winners.
Disclaimer would have represented one of Sir Henry’s best chances of a Royal Ascot victory and would represent a significant double after the triumph of Riposte in the Ribblesdale Stakes.
It is 7/2 that Disclaimer wins the Queen’s Vase and the race has been the long-term plan for the horse, even though he is yet to race over anything further than 1m3f.
However, he has shaped as if he would stay further.
Six of the last eight Queen’s Vase winners scooped success despite having been beaten on their final start before arriving at Royal Ascot and this should limit the number of potential winners.
Nichols Canyon fits this bill and had a Derby entry earlier in the season, which suggests he is highly thought of by John Gosden.
Back-to-back defeats when sent off favourite scuppered plans for Epsom, but if he showed anything in these reverses, it was the desire to run on in the closing stages after getting outpaced.
This step up in trip is expected to suit and he looks each-way value at 10/1.
Based on the betting, the other fancied horse in the field is Leading Light from the yard of Aidan O’Brien.
He is the highest rated in the field, but does carry a 3lb penalty for winning a Group 3 last time over 1m2f.
But the record of favourites in the Queen’s Vase is strong, with Estimate doing the honours for favourite backers for the sixth time in 13 years 12 months ago and Leading Light heads the market this time at 13/8.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.