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Royal Ascot - Horse Racing: Graeme Rodway's Day Three Tips

Two of the last three races at Royal Ascot on Thursday feature huge fields and punters will be richly rewarded if they can find the winners. The Racing Post's Graeme Rodway gives his best bets for the later races on Ladies Day.

5.00 Royal Ascot

Saga @ 10/1

1pt win

5.35 Royal Ascot

Reach For The Moon @ 1/2

2pt win

6.10 Royal Ascot

Ouzo @ 25/1

1pt each-way

Could it be hats off for a Royal winner? Saga can strike for The Queen

SAGA broke his maiden at this course last year and returned from a winter break to finish second behind Maljoom in a mile conditions race at Kempton in April under Frankie Dettori.

That looked a disappointing effort at the time because John and Thady Gosden's colt was turned over at 8/13. However, it now looks like a very smart piece of form as the winner has since landed the German 2,000 Guineas and was unlucky not to win the St James's Palace Stakes on Tuesday.

Saga pulled 12 lengths clear of the third and was only a length and a half behind the Group 1 horse who beat him. A reproduction of that run would probably be good enough to win here.

The worry is that he disappointed when favourite at this course last time. However, the drop to 7f might not have suited and Robert Havlin had a hard time getting him settled in front.

This bigger field might suit him and connections now reach for a blinkers and tongue-strap combination. Dettori is also back to replace Havlin and a better effort is expected with this significantly quicker ground likely to be in the son of Invincible Spirit's favour.

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Another regal opportunity

Her Majesty has an outstanding chance in the following Hampton Court Stakes (5.35) in the shape of REACH FOR THE MOON.

His latest second behind My Prospero at Sandown is the best piece of form in this race and he was reportedly in need of the run, so should improve for it.

It's a golden opportunity for The Queen to get a winner on the board on Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot in her Platinum Jubilee year.

Get the drinks in with a wise wager on Ouzo

Turn the clock back 12 months and OUZO finished fourth behind the now dual Group 1 runner-up Real World in the Royal Hunt Cup over a mile at this track. Fast-forward to the present day and he races off a 2lb lower mark in a weaker race and is right back to his best.

We saw that at Sandown last time when Ouzo chased home Rebel Territory in the Whitsun Cup. That is a traditionally hot mile handicap and my selection finished the race faster than the winner but lost out by a neck, with the front two five and a half lengths clear of the third.

That was his first run for Jamie Osborne after leaving Richard Hannon's stable and Ouzo is entitled to improve for the outing, given it was his first start for more than seven months.

Osborne won this race in 2010 with Treadwell and also had Cliffs Of Capri finish fourth a couple of years ago. It, therefore, looks significant Ouzo missed an intended outing back at Sandown on Saturday in favour of a crack at this race and he is only 4lb higher than last time.

A high draw in stall 27 should be fine as I prefer to be drawn on either side of the track in these big-field handicaps, and not in the middle. Ouzo rates a solid each-way play here.

By Graeme Rodway

What: Royal Ascot Day Three

Where: Ascot, Berkshire

When: 2.30 to 6.10

How to watch: bet365's Sports Live Streaming, ITV and Sky Sports Racing

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