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Graeme Rodway
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Royal Ascot Thursday tips: 25/1 shout for the Britannia Stakes

The Gold Cup is the feature on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his three best bets on the card.

Graeme Rodway’s tips

4.20 Ascot - Eldar Eldarov @ 10/3

5.00 Ascot - Betterdaysrcoming @ 25/1

5.35 Ascot - Epictetus @ 5/1

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4.20 Ascot - Eldar Eldarov @ 10/3

The Gold Cup (4.20) is one of the highlights of the entire season and it looks like the perfect opportunity for last season’s St Leger winner ELDAR ELDAROV to stake his claim as the best stayer in Europe.

The son of Dubawi had classy subsequent winners Haskoy, Giavellotto and the reopposing Emily Dickinson behind when successful at Doncaster last year in what has worked out to be a much better race than it looked at the time. That impression was confirmed at York last month.

Eldar Eldarov had the Doncaster form with Giavellotto reversed that day, but they finished first and second in that Group 2 Yorkshire Cup and pulled a length clear of the reopposing Broome. Subsequent winners Quickthorn and Siskany were further behind in fourth and fifth.

The selection was conceding weight all round that day under a Group 1 penalty and should be capable of improving on what was his first run since last October. The step up to 2m4f also promises to suit Eldar Eldarov and he is one of the outstanding bets of the entire meeting.

Graeme Rodway’s tip:

Eldar Eldarov @ 10/3 - 1pt win

5.00 Ascot - Betterdaysrcoming @ 25/1

The Britannia Stakes (5.00) comes up next and Betterdaysrcoming looks overpriced following his victory in an ultra-competitive 7f handicap at the Curragh last month.

Betterdaysrcoming probably wasn’t ideally suited by the drop back in trip that day after racing over a mile on his previous start and he did remarkably well to come through late.

The selection was outpaced at a crucial stage, but he ran on strongly when they reached the uphill finish and got on top by a head, with the front two a length and a quarter clear of them.

That is red-hot form and Betterdaysrcoming looks certain to be suited by the return to a mile on a stiff track like Ascot. There could be plenty of further improvement to come from him.

The rain won’t be an issue as he has form with cut in the ground and a big run is on the cards.

Graeme Rodway’s tip:

Betterdaysrcoming @ 25/1 - 1pt win

5.35 Ascot - Epictetus @ 5/1

I’m convinced that the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly was the strongest Classic run all season in Europe and the fifth, Epictetus, is taken to win the Hampton Court Stakes (5.35).

Epictetus has been mixing it with a better class of horse than he will meet here. He was second to the Epsom Derby winner Auguste Rodin in the Vertem Futurity at Doncaster last season and finished only two and a quarter lengths behind The Foxes in the Dante at York.

But it’s his French run that is the standout. He was beaten eight lengths by winner Ace Impact and runner-up Big Rock, but those are two top-class three-year-olds and the third at Chantilly was none other than Marhaba Ya Sanafi. He had won the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp on his previous run and is a Group 1 winner in his own right. The form is strong

This Group 3 is a strong race for the grade, but it’s unlikely to have anything of Ace Impact or Big Rock’s quality in the line-up and Epictetus should be capable of outclassing them.

Graeme Rodway’s tip:

Epictetus @ 5/1 - 1pt win

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Graeme Rodway’s tips

4.20 Ascot - Eldar Eldarov @ 10/3

5.00 Ascot - Betterdaysrcoming @ 25/1 

5.35 Ascot - Epictetus @ 5/1

View the latest Horse Racing Odds

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