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Royal Ascot Day 4 Tips - Race times & Fixtures

Royal Ascot Day 4 Tips 2020 – Friday 19th June

Friday at Royal Ascot 2020 is very much a day for sprint fans, with no less than four races held over five or six furlongs, and the highlight coming with the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup. This sprint was inaugurated in 2015 as part of a major reshaping of the international sprinting calendar, and last year saw a minor shock as Advertise and Frankie Dettori landed the spoils (giving small trainer Martyn Meade a very popular victory at the highest level).

The Coronation Stakes has been moved to the Saturday in 2020, while a brand new race The Palace of Holyroodhouse handicap kicks off the seven race card.


Royal Ascot Day 4 2020 – Race Times & Fixtures

Royal Ascot Day 4 2020, Friday 19th June, Schedule

Time Race Name Age Distance
01:15 PM Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap Tips 3 5f
01:50 PM Albany Stakes Tips 3 colts 1m 4f
02:25 PM Norfolk Stakes Tips 3 6f
03:00 PM Hardwicke Stakes Tips 3 fillies Old mile
03:35 PM Commonwealth Cup Tips 3 fillies 1m
04:10 PM Queens Vase Tips 3+ 1m 4f
O4:40 PM Duke of Edinburgh Handicap Tips 3+ 1m 4f

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Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap 2020

Race 1, Friday, June 19th, 01:15pm

Friday at Royal Ascot begins with a brand new race to start the seven race card. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarchy in Scotland, and this five furlong sprint provides a good opportunity for three year old handicappers to begin their season chasing some terrific prize money.

The one-off race seems certain to attract a maximum field of 24, and shrewd backers will take note of any draw bias on the straight course over the previous three days at the meeting. The ground is sure to be quickening up through the week and ability to handle very fast ground will be a prerequisite for all runners (race likely to be run in around 60 seconds or less).

Read complete Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap preview here


The Albany Stakes 2020

Race 2, Friday, June 19th, 01:50pm

This event is relatively new to the Royal meeting, first established in 2002 and run as a listed event called the Henry Carnavon Stakes (in memory of the Queens racing manager who passed away in 2001). It was first run under its present title in 2003 and gained Group 3 status in 2005.

The Group 3 contest is run over six furlongs, confined to two year old fillies who all carry 9 stone, and the prize money is £90,000 (winner receives over £50,000). In 2019 Roger Varian’s Daahyeh landed a hefty gamble down to 4/1f (from double that price in the early market), and she progressed run to run through the season afterwards, rounding off with a cracking second at Santa Anita in the Breeders Cup Juvenile fillies.

Read complete Albany Stakes preview here


The Norfolk Stakes 2020

Race 3, Friday, June 19th, 02:25pm

A competitive Group 2  open to two year olds only chasing over £100,000 in prize money (£56,710 to the winner) and run over the five furlong trip. All runners carry 9st 1lb (with a 3lb allowance for fillies) and a large number of the smaller trainers often target the prize with their best juveniles (hopefully avoiding truly top class rivals from the big battalions who may target Group 1’s during the rest of the week).

2019 saw a breakthrough win for Simon Crisford with his very talented A’Ali under Frankie Dettori, quickening clear over a furlong out and just resisting the late charge from the prolific northern raider Ventura Rebel. He went on to land the Flying Childers at Doncaster before a tilt at the Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita, and the form of this prize usually works out very well subsequently.

Read complete Norfolk Stakes preview here


The Hardwicke Stakes 2020

Race 4, Friday, June 19th, 03:00pm

A classy Group 2 run over one mile three furlongs and 211 yards, open to four year olds and upwards and attracting some top performers with over £225,000 in prize money up for grabs (over £127,000 to the winner).

This race has a rich history dating back to 1879, and the principals often go on to compete in the following months King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Harbinger became the latest horse to pull off the feat of winning both these valuable races back in 2010.

Sir Michael Stoute has a remarkable record in this race, winning it six times since 2010, with Crystal Ocean his latest victor in 2018 under Ryan Moore. In 2019 Roger Varian’s progressive Defoe landed a wholesale plunge down to favouritism despite being forced to race widest of all (after repeatedly suffering a blocked passage up the straight under Andrea Atzeni).

Read complete Hardwicke Stakes preview here


The Commonwealth Cup 2020

Race 5, Friday, June 19th, 03:35pm

This Group 1 was introduced to the Royal Ascot programme in 2015 as part of a set of changes to sprint racing across Europe. It is the only Group 1 exclusively for three year olds that allows geldings to compete, and replaced the Buckingham Palace Stakes run previously on the same day. All runners carry 9st 3lb (with a 3lb allowance for fillies and 10lb for southern hemisphere horses).

Smaller trainers have struck a blow in the five runnings of the race so far, with Karl Burke’s Quiet Reflection winning in 2016 and Martyn Meade’s Advertise landing the spoils in 2019 under Frankie Dettori. With £500,000 in prize money up for grabs this is always an extremely competitive sprint, with fine margins between victory and defeat as a big field charges down the straight.

Read complete Commonwealth Cup preview here


The Queen’s Vase 2020

Race 6, Friday, June 19th, 04:10pm

This Group 2 is confined to three year olds only and is run over one mile six furlongs and 34 yards, with the prize money on offer over £200,000. Fillies receive a valuable 3lb allowance and Group 1 winners now have to carry a 3lb penalty (rules changed in August 2019). It is one of three races at the Royal meeting with perpetual trophies, along with the Royal Hunt Cup and Gold Cup, meaning the winning owners can keep the silverware forever.

Aidan O’Brien has dominated the prize in recent history, with an incredible six wins since 2007, with Kew Gardens in 2018 proving a particularly high class and well backed winner (edging out stablemate Southern France to the delight of punters).

Read complete Queen’s Vase preview here


The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes 2020

Race 7, Friday, June 19th, 04:40pm

A minefield for punters to conclude day 4 at Royal Ascot, with this handicap run over one mile three furlongs 211 yards open to three year olds and upwards. Prize money of over £90,000 attracts a big field of horses who have the potential to go onto much better things as they mature for more racing experience. Several have gone on to taste Group race success on the back of landing this prize, with Blue Print (Jockey Club Stakes), Young Mick (Cumberland Lodge Stakes) and Fox Hunt (German St Leger) all notable past winners.

In 2019 the bookmakers were hit hard by the well backed winner Baghdad, smashed in the market from 9/1 in the morning down to 7/2f by the off, and making no mistake at all under a power-packed drive from Ryan Moore (winning by the narrowest of margins from Ben Vrackie in a pulsating finish).

Read complete Duke of Edinburgh Stakes preview here


Royal Ascot 2020 Day 4 Races

Friday at Royal Ascot has been completely reshaped, and the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup is the highlight of the afternoon (with the Coronation Stakes now taking place on the final day of the week).

The day gets underway with a brand new contest, run as the Palace of Holyroodhouse handicap, and providing a rare opportunity for lower rated three year olds to dine at the top table of the sport. Elsewhere there is real quality again from start to finish, with the Group 3 Albany Stakes providing an opportunity for juvenile fillies over six furlongs.

The Norfolk Stakes is always a keen betting heat (market will be particularly informative in 2020 when very few of the runners are likely to have much in the way of racecourse experience), with the Group 2 often attracting horses who go onto much better things. To round off the day there is another fiercely competitive handicap in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes. Punters have come out on top in the last two runnings, with both David Elsworth’s Dash of Spice (2018) and Mark Johnston’s Baghdad (2019) landing wholesale gambles down from much larger prices in the morning (both returned strong 7/2 favourites).


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