Racing / Royal Ascot: Hyperion's TV Tips

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The Independent Online

2.30: With Barathea conceding weight to all his rivals and having the disadvantage of being without a preparatory run, SOVIET LINE may be the best alternative. After two impressive handicap performances this spring, he looked ready to graduate to Group class but ran below expectations in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom. He can be forgiven that lapse over such an idiosyncratic course and at 12-1 with William Hill in morning betting, looks a viable each-way bet. Emperor Jones, who heads the betting at around 5- 2, probably did not have to improve to win the Lockinge Stakes last time out and a more interesting proposition is Garden Of Heaven, who ran well against Chatoyant last time and is 20-1 with Ladbrokes.

3.05: Cicerao reverts to 10 furlongs after his failure in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) and will be well fancied on the strength of his spring defeat of Erhaab. But he has yet to justify the regrets of pundits who considered his absence from Epsom devalued the quality of the Blue Riband and will have to live up to such estimates if he is to cope with MUHTARRAM, fourth in the 1992 Derby, a renewal which increases in stature with the continuing exploits of those participants still in training. John Gosden's lightly raced charge defeated Opera House, the best older horse in Europe according to the international classification, in the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last autumn. In two outings this season, he has won a Group Two race in Italy and finished runner-up to Bigstone, officially the fourth best of his generation in the European rankings. Today's distance and going will suit him perfectly. Needle Gun, second to the selection in Italy, has good place prospects, as befits the best maiden in training.

3.45: Despite devastating victories on soft ground in the Greenham Stakes and Irish 2,000 Guineas, Turtle Island looks vulnerable on faster ground, as his defeat by Green Tune in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains would indicate. FIRST TRUMP has already inflicted two defeats on the favourite and would surely have played a prominent role in the 2,000 Guineas but for injury. His comeback in France proved he has recovered and he is an attractive 10-1 with William Hill. Distant View looked good value at the 8-1 on offer last week, but is now a best-priced 11-2 (Coral) and as low as 4-1 (Ladbrokes).

4.20: Punters who successfully second- guess which of Peter Chapple-Hyam's three unbeaten representatives, Citadeed, Missel and Rambrino, will prove the most progressive may still have to settle for second place to SRI PEKAN. Paul Cole's colt is the only horse to have got close to the season's best juvenile, Princely Hush, when second on his debut and has been far too precocious for his rivals in gaining two wins since. Supporters of Rambrino, Moon King and Pipe Major will not be heartened by disappointing subsequent performances from some of those behind them. However, Citadeed, who made his debut on the all-weather at Southwell, beat a useful yardstick in Lago Di Varano last time and is overpriced at 20-1 with William Hill.