It’s been a brilliant week at Royal Ascot, helped by the funds from Arch Fire’s win at Sandown last weekend. I hope plenty of you snapped up the 15.5 that was available early on last Saturday. I have a Sky Sports cricket commentator to thank for telling me to follow Arch Fire this season!

I was then lucky enough to bump in to Michael Owen at Ascot on Tuesday and he said Brown Panther was his best chance of the week. Brown Panther duly bolted up in the last race on Thursday to the delight of the Sky Sports team in attendance and to dig me out of a hole after two days without a winner. What a gift it is to racing and RFC to have Michael Owen so passionate about the sport, as we saw from his tears in the winners’ enclosure on Thursday.

Tuesday’s St James’ Palace Stakes was a very strange race and Frankel’s reception strangely muted after Tom Queally decided on the most bizarre mid-race move I have ever seen. The upside is that the “Frankel adventure” goes on and we still don’t know just how good he is.

My ‘bet of the week’ runs in the Hardwicke Stakes on Saturday. I was really taken by Await The Dawn’s reappearance in the Huxley Stakes at Chester. He didn’t beat much but did it brilliant fashion and I’m told in a normal year with no So You Think, Await The Dawn would be a worthy stable contender for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. The extra two furlongs in the Hardwicke looks sure to suit and I’m confident Await The Dawn will win.
The summer’s sporting treats come thick and fast with lots of in-running opportunities on Betdaq this weekend at the US Open, the Test match at the Rose Bowl and then Wimbledon getting underway on Monday. I hope the weather improves. As I said last week I’m backing Novak Djokovic at 4.7 on Betdaq. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are flip-flopping favourites on the Daq, which would have Big Mac hopping with excitement, at around 3.5 in a fascinating betting heat. Queens champion Andy Murray is trading at 7.4.
As a proud Hampshire-man it’s been so disappointing to see the weather ruin the Rose Bowl’s first ever Test match. However, to me England are so superior to Sri Lanka that I don’t think they’ll need too much time to beat them and I hope to back the home side at a big price on Friday night.