Improving Carntop can top his rivals in hands of Fran Berry

On day four of Royal Ascot, Carntop gets the nap to land the King Edward VII Stakes for Ralph Beckett and jockey Fran Berry.

Improving Carntop can top his rivals in hands of Fran Berry

The Dansili colt ran out an easy winner of a Newmarket maiden on his second start of last season, and returned to contest the Lingfield Derby Trial in May.

On the latter occasion, there were obvious signs of greenness and, after hitting the front a furlong out, he was picked up late by one of today’s rivals, Humphrey Bogart.

The evidence of that run strongly suggests he will take a significant step forward today and, while unproven over a mile-and-a-half, it should be within his compass.

With a stronger pace, he should be able to settle better and, in the hands of a rider who excels at delivering his mounts to challenge late, can get on top in the closing stages.

Nathra can cause a minor upset in the featured Coronation Stakes. John Gosden’s filly was a smart sort last season, winning twice before finding only subsequent Newmarket 1000 Guineas too good in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

She made a winning return, before finishing fifth behind Minding in the Guineas, and lost very little in defeat in second place behind the unbeaten and very exciting La Cressionniere in the French Guineas on her most recent start.

With winning form on soft and good-to-soft ground, she should have all bases covered as far as today’s conditions are concerned and looks great value at around the 7-1 mark.

The recently sold Jet Setting will be sent off favourite, but yesterday’s action suggested the track was drying out and the advantage for genuine soft-ground specialists may be lessened unless the rains arrive again. Nevertheless, she commands plenty of respect.

The step up to two miles for the concluding Queen’s Vase should help bring further improvement from Ebediyin.

Representing the Epsom Derby winning team of Dermot Weld, Pat Smullen and HH Aga Khan, he left two disappointments behind when bouncing back to winning ways at Leopardstown last time out.

That improvement was likely prompted by the step up to a mile-and-a-half for the first time and there’s every reason to expect more at this extended trip. The Galileo colt is preferred to the progressive Ormito.

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