Royal Ascot: Andrew Balding star can strike at 14-1 in Coronation Cup and Japanese ace can down Sir Michael Stoute

SANDRINE looks a stonking bet in Friday’s Group 1 Coronation Stakes.

All the big names are in town for one of the best races of the week, but Andrew Balding’s filly should not be underestimated.

Sandrine won last year's Albany Stakes for Balding and rider David Probert

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Sandrine won last year’s Albany Stakes for Balding and rider David ProbertCredit: Getty

With a red-hot field lining up, Sandrine is a huge price at 16-1 (at the time of writing) with Bet365.

And that is music to my ears, despite Homeless Songs, Cachet and long-time 1,000 Guineas ante-post favourite Inspiral all rocking up.

Cachet struck in the Guineas and Homeless Songs danced to an impressive win in the Irish equivalent.

Sandrine could only manage fifth behind Cachet, but Alcohol Free filled that same position before taking the Coronation Stakes for Balding. I reckon lightning could strike twice.

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Sandrine was caught wide in the Guineas, just like with Alcohol Free, and could never get involved with jockey David Probert fighting to stop her hanging towards the stands side and away from the action.

For her to run on into fifth was a huge effort and she showed she stayed a mile, which was the worry heading into the Classic.

She was also nowhere near at her peak that afternoon on the Rowley Mile, she wasn’t in her coat and looked like she’d tighten up for the run.

She has bundles of pace and her juvenile form was very tidy and included a convincing win in last year’s Albany at the Royal meeting.

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Her trainer also thinks she’s being underestimated and said: “It’s scary how much her run in the Guineas was just like Alcohol Free.

“She was stuck on the wing, it didn’t favour her at all and she lugged out into the middle.

“We’ve been delighted with her since. She’s a filly we think a hell of a lot of, she’s a real classy horse.

“It’s a very strong Coronation this year, but I think she should be more than competitive.”

Royal Ascot Warrior Special

SIR MICHAEL STOUTE’s Bay Bridge looks far too short on what he’s achieved so far and Japan’s proven star SHAHRYAR looks one of the best bets of the week in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes. A repeat of his Sheema Classic win in Dubai should be good enough to take this.

MY mole at Charlie Hills’ yard tells me the whole of Hungerford is on their Wanees in the Britannia Handicap on Thursday.

The colt could not have won any smoother at Sandown last time out and happygo-lucky Hills reckons he’s a Group horse in the making.

The three-year-old has already won at Ascot and landed a hattrick when cruising from last to first with ease for big Jim Crowley in April’s Esher Cup. He can be backed at 12-1 for the wide-open Britannia Handicap on Thursday.

A big field will suit and, given a bit of luck with the draw, the Hills around Lambourn could be very much alive to the sound of a winner.

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