Duke Of Cambridge Stakes betting tips from Royal Ascot 2018 at Horsebetting.com say Hydrangea odds appeal for the 1m Group 2 contest for fillies and mares on Wednesday, 20 June. Wilamina looks a danger to the favourite, while course and distance and winner Urban Fox rates as each-way value for this race. Read our 2018 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes betting tips preview to find out why.Hydrangea odds make her worthy favourite for Duke Of CambridgeSince its inception in 2004, Aidan O’Brien has amazingly never trained the winner of the 1m Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes for fillies and mares at Royal Ascot. All that could be about to change, however, as the master of Ballydoyle is responsible for market principal Hydrangea in this year’s renewal on Wednesday, 20 June (15:40).
The four-year-old is a dual Group 1 winner who reversed the form on stablemate and dual 1000 Guineas winner Winter over this trip in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last September.
Although then narrowly beaten by another O’Brien inmate in Rhododendron in the Prix de l’Opera at the Arc meeting in Chantilly next time out, Hydrangea then recorded a course win on British Champions Day when defeating Bateel by two lengths.
Her Group 1 form sets a clear standard in this and while she may have been below par on reappearance when going down by 1 3/4 lengths to Opal Tiara at The Curragh, Hydrangea is 6lb clear of the Duke Of Cambridge field on official ratings.
That puts her 1lb well-in to this contest against her closest rival – the 112 rated Aljazzi, who was runner-up in the race last year. It leaves Hydrangea odds as entitled to head the betting and she holds serious claims of breaking her handler’s duck.
Wilamina looks the main dangerIn what looks a strong renewal full of fillies and mares with the potential to lay down a challenge to the favourite, Martyn Meade’s Wilamina has taken her form to a new level since turning five.
A Listed winner as a four-year-old, she chased home Breeders’ Cup winner Wuheida in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on her return to action. Although no match for the ready four-length winner, Wilamina pulled almost as far clear of the rest including the re-opposing Billesdon Bess.
The form of that Newmarket outing looks strong, because Wilamina followed up at Epsom when staying on and always doing enough in the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes to win by three-quarters of a length.
Jockey Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride her again, so connections clearly mean business. Wilamina may emerge ahead of the likes of Aljazzi and Tomyris in the market, so backing her early when there is some each-way value is well worth considering.
Urban Fox underratedNewmarket handler William Haggas has seen his stable in pretty decent form of late, so course and distance winner Urban Fox may also be worth an each-way play.
The four-year-old stayed on well to lead in the final strides and land an Ascot handicap on debut for her new trainer last month, just touching off the re-opposing Tribute Act by a neck.
As a juvenile when trained by James Tate, Urban Fox beat Unforgettable Filly – another whose re-opposes here – and had placed form behind Rhododendron and Hydrangea in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.
Like many of her rivals in the Duke Of Cambridge, displays in her Classic year weren’t particularly consistent but that career best effort when last in action suggests she is worth another crack in Group company.
Urban Fox has been seen to best effect on good-to-firm ground in her career to date. She gets that here, so may be able to outrun her odds and more lauded rivals by making the frame.
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