Given owners Godolphin’s great recent record in the race, the Hampton Court Stakes betting tips offered by Horsebetting.com experts for the 1m 2f Group 3 contest at Royal Ascot 2018 on Thursday, 21 June include Nordic Lights and Key Victory. Crossed Baton, meanwhile, looks an each-way contender, so read our 2018 Hampton Court Stakes betting tips preview to find out why.Nordic Lights can illuminate Hampton Court clashGodolphin have farmed the 1m 2f Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in recent years, so Charlie Appleby’s Nordic Lights can make it three wins in a row for the powerful owners in this three-year-olds only race (15:05).
Appleby saddled Hawkbill to land the spoils for connections two years ago and, in Nordic Lights, he has a colt for this renewal that could that could further frank the form of the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York won by Roaring Lion.
That horse went on place a two-length third to Masar in the Epsom Derby having beaten Nordic Lights 6 1/4 lengths at The Knavesmire. Appleby’s horse looked well and kept on under pressure with some useful sorts in-behind despite finishing fifth.
There is the re-opposing Cross Baton, who was a length down on Nordic Lights, among those. He is also a dual winner at the Hampton Court trip having scored at Newmarket and Lingfield on the all-weather beforehand.
These exploits have earned Nordic Lights an official mark of 104 and, while that means he may need to find more to win this, it suggests he can hang in this company. It’s only 2lb lower than Hawkbill was rated going in to the race.
Key Victory an obvious dangerAlso sporting all blue silks of Godolphin is Nordic Lights’ stablemate Key Victory, but he will need to improve on a disappointing eighth in the Prix du Jockey Club last time out in order to justify his prominent position in the betting.
Although only beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Study Of Man on far from ideal ground at Chantilly, he was sent off third-favourite for the French equivalent of The Derby. Key Victory had the re-opposing Hunting Horn from Aidan O’Brien’s yard a length or so in front of him in sixth and there is just 1lb difference in their ratings now.
Prior to being pitched into Group 1 company, Key Victory was a Listed distance winner at Newmarket and had also been successful on his sole start as a juvenile over 7f. While some commentators will feel the French Derby form sets the standard for the Hampton Court, looking at the starting prices of some of the horses that finished ahead of him suggests it was anything but a vintage renewal.
All Group 1 races are to be respected, but the Dante form may prove stronger than it. Either way, Appleby is double-handed in the this Royal Ascot race with two clear contenders and it would be a major surprise to see both his colts miss out here.
Crossed Baton can also advertise Dante formJohn Gosden has his team in good shape this season, so Dante seventh Crossed Baton holds each-way claims now slightly eased in grade.
Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, Crossed Baton is a Listed winner at the trip having landed a trial for The Derby at Epsom when sticking on well to deny My Lord And Master by a head.
He also won on reappearance on the all-weather at Kempton when beating Tigre Du Terre, who had previous form behind game 2000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win, by three-quarters of a length.
Crossed Baton can surely make his presence felt off an unchanged mark of 103. Some bookmakers are offering four places for each-way bets and that’s why we’ve included him among our 2018 Hampton Court Stakes betting tips.
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