PIPALONG, reported to have been "breaking the sound barrier" on Tim Easterby's gallops, has an outstanding chance of claiming the £120,000 Group 2 Cork And Orrery Stakes on day three of Royal Ascot.

The five-year-old mare holds a special place in Tim's heart, having achieved the ultimate accolade of winning a Group One event by spreadeagling a top-class field of sprinters in last season's Stanley Sprint Cup at Haydock.

And after a couple of quiet runs this year, she stormed back to that level of form at York's May meeting, holding Tedburrow's late challenge under a confident ride from regular partner Kevin Darley.

In the preceding Gold Cup, worth in total £210,000, Mark Johnston sets his supporters a real poser by running both Yavana's Pace and Royal Rebel.

By far the longer priced of the two is Yavana's Pace, a gallant second to stablemate Fruits Of Love over a mile-and-a-half in the Hardwicke Stakes 12 months ago at the Royal meeting.

At odds of 20-1 or better, he's definitely worth an each-way wager, despite going into unknown territory over the stamina-sapping 20-furlong trip.

But for the win selection, it has to be Royal Rebel (3.45), an out-and-out stayer, who showed his true mettle when grinding down Far Cry in the Millennium running of the Goodwood Cup.

Neither is Johnston without hope in the closing Britannia Handicap, a race in which he has entered the smart miler, Albuhera (5.30).

He's a full-brother to the dual French and Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Bachir. So, having established he has Classic-winning blood in his veins, does Albuhera possess the right sort of profile to take such a competitive contest?

Perhaps that is debatable on the bare bones of what he has done in recent weeks, nevertheless the colt has positively bloomed of late, and there's no doubt he won with plenty left in the locker at Ayr three weeks ago.

Two races at Ripon catch the eye as money-making opportunities, starting with Sharp Hat (3.20) in the five-furlong dash for the Total Butler Handicap.

David Chapman's speedster is re-united with Tony Culhane, recently back from a short stint riding in Hong Kong. I'm sure Sharp Hat will appreciate the return to the minimum trip, plus Culhane's stronger handling after the selection's slightly lack-lustre performance when apprentice-ridden over six furlongs at York on Saturday.

In the closing Levy Board Handicap, southern raider Caqui d'Or, (5.05), who won with a ton in hand at Beverley, appears to be more than one step ahead of the Official Handicapper.

* Bob Baffert's hopes that he could continue to have runners next week has been dealt a blow with the news that the top Amercian trainer has been denied a stay of suspension by the California Horse Racing Board.

The 60-day ban, which is due to begin next Monday, follows a positive test for morphine by one of his horses 13 months ago.

Baffert's attorney, Neil Papiano, filed an appeal on Tuesday and also requested that his client be allowed to continue having runners until it was heard.

But Robert Tourtelot, the chairman of the CHRB, turned down the request.

He told bloodhorse.com that although he has granted stays for jockeys in cases involving riding violations, he never has granted one for a medication offence.