Royal Ascot ~ Day 2
Queen Mary Stakes 14.30: 1 – #8 Eve Lodge 3 – #3 Cheerupsleepyjean 3 – #22 Yet
Twilight Gleaming will be the starting focus as she has favoured high stall in 20 and can lead them a merry dance on the front end. However, at the prevailing rate (5-2), I feel I have to play against her but will keep somewhere on ticket.
Top pick is Eve Lodge who was behind Get Ahead when both making debut at Ascot a few weeks ago, but is drawn well here in 19 and showed good improvement from first to second run. Spencer on board is a positive and hopefully she appears a furlong out on the rail with a nice turn of foot. I would have fancied Get Ahead a lot more had the drawn to be in her favour.
Next best is Cheerupsleepyjean who is a strong traveller and will love this ground / pace dynamic – she didnt really like the soft ground last time but we get a big price here as a result and Fozzy Stack doesn’t send them to the UK for the good of their health.
Finally, I want to keep the Coolmore War Front filly Yet on side as I think she will love this ground. She and Orinoco River (who races here as well) pulled a long way clear of the field on debut in Dundalk and looks just to type to improve quite a bit from race 1 to 2.
Queen’s Vase 15.05: 1 – #14 Wordsworth 2 – #11 Ruling 3 – #8 Law Of The Sea
Not a race that I have a very strong view on so will tread a little carefully here with so many potential improvers and multiple entries from the big stables.
Wordsworth is the logical starting point. He doesn’t look 100% straightforward but that run last time should bring him along greatly and this further furlong looks sure to suit.
Ruling is another who looks very progressive and step up in trip should be perfect for him and the form stacks up well in comparison to others here.
Lastly, I think the return to fast ground for Law Of The Sea will help him get back to form and can readily forgive his run at Chester with a tongue tie added today.
Duke of Cambridge Stakes 15.40: 1 – #9 Lavenders Blue 2 – #2 Lady Bowthorpe 3 – #12 Posted
I really fancy Lavenders Blue to pop up here with her favoured fast ground and first time cheekpieces. The drop back to 8f from 9f looks ideal and she should travel really strongly into the race – bring it on!!!
Next up is Lady Bowthorpe who does offer the best piece of form in the race with her second behind Palace Pier in the Lockinge. You do worry sometimes after a massive personal best can they back it up and we saw Palace Pier yesterday a little under his form from Newbury but still very much respected.
At a bigger price, I can see Posted run well – she was too keen on her seasonal reappearance but if she can settle a bit better, we know she has a big performance in her – they may even revert to pace tactics here with not a huge amount of pace expected.
Prince of Wales’s Stakes 16.20: 1 – #5 Sangarius 2 – #4 My Oberon 3 – #1 Armory
This will be a very interesting renewal – just the 7 runners so leaves it limited from a place angle.
Love and Lord North are the starting points. Love had such a terrific year last year beating her opponents by daylight each time but it was only restricted to her own sex and the form isn’t the most robust – she’s been a good while off the track and keen to take her on at a short price.
Lord North is a horse that I find hard to figure out and while his run in Dubai looked very impressive, he may not want the ground this firm and I have sensed he generally is better second time after a layoff.
Out of all the fancied runners, Armory is probably the one I would choose at the current prices.
I will get a little imaginative with my selections. It is possible that Colin Keane tries to steal it on the front with Sangarius who is a good horse in his own right and I think will love this ground – he shouldn’t beat these in a truly run race but I hope he can tilt race dynamics in our favour.
My Oberon ran a belter in France last time out over 9f and with step up to 10f to suit, first time cheekpieces and ground to be perfect, if he can find another 5 pounds of improvement and the principals do not perform as expected, he can pick up the pieces.
Royal Hunt Cup 17.00: #16 Finest Sound #9 Grove Ferry #27 Revich #3 Bowerman
One of the trickiest races of the week to solve. I will take 4 here.
Of the fancied runners, Finest Sound makes the most sense to me with trip / ground to suit and some decent prep races. He is drawn 9 which isn’t brilliant but with such a big field, coming up the middle may not be the worst.
Grove Ferry has ground / trip / draw in his favour and easy to see why he is well supported here – I want to keep him on side.
With these races, we need to get a little creative, have a bit of fun. I will take 2 here at big prices as my top 2.
First up is Bowerman, he has been running over 10f in Group races but drop back in trip and this race dynamic should set him up!
I believe Revich is primed for a huge effort in first time blinkers. He has run well on the course and Hayley Turner rides so well on this straight course.
Windsor Castle Stakes 17.35: 1 – #28 Ruthin 2 – #15 Home City 3 – #27 Guilded
I think the 2 Americans will be faster than everyone else and provided they don’t cut each other up, have enough quality to finish this race. Ruthin appears to be the more fancied with Frankie on board and take him on top. She is drawn 12 in the middle but that should be OK.
One at a big price to throw into the mix is Home City, trained by Saeed bin Suroor – he was quietly fancied on debut but was very green and looks sure to come on a ton for that run. He has a favoured draw in 23 and he may be one staying on better than some of the others in the final furlong.
The second big priced horse is Guilded who, despite winning, has shown a good level of form and Karl Burke has a good record with his juveniles here. The fact she hasn’t won will inflate the price but is drawn well in 24 to take advantage if good enough.
Kensington Palace Stakes 18.10: 1 – #9 Apricot Moon 2 – #5 Dreamloper 3 – #7 Pholas
Apricot Moon is one I quietly fancy at a massive price. Her best run by far was over 8f on fast ground. The change of scenery this year to the prolific George Boughey yard, the first time tongue tie and drop back from 10f to 8f all leads me to think she has a big race in her.
Of the more favoured runners, I think Dreamloper can reverse Ascot form with Lights On and has a winning effort in her.
Lastly, I want to keep George Boughey’s other runner Pholas onside too as I think she will benefit from the ground, track and drop in class.