Royal Ascot Day Two Preview

Windsor Castle challenger Platinum Star wins comfortably at Leicester last time

By Samantha

Day one was a celebration of the masterful training of Aidan O’Brien and the class of Ryan Moore in the saddle but also a celebration of the strength of British Racing. Let’s hope for some more incredible racing and stories on day two. Here’s my preview of the races….

Race 1 – Queen Mary Stakes

Flippa The Strippa is one of the most exposed horses, having run three times, and landed a Listed contest last month. She was third on debut on good to soft and, with the ground conditions worsening to soft at Ascot, I think she’s up against it. This is making me feel even more keen on FINAL SONG. She won on debut over course and distance on soft so that’s a huge plus for her chances. She’s related to a few winning two year olds and I think she definitely should go well.

Selection – Final Song

Race 2 – Queen’s Vase

Aidan O’Brien has four representatives and two of them, Norway and Western Australia, are closely matched. The latter won nicely over on miles five, beating Pythion, and definitely looks like he will stay. The interesting thing is Ryan Moore is favouring Norway to him. Eighth in the Derby, he is stepping up two furlongs in trip and we think he’ll benefit from that and go on to the St Leger. JALMOUD won a Listed race in France over one mile four on good to soft and should stay. He appears to be progressive. Dashing Willoughby is ultra consistent and followed in Norway in the Chester Vase and seemed one paced over that trip and will be suited to this with Oisin Murphy on board.

Selection – Jalmoud

⭐Luke’s selection – Norway ⭐

⭐Max’s Selection – Dashing Willoughby EW ⭐

Race 3 – Prince Of Wales Stakes

This looks a thrilling contest with ultra consistent Crystal Ocean facing off against two incredibly smart four year old fillies – Sea Of Class and Magical. Crystal Ocean ran into three of the best horses from the last few seasons at the back end of last year and came good in his first two starts this year. He comes in here in great form but the Fillies may just get the better of him. SEA OF CLASS was last seen when only denied by about a neck by Enable in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe. She’s a very good filly and was on a five timer before that so if she can pick it off where she left off she should be winning. Magical has won all of her three starts this year and is miles ahead of her Irish opposition. Both of these pushed Enable to her limits last year and will be better horses at four.

The other filly is Deirdre and she’s a Japanese raider. She is a multiple group race winner and top jockey Yutaka Take comes over to ride but she needs to improve to beat the three aforementioned horses. Waldgeist is a French challenger and finished fourth in the Arc last year behind second placed Sea Of Class and ahead of Magical in tenth. He bounced back to winning ways in the Prix Ganay and did that very well. This Galileo colt needs to step up to get past Sea Of Class. Roger Varian’s Lope De Vega gelding Zabeel Prince can’t b ignored as he’s five from nine. He’s won both of his starts so far this year – the Earl Of Sefton, which’s form has worked out increasingly well, and the Prix D’Ispahan, a group one. Hunting Horn is a course and distance winner after winning the Hampton Court Stakes last year but isn’t up to this standard. Desert Encounter is out of his depth.

Selection – Sea of Class

⭐Max’s Selection – Waldgeist EW ⭐

⭐Killian’s Selection – Zabeel Prince EW⭐

Race 4 – Duke Of Cambridge Stakes

William Haggas and Danny Tudhope teamed up to win the last race on the card on the Tuesday and have Move Swiftly in this but I prefer her stablemate PRETTY BABY. She won a group three at Lingfield in May over seven furling on soft which stands her in good stead for this. She has only ever been beaten twice in her career and that was short margins. I Can Fly is penalised and was second in a group two last time. She’s ran quite a bit and is quite exposed but has a good chance all the same. Agrotera won the Sandringham here at Royal Ascot last year and landed a Listed race at Kempton last time, with Preening in second. Rawdaa made a really good go of it in the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York against Lah Ti Dar and she is my second choice. Anna Nerium won at Epsom recently and is a game little filly.

Selection – Pretty Baby

⭐Killian’s Selection – Veracious⭐

⭐Luke’s Selection – I Can Fly ⭐

Race 5 – Royal Hunt Cup

This is a cavalry charge in all senses of the phrase and there will most definitely be some hard luck stories. Focusing on the past three years, it has been won by four year olds on all of those occasions and on two out of the three runnings, it has been won by a horse drawn higher than 20. Applying that to the field, it leaves Cardsharp, Chief Ironside, Glendevon, Vale Of Kent and Stylehunter. These are all big priced horses but Cardsharp is a classy individual having ended up with a 111 rating. Top weight is a big ask. Chief Ironside was a decent third in a group three last time and often, in these kind of races, you need a group horse masquerading as a handicapper and he’s not a bad horse, he just needs to develop a will to win and improve a bit. Glendevon ran in a few good races last term and hasn’t ran too badly lately. Drawn in 19. Vale Of Kent hasn’t been seen yet this season and has barely any weight to carry. Behind Raising Sands last time, he has a bit to find. Stylehunter goes for John Gosden and has even less weight to carry but that describes his chance.

Frankie Dettori abandons him for New Graduate, drawn one. James Tate’s colt is two from four and has no doubt reached his ceiling. The draw is my worry. High draws are normally best here. Drawn two, Beringer won a class two at Newmarket and then was fifth to WHAT’S THE STORY . The second has since won and that’s a boost for the latter. He’s drawn favourably and was fourth in this last year. Kynren was only beaten a neck in the Victoria Cup here on good to soft. He always seems to run into trouble and not quite get there to nab the winner but hopefully he can get some clear ground from stall three. I have to just prefer What’s The Story though with the hope he replicates last time even though it completely goes against the trend of the last few years with four year olds winning. Afaak and Key Victory running gelded for the first time is interesting. Connections will be hoping that improves the latter tremendously. Settle For Bay won last year and looks to be on a good mark.

Selection – What’s The Story

Race 6 – Windsor Castle Stakes

Really wide open contest in which all bar two of them have won. Summer Sands impressed me last time when battling on to a hard fought victory at Beverley after coming third on debut to exciting Bomb Proof. New type of ground to contend with. Temple Of Heaven has one of the best 100% records as he’s two from two. A half length winner on debut, he then stepped up in trip and won a class two beating the fourth and ninth finishers in the Coventry. I was there when Platinum Star won very takingly by two lengths at Leicester. The second has since won nicely and he was beaten three and a quarter lengths on debut by Pinatubo, who subsequently won the Woodcote. Christophe Soumillion rides. He will need to start better to figure as he’s dropping back to five.

Wesley Ward send over two speedy fillies, Karak and Foolish Humour, who won on debut in the US. Like Ward, Archie Watson is masterful with his two year olds and runs three – Electric Ladyland, Taxiwala and Better The Devil. Aidan O’Brien won the Coventry with a two year old and Southern Hills looks a potentially nice horse but is yet to win. Symbolize’s Salisbury win was good but the form of that isn’t great.

Selection – Summer Sand /Platinum Star

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