Royal Ascot Day Two 2020 Preview

Jason Watson on board “The Man” Headman. (Creds, Luke Keena)

By Samantha Martin (@sam_angelina22) and Niamh Townsend (@NiamhTownsend)

It’s day two of Royal Ascot 2020! On day one, Battaash and his groom Bob Grace stole the show with his scintillating win in the King’s Stand Stakes. Pyledriver caused an upset in the King George VII but was a fairytale victory for his owners who have turned down a lot of money for this horse.

Day two looks a tough day to work out but hopefully we can point you in the way of a few winners in this article and in our Day One and Two Podcast which you can listen to here –

Silver Royal Hunt Cup Handicap

Samantha says…

This race is a consolation for the horses who didn’t get into the Royal Hunt Cup, which takes place later on in the card. These races are really hard to work out with twenty-two runners. BRIAN EPSTEIN caught my eye. Richard Hannon is flying at the minute with fifteen winners since racing started again and had the first winner yesterday. This horse is lightly raced and has won twice so far in his career. His seasonal reappearance was very good. Ouzo was also second on seasonal reappearance and comes from the Hannon yard too. He has the benefit of the Queen Anne winning jockey Ryan Moore on board. There has been a bit of money for Sir Busker, who won at Newcastle fifteen days ago. Red Bond is a really consistent horse.

Niamh says…

Maydanny is a fascinating runner for Mark Johnston and Jim Crowley, half brother to Elarqam by Dubawi. Will not have a problem with the mile, only his fourth start, ideally would want more experience but unexposed and could have more class than a lot of these. Ouzo will be tough to beat though, ran really well in that race at Newmarket and drawn in 24 so plenty of pace around him (Zhui Feng and Smile A Mile) which could suit, it may pay to be drawn on the near side in this race.

Hampton Court Stakes (Group Three)

Samantha says…

This looks a good group three in my eyes. Juan Elcano ran a huge race in the Guineas for a long way and, as he’s by Frankel, he will stay these extra two furlongs. KENZAI WARRIOR would’ve ran a blinder in the 2000 Guineas if he hadn’t fluffed the start ad nearly unshipped Jason Watson, who I spoke to before the season began and he thinks an awful lot of this son of Karakontie. So does Roger Teal, who I was lucky enough to speak to around the same time. This horse was entered in the Derby, which suggests he’ll stay this longer trip. He’ll be a good each way bet in the race. I was extremely taken by First Receiver, owned by the Queen, when he won on his seasonal reappearance by seven lengths. He didn’t win at two but he’s by New Approach, sire of Masar, and out of a mare bred by the Queen. Frankie Dettori rides for Sir Michael Stoute. Aidan O’Brien’s runner, Russian Emperor, is by a multiple group one winning mare and was second in a group three on his reappearance. There’s a lot to like about this horse. Berlin Tango shaped well last time to beat Pyledriver, the winner of the King Edward II, so is absolutely worth keeping an eye on.

Niamh says…

First Receiver looked a different gravy on his reappearance and it would be great to see HM The Queen have a Royal Ascot winner behind closed doors. Sir Michael Stoute won this last year with Sangarius and a few years ago with Cannock Chase, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make it back to back wins with this exciting son of New Approach. The step up in trip will be fine, he was not stopping when he bolted up over a mile at Kempton last time. Frankie Dettori is an eye-catching jockey booking, having only ridden 4 times for Sir Michael Stoute this season before and winning 3 of them – 75% strike rate!

King George V Stakes (Handicap)

Samantha says…

Yet another difficult handicap, this time over one mile four with eighteen runners. Kipps will be the favourite for Hughie Morrison and the in-form David Probert. This colt is one from three and placed the other twice, going up in trip this time. Bright Melody was gelded before his first start and won in January at Chelmsford. Interestingly, this horse was third two weeks ago and the horse that came second was none other than Pyledriver, who won the King Edward VII. He’s got cheekpieces on for the first time. John Gosden has one runner in this and that is TO NATHANIEL. As the name suggests, he’s by Nathaniel and out of a Sea The Stars mare so the trip is ideal. It took him three attempts to win and he did so nicely on his first attempt at this trip. He dropped to one mile three to win just five days ago and, despite the quick turnaround, I think he has a good chance. Jim Crowley is flying along and he rides Hukum, a son of Sea The Stars stepping up to one mile four for the first time. He won last time over a mile and his dam won over one mile two.

Niamh says…

King’s Caper e/w. Drawn well in 5 and should be on the pace. No match for English King last time out but clearly that winner looks exceptional and this drop back into handicap company will help. Had a hat trick of wins last year culminating in a conditions stakes victory at Chelmsford where he beat a horse who had been thought highly enough of to run in a Group 2 at Newmarket.

Prince Of Wales Stakes (Group One)

Samantha says…

Aidan O’Brien took the group one Queen Anne yesterday and has leading player Japan in this. The whole team thought he would be a dominant force in this division in our Flat Preview Podcast and he was fourth in the Arc. Addeybb is a huge threat as he won twice over in Australia earlier this year. He likes softer ground. I think HEADMAN could be a good each way shot in this. He’s a beautiful horse and I know the yard and Jason Watson really like him. He rose through the ranks to two group two victories and he was only beaten four lengths in the Irish Champion Stakes when he didn’t jump from the stalls too well. I think he definitely has a shot. Barney Roy can’t be forgotten and Lord North is an interesting runner who is progressing well.

Niamh says….

Japan will be tough to beat, but Barney Roy rejuvenated his form in Dubai this year after a break and has won at the Royal meeting before so the track will suit and the step up in trip should not be a problem. He has slipped in under the radar but it would be dangerous to underestimate him. Although, if we were to get a lot more rain, I think Addeyyb will be a tough horse to beat after having simply thrashed the likes of Magic Wand and Elarqam in the Wolferton last year.

Royal Hunt Cup (Handicap)

Samantha says…

This is yet another mind-boggling handicap! I’ve settled on MONTATHAM, who won on the 6th June after a gelding operation. He was really impressive. Even though he’s not Jim Crowley’s choice, he’s got a capable pilot, Dane O’Neill, on board. Crowley rides Alrajaa, who has won his last four starts. There has been significant money for Bell Rock putting him into favouritism. He won at Newmarket after being gelded last time.

Niamh says…

Raising Sands loves Ascot and has run with credit in this race before, although 7 furlongs here seems to be his best trip. He has Cardsharp drawn near him and there should be enough pace on here to make sure he can use his electric turn of foot. A real each way player.

Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed)

Samantha says…

I really liked VICTORY HEIGHTS’s performance when he won on the second day of the season. He’s by Siyouni and related to Hydrangea and Hermosa. The sire Air Force Blue has two representatives – the favourite, Chief Little Hawk, and Hyde Park Barracks. The former won at Navan a week ago and Hyde Park Baracks, who has Sean Levey on board, was third in the very same race. Oisin Murphy gave Tactical as a horse to follow in my interview with him. This horse was a good third on debut.

Niamh says…

Mighty Ghurka could not have been more impressive when he won at Lingfield and Hollie Doyle made sure he was kept up to his work that day so he will have learned an awful lot. He messed around at the start that day, even losing Hollie Doyle before the race, but still managed to win easily. You wouldn’t think he would get away with antics like that here though, so you would want to see a slightly more relaxed horse before the off in this. Archie Watson has clearly had Royal Ascot in mind for this colt for a while and he has a great record with his 2 year olds do I really fancy this horse to put up a good performance here.

Copper Horse Handicap

Samantha says….

COLLIDE is a full brother to none other than St Leger winner Logician. He won over one mile six on the ninth of June at Chelmsford and before that he won a listed race at Cagnes-Sur-Mer. He’s got an awful lot of weight which is my only concern. However, the handicap is from 9st11 to 9st2 so only a 9lbs split. On a feather weight of 9st2, is Selino for Oisin Murphy, James Fanshawe and Qatar Racing. He won over one mile six (this race’s trip) and two miles after the application of a visor. Despite not being a distance winner, Fujaira Prince, the ultra-consistent roan horse, is well-fancied.

Niamh says…

Ranch Hand has only run over this trip once before but that was a win. Andrew Balding is in great form and usually has his fit for a first run, this horse has not been seen since last year and goes well after a break. He is lightly raced, and went off favourite for the Cesarewitch last year but did not look like he got the trip and this drop back will suit. He has a good draw in 8. Selino is another who could run well, unbeaten since he has been fitted with a visor and well suited by a step up in trip last time he was seen.


Listen to our preview of the racecard here –


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