Royal Ascot Day Five Preview

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By Samantha Martin (@sam_angelina22)

It’s the final day of Royal Ascot. There have been no crowds or royal parades but we had some amazing racing on the track – Battaash finally won the King’s Stand; a Royal winner in Tactical; Lord North pulled out a surprise win in the Prince Of Wales’; Stradivarius proved, yet again, that he’s the best stayer around – even on soft ground, and Hollie Doyle winning her first Royal Ascot race.

Whilst lockdown was enforced by a cruel disease, having no school has been a huge perk for me. For the first time ever, I haven’t had to rush home from school to watch my recording Royal Ascot – I have been able to watch it live. This week has been thoroughly enjoyable – even though I was lacking in the winners department – and it has been great fun to put together various videos and podcasts with the rest of the team.

Today, we have a rematch of the classic generation – Pinatubo vs Wichita and Quadrilateral Vs Cloak Of Spirits. We have the Queen Mary and the Coventry Stakes, where the speedy two year olds are to the fore and, in contrast, we finish with a two miles five handicap for the stayers!

Hopefully I can point you in the way of a few winners in my preview…

Silver Wokingham Handicap

To kick of the day, we have the consolation race for the Wokingham later on in the card. I couldn’t remember adding BLUE MIST into my tracker before I got the email for his last run at Newbury. He ran well that day and just didn’t have much effort left over the seven-furlong trip. I think it is very interesting that they’re dropping back to six, which he has never tackled before. Burmese Waltz was with Ger Lyons as a two year old and she managed to win a Dundalk maiden for them. She hadn’t been seen since April 2019 when she made her debut for Archie Watson and won at Kempton on the 10th June. Count D’orsay was trained in Ireland at the start of his career and moved over to Tim Easterby. He’s three from seven for the yard and was a good third on his reappearance. Gunmetal and Pass The Vino were both third on their reappearances fifteen years ago.

Queen Mary Stakes (Group Two)

I think Aidan O’Brien is going to win this with MORE BEAUTIFUL. She is out of the talented Maybe, who excelled in her own two year old campaign, and that makes her a half sister to Saxon Warrior. She got off the mark impressively on her debut on the 8th June and there’s an awful lot to like about her. Sacred ran a nice race on her debut to win, beating Sardinia Sunset, and comes from William Haggas’ yard and will be ridden by James Doyle. Wesley Ward has Campanella, who was a three and a half length winner at Gulfstream. This filly is very much English-bred being by Kodiac and out of a listed winning mare for Barry Hills. It would be nice to see Caroline Dale, who is owned and bred by Dave Lowe of Kachy fame, run well after the form of her debut second has worked out well.

Coventry Stakes (Group Two)

This look a good quality race with the top three in the market holding strong claims. ADMIRAL NELSON is a beautiful horse and won really well over at the Curragh on his debut not that long ago. If the turn around isn’t too quick, he will be hard to beat. Qaader swerved left up the run-in on his first start but that only slightly dented the four length margin he won by. He’s got Jim Crowley on board but Mark Johnston’s Eye Of Heaven underperformed on his second start yesterday. I was really quite impressed with Creative Force’s victory on his debut. He know exactly what was required of him and made virtually all of the running. Imperial Force, who he beat into second, came third in the Norfolk Stakes. He’s a beautiful chestnut Dubawi colt, out of Chose Me, which makes him a half brother to Queen Elizabeth II winner Persuasive, multiple winners Tisbutadream and Amazour and two other winners. If Admiral Nelson gets beaten by anything, it will be this guy.

Coronation Stakes (Group One)

This is a bit of a rematch from the 1000 Guineas with Cloak Of Spirits and Quadrilateral. Cloak Of Spirits skipped along in the lead in that race and was just headed by the winner in the final furlong. Quadrilateral was a head behind and it is blatant that Cloak Of Spirits has improved at three as she was beaten in two group twos last year. I was a big fan of QUADRILATERAL in the 1000 Guineas but she was just so keen and actually plugged on into third. She’s a Fillies’ Mile winner and Jason Watson really likes this filly. I’m hoping she will have got over the buzz from being back at the racetrack and show her true running. I like the chances of Alpine Star too. She’s looking to replicate her sister Alpha Centauri in winning this race. The younger sister was third to 1000 Guineas winner Love on debut and then was a convincing maiden winner. She won a group two next time, which was 302 days ago, and the long absence is what makes me want to side with Quadrilateral.

Run Wild was given an enterprising ride by Oisin Murphy to win but, as a two year old, she was behind Powerful Breeze, who Quadrilateral beat in the Fillies’ Mile. Oisin Murphy  rides Sharing, an American filly who interestingly has interlocking form with a few of this fillies due to Daahyeh. Sharing beat this filly in a group one at the Breeders Cup meeting. Daahyeh was second to Love in the Moyglare Stud and she won the Rockfel, beating Cloak Of Spirits. Sharing, herself, has had the benefit of a run when she won at Churchill Downs. Aidan O’Brien’s So Wonderful is yet to win and Love Locket won a group three last time.

St James’ Palace Stakes

This is an interesting clash – Pinatubo, Wichita, Arizona and Royal Dornoch all ran in the English 2000 Guineas. WICHITA was best placed of the four coming second. He showed a huge improvement at three but he did have some really impressive form to his name at two – he was second to Jersey Stakes winner Molatham, with Berlin Tango back in third, in a listed race at Doncaster; he won a group three by seven lengths at Newmarket and came third to Pinatubo and Arizona in the Dewhurst, with Positive sixth. I think he will be able to confirm the form with Pinatubo, who obviously has a huge reputation going into his three year old campaign. He was worthy of that reputation though as he went unbeaten for six starts. He just had no extra to give in the final furlong at Newmarket and I expect a good run but some of his rivals may have caught up with him. Arizona was pitted as Pinatubo’s biggest rival but failed to land a blow. He struggles from three furlongs out and he was eleventh. He won the Coventry Stakes last year and I’m unsure if the mile is ideal for him. Royal Dornoch actually beat him home. This horse was last to Threat on his sixth start but then won a group two at Newmarket over a mile. Stamina isn’t a worry for him, class is.

Positive and Threat appear to have been saved for this race. Positive’s connections saved Golden Horde for the Commonwealth Cup yesterday and he hacked up. This horse won on debut, then was second to Pinatubo, won a group three at Sandown, beating Kameko, and then finished behind Pinatubo, Arizona and Wichita in the Dewhurst. He’s stepping up to a mile for the first time but he’s out of a mare who got one mile four furlongs comfortably. Threat followed in Arizona and Golden Horde early on in his career and then won the Gimcrack and Champagne Stakes, before finishing fifth in the Middle Park. He’s going up in trip but I think the yard have always thought of him as a miler. He may be a bit underrated after what was a solid two year old campaign. Palace Pier completes the line-up. He won two races over seven furlongs at Sandown last year and convincingly won at Newcastle two weeks ago. However, the second failed to back up the form earlier in the week.

Diamond Jubilee Stakes

The big story of the race would be SCEPTICAL, who Denis Hogan shrewdly bought for £2800 from Godolphin. Hogan is an extremely talented handler and it is good to see this horse taking him to the top level. This horse has won £42,139 so far and won his maiden in November 2019. He won two races at Dundalk by wide margins at the start of this year and then, twelve days ago, he won by three lengths, eased down in a listed race. He’s the young, progressive horse in the line-up and if anything will undo him it would be the ground but I’m not particularly worried. Spare a thought though for Joey Sheridan who rode this horse to victory in the listed contest but is unable to take the ride here due to quarantine and rules on claimers riding.

Last season’s Champion Sprint over course and distance could be a good form line into this. One Master, Speak In Colours, Hello Youmzain, Khaadem, The Tin Man, Sands Of Mali and Dream Of Dreams all ran. Best placed was One Master, in second, and, can I just say, I’m delighted this mare comes back this year at the age of six. She won the Prix de la Foret in 2018 and 2019 and placed third in the Queen Anne of 2019. She’s a versatile filly, doesn’t mid tacky ground and six furlongs won’t be a problem. Speak In Colours is a multiple listed and group three winner and was sixth in the Champion Sprint. He was fourth at Riyadh in February. A week ago, he was given a weird ride over seven furlongs at the Curragh and the drop to six will be appreciated. Hello Youmzain is one of just two in-training group one winners from last season (the other is Battaash). He started off his season beaten in a group three (which raises questions about his performance off a break) and then beat Calyx in a group two and was third in the Commonwealth Cup. He won the Sprint Cup and then the ground went against him in the Champion Sprint. He’s got a bit of scope. Khaadem’s connections are also responsible for Battaash. He won a listed race at the start of last year and was then beaten in the Commonwealth Cup and a group three. He was a hugely impressive winner of the Stewards Cup and that earned him runs in the Sprint Cup and Champion Sprint but he was eleventh in both. The Tin Man is a legendary older sprinter, aged eight. He won the 2018 Sprint Cup: this race in 2017 and the Champion Sprint in 2016. On his day, he’s very talented. I’m a big Sands Of Mali fan. Previously, he has won the Gimcrack, Sandy Lane and the British Champion Sprint 2018 so he is no mug. It is good to see that Dream Of Dreams has been gelded because that means we’ll get to see a lot more of this gorgeous chestnut son of Dream Ahead. His trainer Sir Michael Stoute is yet to have a winner this week. He was only beaten a head in this race last year so if he replicates that, he has a chance.

The others to mention are Shine So Bright and Breathtaking Look. The former’s yard is in good form and he hasn’t won over six furlongs before. he was running over seven furlongs and a mile last year. Breathtaking Look is the second filly and won a group three last season. Last time, she was second to the promising Oxted and ran a solid race.

Wokingham Handicap

I’m with SUMERGHAND here. He is a wonderful handicapper and a lot of people would be happy to see him win. he ran well last time behind Tinto, who has talented 5lbs claimer Marco Ghanni on board. 4lbs splits them in the weights and I think that could be important. That second suggests that Summerghand is back in a winning mindset. Highland Dress is super consistent and only has been out of the top 3 on one occasion. He’s already won twice for Archie Watson after moving to him from John Oxx and having three runs.

Who Dares Wins
Who Dares Win (JTW Equine Images)

Queen Alexandra Stakes (Handicap)

I’ve been keen on WHO DARES WINS all week and my confidence has only increased after Coeur De Lion won on the first day and Scarlet Dragon won on the fourth day, both from the Alan King yard. I’m hoping this horse, who is the definition of dual purpose, can keep the winning ball rolling for the yard. He is a grade two winner over jumps and a six-time winner on the flat, including the Northumberland Plate. Tom Marquand rides, looking to emulate his girlfriend Hollie Doyle, who gave Scarlet Dragon such a brilliant ride. Fun Mac and The Grand Visir have claims.

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