Royal Ascot Day 2
2.30 Jersey Stakes 7f (Group 3)
The Jersey Stakes kicks things off on Day 2 after an absolute cracker of an opening day yesterday. At the top of the market here is French raider Le Brivido for the maestro Andre Fabre. He won well on his first two outings in France and looked to have the French 2000 Guineas in the bag until just been ran down at the end which suggests this drop down to 7 will be ideal. He’s sure to be a huge player. Another that’s going to be a huge player is Dream Castle who looks to give the highly rated Josephine Gordon a first female win here since Gay Kellaway. I really rate Dream Castle so it’s been increasingly difficult to choose between the market leaders here, I saw him make his impressive debut when at Doncaster in April, since then he was second to Barney Roy in a Group 3 before being an unlucky fifth in the 2000 Guineas. Daban looks to be the each way bet of the race for John Gosden, she won the Nell Gwyn well before serving it up to Winter in the 1000 Guineas before finishing third. Whitecliffsofdove is the Ballydoyle selecton and obviously has a live chance. There’s a few big ones here that take the eye as each way alternatives including Chessman for John Gosden and Escobar for Hugo Palmer, both of these still look unexposed and open to improvement.
Selections: Le Brivido 3/1 – Daban 7/1 E/W – Chessman 18/1 E/W
3.05 Queen Mary Stakes 5f (Group 2)
Another sprint contest now in the Queen Mary and another Wesley Ward speedster at the head of the market in Happy Like A Fool. Lady Aurelia won this last year in some style and she followed up yesterday by bolting up again. I can’t see past this one here for the American behemoth that has won the last two runnings of this, this one made a big impression when hacking up in her debut run in the States and another big run here certainly looks on the cards. The each way selection at a price here for me looks to be Formidable Kitt for Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote. She won her debut race at the Craven Meeting and her dam won this so she could put a bold bid in to get in to the frame.
Selections: Happy Like A Fool 11/10 – Formidable Kitt 16/1 E/W
3.40 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes 1m (Group 2)
Duke of Cambridge this year over a mile is headed by another French Raider in Qemah for another master trainer in Jean Claude Rouget. She won the Coronation here last year and followed up with a win in the Group 1 Rothschild at Deuville. She doesn’t get penalised for those victories which is a big factor, she met trouble on return run when beaten by Mix and Mingle at Lingfield but has been targeted for this and is sure to put a bold showing on. Usherette for Andre Fabre has been a bit below par since winning here last year and hasn’t got managed to get her nose in front however she’s a very classy sort and shouldn’t be ruled out at all. She’s about 7/2 at the minute for this and if she drifts out to anything bigger than that i’ll certainly be investing. Smart Call looks to be the each way selection for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore, dual Grade 1 winner in South Africa and I was at York when she made her British debut when a close up third in a Group 2. A lot of money has come for her over night and she looks to have a big chance to make the frame.
Selections: Qemah 9/4 – Smart Call 9/2 E/W
Prince Of Wales Stakes 1m 2f (Group 1)
Today’s Group 1 is the Prince of Wales and it’s headed by the globetrotting Highland Reel for AP O’Brien on the back of his Coronation Cup victory at Epsom earlier this month. He’s a certified Group 1 performer and has won big contests all around the globe which justifies his position at the top of the market here, expect another big showing, Ryan Moore is on board. Ulysses is a classy sort for Sir Michael Stoute and comes here off the back of a Group 3 victory at Sandown, he was impressive throughout last year but will need to improve again here in this and he certainly has it in him to do just that. There’s a couple of my personal favourites in the line up here though so my heart is coming into play again as it did yesterday with Lady Aurelia. First of these is Jack Hobbs for John Gosden, he was one of the best around in 2015 when in the shadow of Golden Horn before missing 2016 through injury. He made an impressive comeback on Champions Day her last October when behind Almanzor and Found in third and followed that up this year with a stunning victory in the Sheema Classic in Dubai. The other favourite of mine is Decorated Knight for Roger Charlton, he’s come on massively in the last year and comes into this on the back of a Group 1 victory at the Curragh last month. He certainly needs to improve a bit again to make the frame here but I certainly think he’s got a bit more progression in him to do just that.
Selections – Jack Hobbs 10/3 – Decorated Knight 9/1 E/W