Day Two – Wednesday 20th June 2018
Queen Mary (Class 1) (Group 2) (5f)
The Queen Mary kicks things off on Day Two of the Royal Meeting and it’s a Group 2 contest that’s ridden over the lightning five furlongs.
The American master that is Wesley Ward has a fantastic record in this particular contest winning it 2015 with Acapulco, 2016 with Lady Aurelia and had the runner up in it last year with Happy Like A Fool. So it’s unsurprising that he has the favourite for this year’s renewal in the form of Chelsea Cloisters. She won her only start to date at Keeneland by a devastating 8 lengths and is sure to have a huge say here with the services of Frankie Dettori on board.
Clive Cox’s Shades Of Blue looks to be at the top of whole host of potentially exciting challengers from the UK. She was impressive when winning on debut and has had the form boosted since. This trainer and jockey combination teamed up to take this race last year with the smart Heartache and this one is around 6/1 to repeat that here.
Ballydoyle are represented here by So Perfect and Gossamer Wings. So Perfect won first time out which is fairly rare for one of this yards, she did however flop the next time in Listed company but is the choice of Ryan Moore here. Richard Hannons charge Come On Leicester might be one to keep an eye on at a big price, she won really well the last day at Windsor and could have a lot more to offer.
I can’t get away from the Wesley Ward hotpot CHELSEA CLOISTERS here and his record in this race speaks for itself. I am a bit of a sucker for hype horses too as many that follow this blog on a regular basis will be accustomed too. Frankie on board, should go close.
CHELSEA CLOISTERS – (9/4)
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Trainer: Wesley Ward
1st: Chelsea Cloisters (9/4)
2nd: Shades Of Blue (6/1)
3rd: Come On Leicester (16/1)
Queen’s Vase (Class 1) (Group 2) (1m 6f)
The Queens Vase is the second race on Day 2 of Royal Ascot and it’s also a Group 2 affair that’s ridden over a distance of a mile and six furlongs.
This race see’s another strong Ballydoyle presence with a lot of Aiden O’Brien representatives sitting prominently in the market. These are none other than Nelson, Southern France and Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens finds himself currently at the top of the market largely around the 11/4 mark and possibly because he’s the choice of Ryan Moore. He faded away in the Derby when last seen but has shown he’s a more than capable performer in previous efforts and is likely to give a bold showing. Southern France is the one that comes here the most unexposed for Aiden on the back of consecutive victories to his name with the last one coming in Listed company. He’s sure to have more give for his powerful connections and can be found trading at around 3/1 with Seamie Heffernan on board.
The best of the home challengers here looks to be Stream Of Stars for John Gosden in the Lady Bamford colours. This Sea The Stars gelding won well around here the last day when last seen over a slightly shorter trip and there’s likely a lot more to come over this longer distance. Frankie Dettori takes the ride and he’s a general 7/2 chance.
I found it hard to split them but I’m just going with SOUTHERN FRANCE over Stream The Stars. I think there’s a lot more to come from this one and he can put up a bold showing here against some potentially smart rivals.
SOUTHERN FRANCE (3/1)
Jockey: Seamie Heffernan
Trainer: AP O’Brien
1st: Southern France (3/1)
2nd: Stream The Stars (7/2)
3rd: Kew Gardens (11/4)
Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Class 1) (Group 2) (1m)
The Duke Of Cambridge Stakes is a contest that’s ridden over a distance of a mile and it’s a Group 2 affair which this year has thrown up a fairly weak renewal unfortunately.
It’s headed by another Aiden O’Brien horse in Hydrangea who proved herself as a very smart versatile sort last term with big performances and big wins including here. She defeated many a smart performer last term and is sure to be a warm order here with Ryan Moore on board.
Aljazzi is next up in the market here for Marco Botti, she finished second in this contest last year at massive odds and ran a huge race, she’s put in some solid efforts since then including a Group 3 success and an impressive third placed effort in Group 2 company on reappearance the last day, she’s sure to give her running at trades at around 7/2.
Frankie Dettori who rode three winners on the card here on Day 1 takes the ride once again on Wilamina who he won on during Epsom’s Derby Festival, he also rode Tomyris to success when she was last seen who’s also set to line up here and this time is the mount of Andrea Atzeni. These two are trading at a general 8/1 respectively.
The Godolphin representatives come in the form of Arabian Hope and Promising Run who both come here with a lot form overseas. Arabian Hope with a somewhat questionable Group 3 win in Turkey and Promising Run has been in good form in Meydan. Both can hold a decent level of form on their day and certainly wouldn’t be without a chance.
I’m going to go with a win and each way selection here, the win selection comes in the form of HYDRANGEA the market leader. I think she’s way above this lot on her day and should really be winning if near her best. The each way selection comes in the form of WILAMINA. I was impressed with how she bounced back at Epsom the last day and if handed an easy lead here could well be hard to peg back again.
HYDRANGEA – (7/4)
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: AP O’Brien
WILAMINA – (8/1) (E/W)Form: 035-21
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Trainer: Martyn Meade
1st: Hydrangea (7/4)
2nd: Wilamina (8/1)
3rd: Arabian Hope (12/1)
(Photo Credit: Sporting Life)
Prince Of Wales Stakes (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m 2f)
The Prince Of Wales Stakes is the feature on Day Two of Royal Ascot 2018 a race that’s a Group 1 contest that’s ridden over a mile and two furlongs and it see’s the return of one of the best horses in the world at the moment and that’s of course Cracksman.
We last saw Cracksman at the beginning of the month when he just scrambled home to get the better of the big priced Salouen to prevent a complete boil over. That was far from Cracksman at his best and it was put down to him really not appreciating the Epsom track whereas he should be much more at home here.
There’s not all that much opposition to him in this contest either in all honesty, the horse that is next up in the market is Poet’s Word for Sir Michael Stoute who comes here off the back of his win in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown. He’s the mount of James Doyle this time and is trading around the 4/1 mark.
It’s around 12/1 bar those two, with a few interesting runners thrown into the mix. Eminent returns here who we haven’t seen since his odds on flop at Chester’s May Festival and Aiden O’Brien sends Cliffs Of Moher here on the back of his second placed effort behind stablemate Lancaster Bomber in the Tattersalls Gold Cup the last day.
Despite the below par effort the last day and slight ground issues here it’s pretty hard to see past CRACKSMAN in this with the minimal of opposition standing in his way. He should assert himself in this field and give Frankie Dettori another winner on the week.
CRACKSMAN – (8/13)
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Trainer: John Gosden
1st: Cracksman (8/13)
2nd: Poet’s Word (4/1)
Royal Hunt Cup (Class 2) (Heritage Handicap) (1m)
The Royal Hunt Cup is the penultimate race on the second day of Royal Ascot of this year and its a big field Heritage Handicap that’s ridden over a distance of a mile.
The one I like here comes in the form of SALTONSTALL the Irish Raider for Mick Halford and Godolphin. He finished a very impressive second in the Irish Lincoln on his reappearance run and has since gone to win nicely in a decent handicap at the Curragh under today’s jockey William Buick. He’s a live player here if handling the penalty and could well make his presence felt.
SALSTONSTALL – (12/1) (E/W)
Jersey Stakes (Class 1) (Group 3) (7f)
The Jersey brings things to a close on the second day of the Royal Meeting and this particular affairs is a Group 3 contest that’s over seven furlongs.
I’ve gone for two picks here and the first of these is a real risk of a selection and it comes in the form of EXPERT EYE. He’s been hugely disappointing since that emphatic Goodwood victory but I just think if there is ever a chance he could go close in something again this would be it. I think it will be very hard for him to bounce back if not showing anything here. James McDonald takes the ride.
The second one i’m going or is HEADWAY for William Haggas and Daniel Tudhope. A yard that has had a great start to the season this is another I think they can go close with, he didn’t settle in the Guineas and was well down the field but won well in Listed company on the All Weather the time before. If settling better here he’s sure to be a big player.
EXPERT EYE – (10/1) (E/W)
HEADWAY – (10/1) (E/W)