ROYAL ASCOT 2019 PREVIEW
Author: Jordan Yates
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Queen Mary (Group 2)
The Queen Mary kicks things off on Day 2 of Royal Ascot and I have have had two selections here both each way fancies. The first of these comes in the form of the Irish raider ICKWORTH for Willie McCreary and Godolphin. I was very impressed with the impression he made the last day when turning over an odds on shot trained by Aidan O’Brien in a Listed event. That win also came in yielding going and he’s one that I think has a lot more to offer in the upper echelons of the sprinting division. The second one I like at a much bigger price in this year’s renewal of the Queen Mary comes in the form of Simon Crisford’s AL RAYA. She cost 450,000 and traded at very low odds in running on debut at Nottingham when just getting touched off close home. She was very green that day and ran about under pressure therefore there should be obvious progression here as she clearly has a bit of talent about her. Andrea Atzeni is on board.
Others to note in the race look to be Final Song who’s a course and distance winner on soft going for Godolphin and the Wesley Ward pair of Kimari and Anna’s Fast are obvious players for a trainer that does so well in these contests.
EACH WAY: ICKWORTH (7/1)
EACH WAY: AL RAYA (28/1)
Queen’s Vase (Group 2)
The Queen’s Vase is another Group 2 contest of which Aidan O’Brien looks to hold the answer too as he’s responsible for both of the current market leaders. I’ve changed my mind on this race several times which is never a good thing but I’ve made my decision now and I’ve gone for NORWAY who’s the mount of Ryan Moore. Western Australia got back to winning ways the last day and will likely play a big part but I’m not all that convinced on what he actually beat. His stablemate should relish the trip and looks a more classy prospect moving forward, he’s also proved he doesn’t mind a bit of give in the ground when he was second at Chester behind Sir Dragonet. I think bold showing is very likely here.
A main danger to the Ballydoyle battalions looks to be the Godolphin charge Jalmoud for Charlie Appleby. He’s won his last two starts and will be looking to make his presence felt here under James Doyle.
WIN: NORWAY (3/1)
Prince Of Wales Stakes (Group 1)
Probably the race of the week is this year’s renewal of the Prince Of Wales Stakes. A top class Group 1 which is currently headed by Magical for Aidan O’Brien. She’s been impressive this season winning all three starts this season since running Enable fairly close at the Breeders Cup. This culminated with a Group 1 success the last day in the Irish Gold Cup where she beat stablemate Flag Of Honour once again. She’s the right favourite on this season’s form and does look the one to beat under Ryan Moore.
I’ve had actually had two bets in this race and I’ll go into a bit of detail why, my first bet comes in the form of SEA OF CLASS for William Haggas. Many followers of my blog will know that she became my favourite horse of the season last term with that fabulous campaign that ended up with her so nearly winning the Arc. I’ll back her in every race from now until she’s retired because I genuinely am in love with this horse and can’t wait to see her make her return to the track. If she does turn up here she’s got a lot on her plate for her first run of the season within this company but William will have her raring to go no doubt about that.
The reason I’ve backed another one in the line up is because at the end of racing on Day One Haggas was on record saying he’ll check the track in the morning due to the amount of rain, he went on to say “I really want to run her but I don’t want to bottom her at this stage of the season.” With an air of uncertainty surrounding her participation in the race I’ve had an each way play on WALDGEIST for Andre Fabre. He’s a top class horse in his own right and looked better than ever when winning the Ganay the last day back in France and if bringing that level of form to the table there he’s got to be in the mix.
Crystal Ocean will likely be a popular play with punters here, he’s yet to win a Group 1 but many believe that this could well be his moment in this particular affair.
WIN: SEA OF CLASS (3/1)
EACH WAY: WALDGEIST (5/1)
Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)
More Group 2 action this time in the Duke Of Cambridge and my selection here comes in the form of another William Haggas horse in PRETTY BABY. She’s another one that I became a big fan of last season and she’s one of those horses that just doesn’t know when she’s beat as she proved on her reappearance effort when winning at Lingfield the last day. She knuckled down really well to win the listed contest and that also came on soft ground, she gave the impression that day that this trip should suit.
The market leaders set a pretty high standard here in the form of I Can Fly for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore as well as Rawdaa for Sir Michael Stoute and Frankie Dettori. These are the ones to beat.
EACH WAY: PRETTY BABY (9/1)
Royal Hunt Cup (Class 2) (Heritage Handicap)
The penultimate race on Day 2 is the Royal Hunt Cup which is a Heritage Handicap and as you can imagine as is the case with all of these races, a notoriously competitive affair which can throw up some huge priced winners. I’ve had two darts in this year’s renewal as each way fancies and I’ll go into who they are on and why.
The first of these comes in the form of ROBIN OF NAVAN for Ed Dunlop and Oisin Murphy. He’s a Group 1 winner that has some very solid form to his name, he didn’t get any luck in running on his first go in handicap company the last day at Newbury yet still shaped well. If getting a bit better luck here he’s probably the classiest horse in the line up and could play a very meaningful part at the business end of things.
My second selection here is an old favourite of mine in these races and that’s none other than KYNREN for David Barron and Robert Winston. He arrives here off a career high mark after two second placed efforts in big handicaps this season but despite that you can never really rule him out in one of these contests. Whilst some lack experience in this type of affair that certainly isn’t the case for him and he certainly comes here with a chance.
EACH WAY: ROBIN OF NAVAN (10/1)
EACH WAY: KYNREN (14/1)
Windsor Castle Stakes (Class 1) (Listed)
Concluding the racing on the second day of Royal Ascot of 2019 is the Windsor Castle stakes which is a listed affair that’s contested over five furlongs. I haven’t got the strongest of views on this race if truth be told so I’m just going to get on with my selection.
I’ve taken a chance on Aidan O’Brien’s runner here which is SOUTHERN HILLS and he’ll be ridden by Ryan Moore. He’s by Gleneagles and comes into the race still a maiden but looked like he was going to get the better of a Joseph O’Brien odds on shot for a long way the last day. I was quite impressed with his run that day and certainly think he’s got a lot more to offer for his powerhouse connections which he could begin to showcase in this particular contest.
EACH WAY: SOUTHERN HILLS (8/1)