It’s Friday at Royal Ascot 2018 and Will has a preview plus tips. Great tipping this week including 16/1 winner on Wednesday plus 16/1 and 6/1 and 5/1 winners yesterday.
2.30 – Albany Stakes (Fillies’ Group 3) (Class 1) (2YO only): Aidan O’Brien has been knocking on the door with his juveniles all week and he holds an extremely strong hand here. Just Wonderful did well to bely her inexperience and win by a neck on her debut at the Curragh, and the daughter of Wading promises to improve a huge deal for that experience. Behind her were next time out winners Lethal Impact and Gossamer Wings, who was third in the Queen Mary.
It’ll take a good one to stop her but stablemate Fairyland has looked like just that in her two starts, quickening up smartly to beat a next time out winner on her debut at Naas and then taking a predictably big step forward when seeing off a talented set of rivals to take the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh. Her straightforward attitude impressed and she had a convincing two and a half lengths in hand over highly rated stablemate Van Beethoven.
The third, Land Force, was beaten just half a length in the Norfolk yesterday, and fourth Gee Rex was eighth in the Coventry on Tuesday, so the form stacks up well and she can get the better of her stablemate.
Given the number of splits we’ve had this week, and the regular presence of big priced placed horses in the shakeup of juvenile races, it makes sense to have two strings to your bow. Octave needed all of Silvestre de Sousa’s strength to justify favouritism on debut but next time out she found only the startlingly impressive Calyx too good at the July course. She was beaten by an easy five lengths, but he has since won what looked a very strong Coventry and she was six lengths clear of the third. How flattered she is by her relative proximity remains to be seen but 20/1 looks too big to find out.
Main Edition has won two novice races in the style of a pattern horse and ought to be involved in the reckoning whilst Angel’s Hideaway, running for the week’s star team in the shape of Gosden and Dettori, moved clear in good style at Haydock last time on her second start. Godolphin’s La Pelosa was well backed on debut and won her maiden at Kempton smoothly from a next time out winner. She makes immediate appeal on form and potential.
Jessica Harrington’s Chicas Amigas impressed with victory at Dundalk and didn’t lose much face when second in a listed event to stablemate Servalan, who was sixth in the Queen Mary, whilst So Perfect was fourth in both aces. She can go well.
Different League made virtually all for Matthieu Palussiere in this race last season and the French handler saddles No More Regrets this time around, although she must improve from her second in the Premio Vitorio Crespi last time out. Yan Durepaire’s Bryon Bay, an impressive winner on her debut at Chantilly, makes more appeal from the raiding challenge.
Stillwater Cove wouldn’t have held on over five furlongs at Keenland when taking her Maiden Special Weight and Wesley Ward has had his juvenile winners at 5 furlongs here, so over this trip she makes little appeal.
Advice: 2 pts win Fairyland (7/2 general), 1 pt each/way Octave (20/1 Bet365, Paddy Power, Betway)
3.05 – 1m4f (1m3f211y) King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) (3yo): Not much separates the field here. Wells Farhh Go looked a top prospect when he stole the Acomb Stakes on the line at York last season and his return in the Dante there gave encourage encouragement that he retains enough of his ability to move forward. This is the fastest ground he’ll have raced on and there might be stamina issues for some, but his overall promise makes him worth chancing.
Aidan O’Brien has had three horses beaten in Group 1’s bounce back to win at this meeting so far and it’s no surprise that Delano Roosevelt is favourite after his Epsom sixth. He deserves serious respect but perhaps Rostropovich can follow in the footsteps of Hunting Horn and improve greatly for fast ground following his French Derby effort. He was a disappointing ninth there, but today he reverts to the fast ground that he’s had just once this season, when he won the Dee Stakes in fine style. He looked as if he’d get further comfortably then although his stamina isn’t guaranteed, and on fast ground we could see plenty of improvement.
Giuseppe Garibaldi is a quickly maturing contender for Ballydoyle who has won his last two starts when getting good ground, including the King George V Cup.
Old Persian is well worth a try at this new trip and Raa Atoll has already improved a great deal for it since his taking debut so those two ought to be involved. Elector was a staying on second to Raa Atoll at Leicester for The Queen and should improve over this trip. He makes an interesting contender for Sir Michael Stoute here.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Wells Farhh Go (9/1 general) 1 pt each/way Rostropovich (7/1 Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power)
3.40 – 6f Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3yo): A race with sensational potential and an almost limitless list of contenders. The two against the field are Sands Of Mali and Invincible Spirit, who were separated by just noise at the end of the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last time. Sands Of Mali, a deeply impressive winner of the Gimcrack when he beat Invincible Army at York last year, didn’t fire in the Middle Park and the Breeders’ Cup, but was game as ever in the Prix Sigy when carrying a 6lbs penalty, and he made all once again in the Sandy Lane, manging to pull out a half a length on the runner up before then holding on at the line.
Invincible Army wont he Sirenia Strakes after his Gimcrack second last year and was beaten by the subsequent Greenham winner Expert Eye at the end of the season. His return in the Pavillion Skates, when he put a length and a half between him and Eqtidaar, set him up nicely for a bold bid in the Sandy Lane and he ought to enjoy returning to this track
The market has been dominated by Equilateral, the startlingly impressive 12 length winner at Doncaster. The bare form of that race might have taken a knock but the fact is that he beat a 97 rated filly last time by 8 lengths conceding 12lbs – a Group 1 performance in anyone’s book. He might be a bit short now after sustained support for the last two weeks.
Sioux Nation took the Norfolk here last year and then followed up with the Phoenix Stakes shortly afterwards. He was a Middle Park disappointment but his latest win ahead of stablemate Fleet Reveal in the Lacken Stakes (Speak In Colour and Now You’re Talking behind) when carrying a penalty showed a smart turn of foot and he will love returning back to this course and distance. Indeed, Fleet Review himself has each/way potential; This test ought to suit a great deal and so will having a pace to run at.
Emblazoned was a fine third in the Sandy Lane and behind him was Heartache and Unfortunately. If both are back to the form they showed last summer, with Heartache a fine winner of the Queen Mark and Unfortunately a game winner of the Prix Morny, they can prove to be well overpriced.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Sands Of Mali (9/1 Paddy Power, 15/2 Coral, Betway) Invincible Spirit (9/1 Paddy Power, 8/1 general)
4.20 – 1m (Rnd) Coronation Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo): A fine clash between the winners of the English, French, and Irish 1,000 Guineas. There appears to be little reason not to take Billesdon Brook’s Newmarket win at face value and that form appears to be the strongest in the race with Laurens having won the Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane since whilst Wild Illusion has finished second in the Oaks and Ribblesdale since. She put the race to bed with a very convincing turn of foot that day and whilst she will have to show that speed again against milers, she appears overpriced in relation to the Irish pair at the head of the market.
Alpha Centuari relished a return to fast ground when taking the Irish 1,000 Guineas with a sustained late charge. Just beaten in the Albany last year, she ought to be seriously involved once again. Clemmie was one of the top juveniles of last season, taking the Middle Park with a fine turn of foot from Albany winner Different League to end her campaign.
She was expected to take high rank in the Guineas but a hold up in March came at just the wrong time, meaning she had to miss the 1,000 Guineas. Her comeback in the Irish version wasn’t spectacular, but she had only just made that assignment according to her trainer and a huge improvement can be expected here which should have her on the premises.
Teppal gave David Simcock a first classic winner when quickening up best in what was a bunch finish to take the Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches. She’s only had three runs and could improve a great deal from her Pouliches win, her first of the season, although she will need to based on the bare form there. She had Coeur De Beaute just a short neck behind and she must be respected too based on that form here although had the previous advantage of a run, unlike fourth that day Capla Temptress.
Threading looked as if she’d returned to her best when beating a solid yardstick absolutely pointless at York and if that’s the case she’ll take some catching although that was a soft four runner event which didn’t test her stamina. The way Veracious won her maiden at Newmarket suggest she’s a group horse but this is some ask on her comeback.
Anna Nerium has already been beaten in the Guineas, for all she ran creditably, and all of Adorable, Aim Of Artemis, Whitefountainfairy and Nkosikazi must improve rapidly.
Advice: 2 pts each/way Billesdon Brook (13/2 Paddy Power)
5.00 – Sandringham Stakes (Fillies’ Handicap) (Str) (Class 2) (3YO only): As per usual, friendly competitive so we’ll cut straight to the chase. Ed Walker’s Argotera is an obvious favourite but she’s probably earned it after beating the easy Goodwood winner Four White Socks by over a length last time out. That was only her third start but crucially her first one on fast ground and previously she had been beaten just a length by Dathanna here. 7lbs better off with her from that run, she ought to take the beating.
It’s even more obvious to have the second favourited in the profile but the way that Qazyuna travelled through the early stages of the Pretty Polly suggested that a drop back to this trip wouldn’t suit and she was an impressive maiden winner before that when looking as if a big field handicap would be her thing in the future. Two horses have placed in the Pretty Polly as a route to Sandringham glory and the pace profile and track should see a career best.
Last but not least, Aidan O’Brien’s Broadway. She’s had just four runs and the only poor one took place on heavy ground when connections ran her over 12 furlongs. She was third in the Athasi Stakes afterwards when menacingly closing on the line – over a mile she might well have won – but she made amends with an easy win at Naas when the seconds and third both won subsequently. A frenetically run mile ought to suit.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Argotera (7/1 general), 1 pt each/way Qazyna (8/1 general), 1 pt each/wau Broadway (16/1 Bet365, 14/1 general)
5.35 – 1m4f Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+ 0-105): Charlie Appleby won this race with Rare Rhythm last year, a horse that had been off the track 371 days, so Eynhallow’s absence of 120 days isn’t a worry at all and he makes a lot of appeal. Twice a winner for Roger Charlton last year, he’s impressed in Dubai with two solid efforts at Meydan and could still more to give on his third run for the yard. On both those occasions he came from well back to take second behind Walton Street so the stiffer finish and stronger gallop her should be right up his street and a wide draw has not been an impediment in the past to success either.
Take a gamble on the Dubai form and back Walton Street too. The form of his last UK run has worked out brilliantly with Call To Mind now a group winner along with runner-up Count Octave.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Eyenhallow (12/1 general), 1 pt each/way Walton Street (9/1 Coral, Bet Victor)
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