6/18 – Day 4 – Royal Ascot 2021
It’s on to day 4 of the Royal Meeting and following inspection, racing is a go! We will see last year’s american star Campanelle try to give Wesley Ward his first winner at Royal Ascot 2021. Campanelle did the job in last year’s Queen Mary Stakes, but faces a much stiffer challenge in the form of the Commonwealth Cup. Today’s card headlines a slew of three year old action, but kicks off with a competitive rendition of Albany Stakes.
Race 1: GIII Albany Stakes – 6 Furlongs, 2 YO Fillies
9 – Hello You – James Doyle takes over the ride on the daughter of 6 furlong specialist, Invincible Spirit. Only one start so far but showed a tremendous turn of foot in the straight, albeit on the all-weather at Wolverhampton. Handled things well first up being in between horses early.
2 – Cachet – Was impressive first up at Newmarket but was a bit green in the final two furlongs. Once she was able to straighten herself up and get focused she cleared the field by five and a half lengths. She looks a horse who over time will like a bit more distance but at this stage of her career she looks a strong chance to give jockey Nicola Currie her first Royal Ascot victory.
15 – Sunstrike – One of the few in this field with 3 starts under her belt. Showed a lot of fight in her last win over a slow synthetic at Kempton. Her breeding suggests a lot of ability at 6 furlongs, especially as Dark Angel continues his success at the royal meeting.
Race 2: GII King Edward VII Stakes – 1 1/2 Miles, 3 YO C&Gs
8 – Yibir – Has been competitive in stakes company and is progressing well as he continues to move up in distance each start. This Godolphin homebred has faced a slew of talented horses in his two and three year old seasons. He ran a massive race in the classic trial, staying the entire mile and not giving in to now favorite for this race, Alenquer, being caught late for 2nd by Adayar, the next up winner of the Cazoo Derby.
6 – The Mediterranean – The Coolmore runner is the only horse in the field that has proven form at a mile and a half. Was sharp second time out and challenged stakes company for the first time at Leopardstown, finishing strong on the line behind a frontrunning score by a promising 3 year old in Fernando Vichi.
2 – Alenquer – Has not been seen since that effort in the Classic Trial at Sandown, defeating a quality field that day. He sat just off the pace and had to really work to fend off Yibir. Being by a German Derby winner in Adlerflug, he should relish the extra quarter mile in this spot. A talented horse but I’m not sure he should be such a short price.
Race 3: GI Commonwealth Cup – 6 Furlongs, 3 YO C&Fs
3 – Dragon Symbol – Continues to improve and stepped up in a big way in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock. It was on heavy ground, but this horse will be just fine on a firmer surface. Progeny of Cable Bay seem to be getting better with age and this horse, albeit only a three year old, seems to be progressing quickly. Gets the benefit of Oisin Murphy on board for this step up into group one company.
11 – Supremacy – One of the horses that helped put sire Mehmas on the map early in his stud career. A fantastic two year old and started his 2021 campaign in the Pavilion Stakes, also known as the Commonwealth Cup Trial. He was a non-factor in the event and was being pressed on early, however both times he tried to get going he ran into trouble. Should get back to himself in this start and if he does, he’s as talented as any horse in the field.
13 – Campanelle – Wesley Ward’s best chance to take home his first winner of Royal Ascot this season. His effort in the Queen Mary was visually impressive, although he didn’t beat much in that spot. The Prix Morny was much more impressive and beating Nando Parrado helped add some substance to his efforts. Still think this horse has a lot to prove and I am willing to take against him this time around.
Race 4: GI Coronation Stakes – 1 Mile, 3 YO Fillies
13 – Snow Lantern – Contested the pace in her first attempt at stakes level against two horses with talent. The second place finisher of that event came back to win at listed company at Newbury last week. Tough to go against anything sired by Frankel at the moment and this filly is no exception. Her first career start came at Ascot and she split through the field late to get up for 2nd, a major effort on debut.
12 – Shale – As promising a filly as she could have been at the age of 2, including capturing the premier 2 year filly race in Ireland, the Moyglare Stud Stakes. After a tough trip in the Fillies Mile, Shale came back at Leopardstown in April in the 1000 Guineas Trial. Throughout that race, Shale looked to be working hard but she stayed on well, almost rallying between horses for a placing but caught traffic late. Good start for her as she needed the run and will continue to get back to old form.
10 – Pretty Gorgeous – Her and Shale went back and forth throughout their 2 year old season. Both horses had subpar placings in their first career start, both coming with some excuses. Pretty Gorgeous came back off the layoff first up in the Irish 1000 Guineas and did not seem to handle the ground well at all. I was a bit surprised by the difference in price between her and Shale. Both will improve from their first up starts but Shale is the much better value.
Race 5: Sandringham Stakes – 1 Mile, 3 YO Fillies
20 – Far Hope – The Simon Crisford trainee is coming off a strong effort at Brighton last time out. Has been moving up slightly in distance and seem to be improving when doing so. A mile should be ideal for a daughter of Night of Thunder, who continues to have success at the royal meeting.
6 – Create Belief – A strong performance last time out in handicap company over the heavy going. She should be one who will handle the moisture in the ground well and appreciated that cutback from a mile and a quarter two back. Both wins in her career come at the mile.
19 – Belief – Always love seeing a horse who extends past the mile and then cuts back in distance. They seem to do well off the cutback and this horse did just that last time out. The mile looks to be the ideal distance for this runner.
Race 6: Duke of Edinburgh Stakes – 1 1/2 Miles, 3 & Up
11 – Tritonic – First start of the season came in a victory just shy of two miles at Ascot. A winner on the flat and followed as a winner over hurdles at Kempton. Was not a huge fan of the move to go to the All-Weather at Chelmsford City but he still ran a respectable race. Ryan Moore jumps aboard the son of Sea The Moon, a sire line that relishes this distance.
2 – Zabeel Champion – Getting off the all-weather and onto the turf was the first step to getting Zabeel Champion back in the winner’s enclosure. Back to back wins at a mile and a half and really had to grind out a stretch battle at Newmarket against a quality field.
6 – Favorite Moon – Went down under as the traveling partner to Addeybb and came home after capturing the group 3 NE Manion Cup. Sat a patient trip that day behind a strong pace setter in Hush Writer and showed a good turn of foot. I would say that the trip was ideal for the horse and this would be a much better test, but he definitely has the talent to win here.
Race 7: Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes – 5 Furlongs, 3 YOs
19 – Desert Gulf – An interesting wildcard in this race given the fact that he’s only raced on the all-weather and shortens up in distance. Has a win on debut going 6 furlongs at Wolverhampton and will be third up this prep. Gets the services of Hollie Doyle for this race. He could be a good thing but just have to see how he handles the grass.
6 – Warrior Brave – Put in a game effort against a horse I was very impressed with in Atalis Bay in the Scurry Stakes. He has found success this season at 5 furlongs and his sire line thrived at the same distance. Silvestre De Sousa gets back aboard after the effort at Sandown and I am expecting a step forward.
3 – First Company – A consistent horse who has had trouble finding the winner’s enclosure. Whether it came in a handicap event or stepping up into stakes company, this horse has danced some tough dances against quality opposition. Has continuously run into Winter Power, as well as the likes of Method and Atalis Bay. Best races came with a little more give in the ground. Has been good enough as of late to be an outside chance at a nice price.