Integral the key player in Duke of Cambridge Stakes
Integral shaped with bags of promise when runner-up on her seasonal reappearance and looks to hold outstanding claims of going one better in today’s Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot (4.25).
The Sir Michael Stoute trained filly looked in need of the run when going down by just a head to Esoterique in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket.
It was a hugely encouraging effort, and one which suggested Integral was capable of continuing on an upward curve following a highly progressive campaign last season.
The beautifully bred daughter of Dalakhani won in good style over a mile her on debut, where after missing the start she ran on strongly to beat Magic Of Reality by 2 3/4 lengths, with the pair pulling 6 lengths clear of the third.
Integral followed that up with a really impressive victory in a listed contest at Sandown, coming from miles off the pace and showing a terrific turn of foot to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths.
Connections then stepped Integral up into Group 1 company, and she ran a stormer to finish a length runner-up to Sky Lantern in the Sun Charoit Stakes at Newmarket.
The four-yearold now meets the winner on 5lb better terms, and that should be enough to see Integral come out on top on this occasion.
Sky Lantern looks to have it all to do under a penalty against race fit rivals, and French raider Esoterique could well prove the main danger.
The Andre Fabre trained filly got first run on Integral when winning the Dahlia, but there was plenty to like about the way the daughter of Danehill stuck to the task and dug deep to prevail.
That was the four-year-old’s third win in seven starts, and Esoterique’s powerful connections have a terrific record with their oversees raiders.