Royal Ascot Day Two Preview: Who can claim the Prince of Wales’s Stakes?
We preview the highlights from Wednesday’s card
We’re back with another seven races from a behind-closed-doors Royal Ascot. Before the action, we preview the biggest and best races of Day Two.
Pyledriver caused an upset in Tuesday’s King Edward VII Stakes, with the favourite Mogul finishing fourth, while Battaash sealed the King’s Stand Stakes well, sprinting ahead to finish over 2l clear of Equilateral.
With more races to come on Day Two, including the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Windsor Castle Stakes, we look at some of the leading contenders.
13:15 Silver Royal Hunt Cup Handicap
13:50 Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3)
14:25 King George V Stakes (Handicap)
15:00 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1)
15:35 Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap)
16:10 Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed Race)
16:40 Copper Horse Handicap
Despite being off the mark over the heavy ground at Naas on return in the 1m maiden, Russian Emperor stepped up in a messy renewal of the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown last week and could be set for a good run here as there’s still more to come.
Another runner from the eight declared for the race who took a big step forward is First Receiver, who won a 1m Kempton maiden by 7l on his return. He should have more to offer with the step up in trip too with Frankie Dettori on board.
If there’s a surprise from further down the field, it could come from Juan Elcano, after the 66/1 shot kept on well to finish fifth in the 2,000 Guineas. He’s placed twice in Group 2 company and won easily on debut last year. He should relish the longer trip if he can bring his best form.
Only seven runners line up for the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes. Should Headman find his form of last term after winning a high-quality Newbury handicap and two Group 3 races in France, he could run away with this one. He wasn’t seen to best effect in the Irish Champion Stakes on his final start but can offer much more if 100% ready on race day.
Ryan Moore will mount Japan in this one, with the three-year-old proving his class by winning the King Edward VII here, as well as the Grand Prix de Paris and Juddmonte last term. Falling just short in the Arc, coming home in fourth, he may not have reached his peak and could be the one to beat.
Lord North’s form has continued to improve since the autumn. He returned to action with another big win in the Brigadier Gerard at Haydock, winning by a short-head over Elarqam. He could go really well in this one if James Doyle gets the best from him.
Barney Roy was the 2017 St James’s Palace winner and found that same form in Dubai earlier this year winning a Group 1 race over 9f in his last turnout. Likely to need a career-best run to win here.
Hollie Doyle will be on board Mighty Gurkha in the Windsor Castle Stakes, and with 20 runners declared, he’ll be looking to get off to a fast start. He impressed on his emphatic debut win at Lingfield, charging to the front and clearing easily in the straight. There are high hopes for him.
He could be run close by American challenger Chief Little Hawk. He’s got speedy pedigree in his early career and controlled from halfway on debut at Navan. He’ll be mounted by Ryan Moore, and as the stable jockey, his decision to pick the Air Force Blue colt could be ominous.
Sunshine City picked up a maiden claimer on debut at Gulfstream, and she could be more forward than most of her rivals in the field. She’s in with a shout here, should Frankie Dettori get the best out of her.
Despite finishing second at Churchill Downs last month, Sheriff Bianco put together a considerably better run than the placing suggests. He came back from a poor start that day, and with Oisin Murphy booked to ride, could be primed to demand respect from the rest of the field.
All odds and markets are correct as of date of publication.