Royal Ascot Day 2 Tips and Race-by-Race Selections
A look at the day two racecard at Royal Ascot and race-by-race selections and best bets for all six races on Wednesday.
After some the thrills of day one at Royal Ascot, the focus switches to the second day where more top-class action awaits punters, and the feature race of the afternoon is the Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
We look at the second day of top-class horse racing action at Royal Ascot and give our race-by-race selections.
Race 1 – Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies)
The Wesley Ward-trained pair of Anna’s Fst and Kimari are both afforded the utmost respect, and the US-based trainer is always to be feared with his sprinters here. Both showed blistering speed to win their respective debuts Stateside, but a chance is taken on GOOD VIBES to continue her progress having won her last two starts, and David Evans’ charge looks a high-class prospect who may have better yet to come. The Due Diligence filly stepped up on a promising debut runner-up effort at Newmarket behind Chasing Dreams to win on her second outing at Salisbury. She then took another forward step with a defeat of Mighty Spirit to win a Listed prize at York despite being bumped early, and she was well on top at the line to suggest there was more still in the locker. Proven in a big field and with pace to aim at all across the track, she can find another jolt of progress to go close assuming the prospect of softer ground doesn’t inconvenience.
Race 2 – Queen’s Vase (Group 2)
JALMOUD arrives in search of a hat-trick of wins, and the New Approach colt looks the pick of the Godolphin pair with James Doyle on board. Charlie Appleby’s charge found only one too good on debut at Newcastle back in November, but following a break he stepped up to post a first success with a defeat of the useful Cape Cavalli at Newmarket in April. He looked all stamina next time when running out a Listed winner in France last month, keeping on well to get up late and win the De L’avre Stakes at Longchamp, and a further step up in trip could well unlock further improvement. The runner-up and third horses home from that French assignment subsequently filled the same positions in the Group Two Prix Hocquart next time, and for this is a tougher test of his own credentials he may well find further progress to land the three-timer.
Aidan O’Brien has won this race three times since 2008, most recently with Highland Reel two seasons ago. His MAGICAL could well be the one to side with here with race-fitness assured, and the Galileo filly can extend her unbeaten sequence to 4-4 this term. A smart juvenile, winning twice which included the Group Two Debutante Stakes, she progressed well last term, winning again at the Curragh with success in the Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes and contesting against the likes of Laurens and Enable in the Matron Stakes and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe before making her Group One breakthrough with a defeat of Coronet here on Champions Day when winning the Champion Fillies and Mares’ Stakes. That performance was followed by a near miss behind Enable when contesting the Breeders’ Cup Turf, only denied by three-parts of a length but not quite able to get past the tenacious winner. A drop back to ten furlongs has worked the oracle this term, and she is 3-3 in her starts with a trio of defeats of Flag Of Honour, latterly romping to a wide margin victory over her stablemate to win the Tattersalls Gold Cup in impressive fashion. The strength of the form of her three wins this term is open to debate, with none coming against genuine top-class opposition and she was probably entitled to win all three as she did. This will be tougher against proven Group One rivals,, but she looks to have improved further this season and there may still be more to come from here. This trip has proven a catalyst for big progress, and she has proven form on a range of underfoot conditons, while her form figures from last term put her firmly in the mix. She can post a big effort here, and she looks capable of winning this Group One prize where her proven race-fitness could well prove a big advantage.
I CAN FLY won twice last term from seven starts, which included the Group Two Boomerang Stakes, and Aidan O’Brien’s charge lost nothing in defeat in the Sun Chariot Stakes back in October when fourth behind Laurens, and then getting to within a neck of Roaring Lion in the QEII Stakes over course and distance two weeks later. Forgiven her Breeders’ Cup run where she beat only two home, those exertions might have come too soon after her run in the mud here, and she bounced back to winning form following a break at Dundalk in March. The Fastnet Rock filly wasn’t seen to best effect at Meydan in March, but she ran well behind Mustashry in the Lockinge – finishing four lengths’ sixth – and then was given too much ground to make up on Beshaayir at the Curragh last month in the Lanwades Stud Stakes. Despite her defeats, her form is arguably the best on offer in this field, and if she were to recapture the level which saw her go close on her last visit here then she could get back on the scoresheet in an open renewal of this Group Two prize.
New Graduate could prove to be a Group horse masquerading as a handicapper given the way he demolished a strong field on his handicap debut at Ripon back in April, and James Tate’s charge can improve for that run. However, it could be worth chancing on CHIEF IRONSIDE who is officially 4lbs well in at the weights, and William Jarvis’ charge could get back on the scoresheet if able to replicate his recent Epsom run in the Group Three Diomed Stakes where he finished a creditable third. The Lawman colt won twice last term – both over ten furlongs – in handicaps prior to contesting with credit in Pattern company, with his best effort in defeat coming when finishing three lengths’ third behind Lord Glitters and Mustashry at York in the Strensall Stakes. Forgiven subsequent outings either side of a seven-month break on account of the soft ground both times, he bounced back with that solid Epsom run, and due to go up 4lbs in future races he could take advantage of this mark in a race which is likely to be run at a decent pace so could bring his stamina into play.
PLATINUM STAR won easier than the two lengths’ winning margin might suggest when getting off the mark at the second attempt at Leicester last month, and Saeed bin Suroor’s charge can find another jolt of improvement here to follow up. The Lope De Vega colt had proven no match for Pinatubo on debut at Wolverhampton earlier in the same month, and that form has since been franked by the winner, third and sixth horses home all winning since. He only needed to be pushed out under hands and heels to score readily latest, and the runner-up has also registered a subsequent win, albeit at a lower level. Nevertheless, he looks worth chancing stepping up in grade, and he showed enough speed last time to suggest he’ll have no issue with this drop back in trip. There could be plenty more to come from him, and it may be significant that the services of Cristophe Soumillon have been employed for this latest assignment. Worth a try at this higher grade, he could go well and he is taken to win again.