14:30: Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 7f
Whitecliffsofdover is best fancied of the Irish runners here, ahead of True Valour, Spirit of Valor and Glastonbury Song and on form, and ratings, should do best. He wears blinkers for the first time but they’ll all have to go some to contend with Andre Fabre’s Le Brivido. This colt was only beaten a short-head by Brametot last time out in a Group 1, form that has been well & truly franked, and the drop back to 7F should see him score here.
15:05: Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) 5f
A real talking horse here in Happy Like A Fool whom the trainer rates as his best two-year-old. If the vibes are accurate then she’ll win hands down – it’s certainly no disadvantage to have Ryan Moore doing the steering! Treasuring bids to follow in the footsteps of Elletelle for Ger Lyons while Sirici has it all to do in this company for Fozzy Stack. Joseph O’Brien saddles his first Royal Ascot runner in Now You’re Talking but she will also have to improve on her last time out second to Gasta.
15:40: Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) 1m
Laugh Aloud is a significant non-runner here and that leaves the door wide open for Qemah. Last year’s Coronation Stakes winner has won four times at 1m on good and good to soft ground and is the classiest horse in the race. Traffic problems could be the only thing that prevents a victory but her turn of foot should get her out of any difficulty. Turret Rocks represents Jim Bolger but has a huge amount to find with the favourite. Smart Call looks like the each-way play of the race.
16:20: Prince of Wales’s Stakes 1 ¼ m
The remarkable Highland Reel bids for his sixth Group/Grade One victory and will be right at home on this rattling fast ground. His course record stands up to the closest scrutiny (2nd in the Hardwicke and winner of the King George) and he’ll be incredibly difficult to beat. Johannes Vermeer also represents Ballydoyle but hasn’t reproduced his good two-year-old form in the last two seasons. This looks like a match though and Jack Hobbs is selected to beat the likely favourite. He came right back to his best when winning the Dubai Sheema Classic earlier this year and really impressed that day. If he’s as good over this shorter distance then he’s the one to beat.
17:00: Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) 1m
Elleval is the sole Irish representative here and will do well to finish in the money based on this year’s form so far. Abe Lincoln has been the big market move this week and it will be some training performance if Jeremy Noseda can win one of the toughest handicaps of the year after a 12-month layoff. George William would have been a strong fancy for this but is drawn in 1, away from the pace. He should run well all the same. Of the rest G K Chesterton and Hors De Combat could reward each-way players at likely bigger odds.
17:35: Sandringham Stakes 1m
John Gosden won this last year with a well backed favourite and can repeat the trick here with Gymnaste who has also attracted significant money today already. She has a very attractive handicap mark and is likely to make up into a Listed/Group filly in time. Rain Goddess and Asking represent Aidan O’Brien and wouldn’t have to find much to be involved, both having contested Group 1 races on their latest runs while Bean Feasa (Jim Bolger) will definitely enjoy the return to faster conditions having finished well beaten behind Winter on yielding ground last time.
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