The 2nd day of Royal Ascot is a calmer day than the first day, but it still brings a high standard of racing and a very good Group One race in the Prince of Wales Stakes.
This year’s Prince of Wales Stakes is competed over 1 mile and 2 furlongs and this year brings the highest rated horse in the world from 2013 to England for their first run in this country.
Treve comfortably defeated the field by 5 lengths in the 2013 Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp. Not only is Treve rated using the RPR system as the best horse of 2013, but she is also rated as the best middle distance filly in RPR history. She is a worldwide star in horse racing and should take a comfortable victory in the big race of the day as the Arc De Triomphe form looks foolproof despite her short head defeat to Cirrus Des Aigles earlier this season.
The other main contenders who unless anything untoward happens should be vying for 2nd place are Magician, Mukhadram and The Fugue.
Magician has 2 victories at a 10 furlong distance, but both were in far lower standard of races than this one but has done better work at other distances against top level opposition including a ½ length victory over The Fugue. Mukhadram prefers firmer ground and was a close 2nd in this race last year to Al Kazeem. The Fugue was 3rd in this last year and was 3 lengths behind Mukhadram, but in a subsequent race defeated Al Kazeem by just over half a length.
The Duke of Cambridge brings together talented fillies to compete over a mile in this Group 2 race. This year’s affair seems to bring together 3 horses who are vying for favouritism. Richard Hannon’s Sky Lantern, Michael Stoute’s Integral and French Raider Esoterique from the yard of Andre Fabre.
Esoterique previously defeated Integral at Newmarket over a 1m1f distance back in May and Sky Lantern also holds a 1 length victory over Integral over the mile distance in late 2013. Esoterique is yet to win over the mile distance since her maiden win on soft ground in comparison to Sky Lantern who took 3 victories on better than Good ground in 2013 over this distance including the Coronation Stakes at last year’s Royal Ascot.
The Royal Hunt Cup brings together 30 horses over the straight mile. There is a strong favourite who may will remembered from his victory at Epsom where Abseil was an easy favourite on that day. Others of interest include a winner from Saturday in Sea Shanty though this may be a step too far for the horse. Queensberry Rules returns for the 2014 season, and after a 3rd over this course, distance and in a big field last year, he remains a decent each-way option at the 14/1 offered if running a good race while fresh. Here Comes When carries a strong piece of form over soft ground after defeating Abseil by 5 lengths over a mile back in May at Chester, but has disappointed in a race since then. Oisin Murphy and his 3lb claim returns to ride the horse and if he can run to form again, he stands a great chance of victory.
Selections – All races live on Channel 4 (previewed races in CAPITALS):
2.30 – Jersey Stakes – Mustajeeb e/w
3.05 – Queen Mary Stakes – Dangerous Moonlight e/w
3.45 – PRINCE OF WALES STAKES – Mukhadram e/w
4.25 – DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE STAKES – Sky Lantern
5.00 – ROYAL HUNT CUP – Queensberry Rules e/w, Here Comes When e/w
5.35 – Sandringham Handicap – Dutch Courage e/w