The reputation of last season’s Derby, Irish Derby and 2,000 Guineas hero CAMELOT is on the line in the feature race of the day, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (3.45). He’s won only once on his last four starts and renews rivalry with his conqueror in Ireland last time, AL KAZEEM. Roger Charlton’s improving five-year-old looks a good thing, although MUKHADRAM is a live outsider.
Providing the ground is not too fast, one-time Classic hope, MONTIRIDGE, is sure to go well in the opener, the Jersey Stakes (2.30). But a superb renewal of the 7f contest is littered with dangers, particularly Aidan O’Brien’s Irish 2,000 Guineas runner-up GALE FORCE TEN and the best horse Richard Fahey has ever trained, GARSWOOO, who is back to a more suitable trip after disappointing in the Newmarket Guineas.
Most of the best female milers in Europe line up for the newly-named Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (3.05). CHIGUN and DANK must go close but might just prefer a bit further to produce their best, leaving the door open for David Wachman’s top-class DUNTLE, who triumphed at the meeting last year and is effectively a Group One winner without a penalty, given that she was disqualified when first past the post in the Matron Stakes last September.
That Royal Ascot race Duntle took in 2012, the Listed Sandringham Stakes Handicap (5.35) for fillies, closes the card today and is a veritable head-scratcher. No fewer than 26 go to post, with FLEETING SMILE my idea of the best each/way value.
Another impossible-looking 1m cavalry charge, the Royal Hunt Cup (4.25), is the big handicap of the day. If it’s any help, I have reduced it to an each/way shortlist of four -- BURKE’S ROCK, STIRRING BALLAD, EDUCATE and FURY.
Thirty-five minutes later, speed is of the essence when the most precocious juvenile fillies in the land contest the Queen Mary Stakes over 5f. There will be long faces in the Silverwood household if either Clive Brittain’s RIZEENA or Clive Cox’s BELDALE MEMORY do not prevail.