2:30 Jersey Stakes
Usually a race won by an up-and-coming three-year-old, only one of the last 28 winners has defied a penalty for winning a Group race which immediately puts me off Anjaal who won the Group 2 July Stakes before finishing fourth in the Dewhurst and was a disappointing fifth on his only start this season in the Craven and Sudirman who won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes beating the re-opposing Big Time by half a length (fifth in the Irish 2000 Guineas on his seasonal debut) as both have the maximum 5lb penalty. Big Time has twice finished a half-length second to Sudirman so there is little between them but this may be his chance for revenge on 5lb better terms. Also penalised but to the tune of 3lb for winning a Group 3 race are Great White Eagle who took the Round Tower Stakes last season and was a well beaten sixth in the Irish 2000 Guineas, Miracle Of Medinah, who was a surprise 25/1 of the Tattersalls Stakes at two but has only beaten three horses in three subsequent starts and Mustajeeb who was fancied by many to give Kingman a race in the Irish 2000 Guineas after his success in the Amethyst Stakes and he finished third giving the impression that this shorter trip could be ideal. Of that quintet, it is Mustajeeb that makes most appeal as his two runs this season have been on rain-softened ground but his action suggests that this summer ground is what he wants to be seen at his best.
It is not uncommon that horses which failed to stay a mile in a version of a Guineas drop back in trip to win here and the front three in the market contested a Guineas last time out. The last two winners, for example, had finished second in the Irish 1000 Guineas and Irish 2000 Guineas respectively. In the last 20 years, five Jersey Stakes winners ran in a Guineas. The aforementioned Great White Eagle is one of three Aidan O’Brien-trained contenders and he is gunning for a fourth Jersey Stakes success. Two of his previous three winners contested the Irish 2000 Guineas where Great White Eagle finished sixth one place ahead of Michaelmas for the same yard but the stable number one appears to be Giovanni Boldini whose best run at two was when second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf to Godolphin’s Outstrip as Joseph O’Brien takes the mount but he has been comfortably held in three subsequent starts including when seventh in the French 2000 Guineas. A little worryingly, they turned to a hood for the first time on his last start which, judged by his fifth in a Listed race, didn’t really work. Another contender to run in a Guineas was the John Gosden-trained Muwaary who was a good fourth in the French 2000 Guineas only beaten two lengths on his third career start despite taking a keen hold which may have been the reason that he led early before being restrained back to track the leader. He looked like he might drop away but he battled on well. A drop back to 7f might be ideal for him given how he keen he was at Longchamp. He is just about favourite at present and the market leader has been faring pretty well as six favourites since 1989 have won and 15 of the last 21 hit the frame at worst.
Listed race winners (unpenalised) have been successful on five occasions in the last nine years and are represented by Aeoulus who convincingly won the Sandy Lane Stakes last time out on his favoured soft ground so conditions are moving away from him, Musical Comedy for Richard Hannon and The Queen who won the Carnavon Stakes over 6f but connections are concerned whether he will be as effective over this extra furlong (holds Major Crispies who was back in third) and the Alain de Royer-Dupre trained Redbrook in the colours of Al Shaqab who want runners at this meeting which is the main reason why he is running rather than the trainer deciding I would imagine but the form of that Longchamp Listed race last month has been let down a few times since. Other unpenalised Listed race winners are Shining Emerald, who beat Guerre last season but looks exposed on 3yo form, That Is The Spirit just beat Parbold in the Surrey Stakes at the Derby Meeting and Coulsty who beat Toofi, Windfast and Parbold in the King Charles II Stakes when just over half a length covered all four with Aeoulus and Miracle Of Medinah further back. The King Charles II at Newmarket has been a good Jersey guide with Jeremy and Tariq following up their successes in that Listed race here in 2006 and 2007. In fact, during the last 14 years, two more Jersey Stakes winners in Membership and Observatory also finished second in that Listed race immediately prior to winning here plus horses to finish in the first two in the last three runnings of that King Charles II Stakes have gone on to place here. Going back to That Is The Spirit and Parbold, a nose separated the pair 12 days ago but I always felt the winner was holding the runner-up and he held his head a little between 3f out to 1f suggesting that the downhill run at Epsom might not have been ideal and I reckon he is better than the pure form and a straight, flat course is likely to see him at his best. Interesting to note that the first-time hood which saw a better run from Parbold that day has been left off this time.
In addition to That Is The Spirit, the only other unbeaten contender is Glorious Empire whose two wins have been on all-weather surfaces but his handicap win last time out was off just 77 so he comes into this race as the lowest-rated of the 23 declarations. It had been tough going for fillies as all 17 to run since Satin Flower won in 1991 had been beaten up until Rainfall and Ishvana’s successes in the last four years and the Tommy Stack-trained Waltzing Matilda is their only representative this time and an eighth Irish-trained contender. It is not like Stack to send over no-hopers so she commands each-way respect at 33/1 having finished fourth in a muddling Irish 1000 Guineas Trial after winning her maiden and is open to improvement on just her third start. Brazos, who won an Ascot handicap last time but was fourth in a handicap behind Muwaary on his seasonal debut and Passing Star, who has been kept to all-weather surfaces thus far and was runner-up in a conditions race after winning his first three starts, complete the field.
CONCLUSION - this is very competitive but I like That Is The Spirit’s each-way chance at around 14/1 as I am sure he is better than he showed at Epsom last time when just winning making it 3-3 as he didn’t appear to handle the downhill run in the straight to my eyes but had previously looked Group class in his other two wins. I also thought he won a little snug at Epsom with Tudhope keen to only do as much as he had to. Muwaary and Mustajeeb worry me most.
3:05: Queen Mary Stakes
Maqaasid won four years ago off the back of winning her only start but the previous seven winners plus the three subsequent winners had all run at least twice beforehand in contrast to the Coventry Stakes where unbeaten-in-one contenders have much the best strike rate so experience has counted in this 5f sprint for fillies. Usually, that may have counted against a couple of the leading contenders like Spanish Pipedream and Dangerous Moonlite but, then again, the first-named is trained in America by Wesley Ward so should therefore know her job and the latter looked professional winning over course and distance for Richard Hannon. Adulation (third in a Ripon maiden), Harry’s Dancer (a 5l winner at Thirsk for John Quinn where she had Pastoral Girl back in fifth), La Cuesta (a 5l second in a Bath maiden) and Lady Marita (last of 5 in a Goodwood maiden) are the only once-raced contenders and Lady Gemini for the Jo Hughes stable makes her debut. Wesley Ward plans to bring four juveniles over and from his sound bites it could be that Spanish Pipedream, who he describes as better than Sweet Emma Rose, who he sent over to finish second last year and “possibly as good or better than Jealous Again” who made all to win by 5l in 2009 and never ran again, looks like being his best chance of a winner.
The Hannon stable was winning his fifth Queen Mary three years ago when Best Terms emerged on top so clearly their pair of Tiggy Wiggy and Dangerous Moonlite has to be respected. Hughes has opted for Tiggy Wiggy who won the National Stakes (as did last year’s Queen Mary winner, Rizeena, and five winners in the 1990s) after finishing second in the Marygate at York which has been the best recent guide so she is the stable number one but Dangerous Moonlite is a serious runner with Ryan Moore booked as she looked very useful when making virtually all over course and distance. With regards to the Marygate Stakes, which looked a deep running this year, Tiggy Wiggy finished second to the Albany Stakes-bound Patience Alexander and the pair pulled clear in a race which featured nine previous winners.
Gilded and Ceiling Kitty have completed the Marygate-Queen Mary double in the last seven years and two more Marygate winners finished second and third in between. Patience Alexander would have been my fancy if she was running and she probably would be if the same owner was not represented by Anthem Alexander who Edward Lynam sends over from Ireland after her 7l maiden win at Tipperary 13 days ago and she just about heads the market over Spanish Pipedream and Tigg Wiggy. The Irish were responsible for the winner and third in 2007, the runner-up in2010 in addition to the 2004 winner so have a decent record.
I wouldn’t be mad keen on horses beaten last time out and especially maidens so the trio with the same profile of finishing second on both their starts, Al Fareej, Al Ghuwariyah and Free Entry need to find improvement so the last-time-out maiden winners; Arabian Queen (who beat Al Fareej half a length), Blue Aegean (won at Nottingham improving on her debut effort like so many Charlie Applebly 2yos), Little Miss Blakeney (won well at Lingfield but was beaten on her first two starts), London Life (won at Leicester maiden in heavy ground after three defeats) and Polar Vortex (just got home by a head at Nottingham on her second start) would be fillies more in line with a Queen Mary-winning profile. In addition to Tiggy Wiggy, there are only two other fillies to have won more than once they being Ko Cache whose successes were both shocks at 50/1 and 16/1 either side of finishing ninth in the Marygate and the hat-trick chasing Clouds Rest who added a conditions race at Newbury to his narrow Beverley maiden win. The field is comprised of two more Irish raiders, Coto, who was fourth of five in a Listed race in Ireland last time out and Newsletter who has a similar profile having also won his maiden but finished unplaced in a Listed race next time out.
CONCLUSION - boring but I fancy this could be dominated by the first four in the market. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Dangerous Moonlite beat her seemingly better-fancied stablemate, Tiggy Wiggy, so she is the each-way pick at a double-figure price but given Wesley Ward’s ultra strong record with juveniles at the meeting and he rates Spanish Pipedream right up there with his winner and second in this race, then she is a narrow preference over Anthem Alexander.
3:45 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
The first four in the betting have obliged on 24 occasions in the last 27 years so we shouldn’t be looking too far away from the obvious and, even more significantly, since its promotion to a Grade 1 contest, all 14 winners started at no bigger than 8/1.I have been banging on about treve ever since she was touched off by Cirrus De Aigles in the Prix Ganay that 7/4 was an amazing price about Treve for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and it was still available two week ago before the winner then won the Coronation Cup (and the Prix D’Ispahan in between) and that she should always have been odds-on given her Arc performance was one of the best that race has ever witnessed.Hopefully you got on either for trading purposes or to let it ride as she is now a top price 4/6. That narrow defeat to a race-fit Cirrus Des Aigles on her seasonal debut on rain-softened ground that would have also assisted in finding out her lack of fitness, is good enough form on its own to win this race comfortably let alone how much she will find on pure fitness grounds as that was no more than a starting point with Royal Ascot the first main objective of the season. I wouldn’t suggest that you hammer into her now at her current price but I wouldn’t look to try and oppose her either. The Prix Ganay is also much respected as the last four winners to take their chance here have recorded two wins, a second and a fourth and Treve all but won it. The French have a very good record of late winning three times in the last eight years courtesy of Manduro, Vision D’Etait and Byword. My niggle is not that she might not have trained on as some were suggesting after her defeat or that the ground might ride on the fast side (it’s not usually a problem for horses with a turn of foot like Treve has) but more that this is her first time outside of Paris. Interestingly, she was supposed to only have four runs this season, two preps for this race and the Arc but they are now also talking about the King George so they must be really happy with her.
The temptation for many given there is an odds-on shot and the ‘dead eight’ declared runners will be to look to an each-way alternative and pray that there are no defectors. Officially, Treve has a 7lb superiority advantage over Magician and Treve who, in turn, are 3lb clear of Mukhadram who is 3lb clear of Dank with the remainder of Elkaayed, Parish Hall and Zambucca out of their depth. Last season’s Irish 2000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner, Magician, would be my idea of Treve’s biggest threat. With regards to key races, the Tattersalls Gold Cup, in which Noble Mission beat Magician after establishing a clear lead early in the home straight, has fared best of late with the last seven winners to take their chance notching up four wins, two seconds and a third. As Noble Mission’s improvement has come since the entries were made, he is missing so that leaves Magician, who found the ground softer than ideal at The Curragh, to represent the form. In fact, O’Brien commented after the race that he felt obliged to run Magician even on ground he knew that he would not enjoy or else the race would fall apart and the Irish racing community would not want that for one of the Group 1 races so I am taking that defeat with a pinch of salt. That said, I wasn’t overly impressed with his previous win or his run in Dubai but take on board that the yard weren’t really firing then. As such I rate him the danger on his 2013 back catalogue and notably when he beat The Fugue by half a length over 2f further in America. Both will be equally as effective at this shorter trip.
In addition to Treve, top-class fillies/mares are exceptionally well catered for this season with the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner, Dank, and the Irish Champion Stakes winner, The Fugue, in opposition. The latter was beaten on merit by Magician in the Breeders’ Cup Turf so I don’t see a big argument why she will reverse. The faster the ground the better for this often unlucky-in-running individual who was third in this race last year on her seasonal debut so she wasn’t at her best that day and her latest run in Dubai went pear shaped as she was lame. Still, she is probably a little more forward than 12 months ago. Connections would have preferred the watering and rain not to have arrived though as she skips off fast ground but she can have no excuses on Good ground. The Fugue would probably have won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Turf last season had she been aimed at that prize instead of the more prestigious Turf and, in her absence, it was Dank that prevailed. She was then no match for the brilliant Japanese horse, Just A Way, in Dubai in March but she ran creditably to finish third. She has to take another step forward though to finish in the first three here. Sir Michael Stoute has also surprisingly struggled in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes with only Stagecraft in 1991 proving successful.
One place ahead of The Fugue in last year’s race Mukhadram who made Al Kazeem pull out all the stops to beat him having stolen a march turning for home. Half of the last ten Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winners were beaten in this race 12 months ago so last season’s neck runner-up is a live contender especially after another bold run in the Dubai World Cup where the same tactics were employed kicking on 3½f out and holding on for second behind African Story. That said, it was an awful Dubai World Cup this year and, as such, they have changed the surface since so try and encourage a better class of horse from America and his rivals should be alive to him trying to steal it this time.
CONCLUSION - looking at the race fresh, I don’t want to take on Treve, not even in the each-way market as strongly fear that I will be losing my win element of that bet so Magician without the favourite makes most appeal.
4:25 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
Last season’s 1000 Guineas winner, Sky Lantern, who added two more Group 1 successes, is the current favourite but she isn’t for me first time out carrying a maximum penalty. Only one of the seven fillies who attempted to win under that penalty has even placed, let alone win so, combine that with this big grey, who needed her first run of last season when beaten in the Nell Gwyn before improving loads to win the 1000 Guineas, then she will do well to beat some quality rivals in this Group 2 race (but Group 1 quality this year) now in its eleventh running. I can see Sky Lantern being easy to back. In her favour is that of the nine winners when this race was run at Ascot, five had previously recorded a victory at the course and another two had been placed at the previous year’s Royal Meeting so quality course form is certainly a bonus.
So, Group 1 winners have struggled thus far under a 5lb penalty but nine of the ten winners had won a Group 2 or 3 race before with the other having won at Listed level so that would appear to be the way to go. The Group 3 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in which the race-fit Esoterique narrowly beat Integral who was having her seasonal debut has been a significant guide as the last five winners to take their chance here have produced a winner, two seconds and a third. I fancy both that pair more than Sky Lantern and I also have each-way respect for the Irish raider, Purr Along. Andre Fabre has supplemented Esoterique after her narrow defeat of Integral but I am with the Stoute filly to reverse placings as Moore appeared to be looking after her to an extent with Royal Ascot in mind. Integral has something to find with Sky Lantern on Sun Chariot form last autumn after she was beaten into second by a cosy length but she is 5lb better off today and is the later developer of the pair and has the benefit of a run this season. Integral is trained by Sir Michael Stoute won the first two runnings of this race and then added a third success with Strawberrydaquiri in 2010 in addition to supplying three other second-place finishes and his subsequent Breeders’ Cup winner, Dank, was only beaten ¾l into third last year so this is a race he targets. Owned by Cheveley Park Stud who have seen their silks carried to victory in three of the ten runnings, they have also owned no less than four second-places finishers
. Esoterique had Integral’s measure by a head and was much the stronger of the pair in the betting during the day suggesting that she was expected to have improved for her previous run whereas the Integral team expressed their satisfaction with her return knowing today is the main aim. There is also a slight doubt about the form of the Andre Fabre yard to bear in mind if you fancy Esoterique’s chances.
I mentioned Purr Along earlier as a filly I have time for and it would appear that the move from William Muir to the hungry Johnny Murtagh was a smart one as she travelled very well in beating Fiesolana (also travelled noticeably well but didn’t have the same kick as the winner) on her first start for her new trainer in the colours of Qatar Racing with Princess Loulou back in third and held. A smart juvenile, she didn’t kick on at three but I fancy a good season is ahead of her now under her new training regime and she rates as the best each-way shot of the race. Godolphin, have fared poorly so far being responsible for four beaten favourites (Crimson Palace, Sundrop, Antara and Sajjhaa) from their ten runners and Charlie Appleby runs Certify for them after losing her unbeaten record when a 2/5 favourite for a Group 2 in Dubai last time out behind the re-opposing L’Amour De La Vie having been a top 2yo for Mahmood Al Zarooni having beaten Sky Lantern in the Sweet Solera and Purr Along in the May Hill before missing all her 3yo campaign having been banned for testing positive for steroids. She had beaten the winner on her comeback run so it had to go down as disappointing she was only fourth but she has been given 118 days off.
I am struggling to see the remainder as good enough. Annecdote won the Sandringham Fillies’ Handicap on this card 12 months ago and added the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood but a high class Group 2 (effectively a Group 1) looks beyond her. We know that Gifted Girl comes up short against the better fillies, last season’s Coronation Stakes second, Kenhope, has not won for eight starts, Masarah had her limitations exposed behind Thistle Bird on Oaks Day, Peace Burg was favourite for Purr Along’s win last time but was readily seen off and Woodland Aria has plenty on for her seasonal debut having lost on behind Anecdote and Integral last season.
CONCLUSION - I am with Integral to win and Purr Along each-way.
5:00 Royal Hunt Cup
Four and five-year-olds make up the lion’s share of runners (usually around 75% but even more this time) but given that they have won 25 of the last 28 runnings, they are still over-performing by quite a margin so I am more than happy to overlook any horse aged six and upwards as my first starting point so the last two winners, Prince Of Johanne and Belgian Bill, are not for me off a 1lb and 5lb higher mark respectively in terms of a pure win bet but both have each-way claims after good third-place positions in competitive handicaps on their only run this season. Other horses that are older than your usual Hunt Cup winner are Field Of Dream who runs the course well, Santefisio (14th last year and races off the same handicap mark), Levitate (off a 10lb higher mark than when winning last season’s Lincoln), Loving Spirit and Sweet Lightning.
Despite last season’s 1-2-3-4 being sent off at 25/1+, this has been a good race for punters as ten of the last 21 winners could be found in the first four in the betting. No mean record given that around 30 runners face the starter. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old, Abseil, is the clear favourite after his victory at Epsom last week on his fourth start this season having been unraced at two and three, which gave him the penalty he needed to get into the race but it is perm any three from ten for the others that could start in the leading quartet in the betting. On his previous start Abseil was no match for Here Comes When who beat him by 5l on Chester on soft ground (though Abseil was not best positioned and raced wide) on soft ground and he meets the winner, who was a little disappointing in a Group 3 next time, on 9lb better terms. Stoute has saddled three losing Hunt Cup favourites since he won with Caribbean Monarch in 2000 but I don’t think we can hold that against him given the huge field size. Luca Cumani has also saddled three losing favourites in the same time frame and he runs the much lesser-fancied Ayaar this time teaming up with Frankie Dettori having finished fourth in the Victoria Cup one place behind Belgian Bill. Previous straight-course form at Ascot has proved to be an important factor in recent times (and particularly so in Ascot straight-course races in general since the track was re-layed in 2005) and no race more so than the Victoria Cup. This valuable7f handicap in its own right has provided an ideal springboard for seven of the last 19 Hunt Cup winners.
With regards to weight carried, I am far from sure about opposing horses carrying more than 9st anymore. This was a must up until 2008 as just two winners since 1989 carried more than 9st to victory but four of the last seven winners carried 9st+. But with regards to the draw, a berth fairly close to either rail is an advantage as 12 of the last 17 winners were drawn no more than six places away from a rail. Queensberry Rules is drawn 32 of 32 and will be attempting to win on his seasonal debut for William Haggas who won with Yeast in 1996 and has a good record in these big-field, straight-course handicaps at Royal Ascot. Hard to think that he won’t be fit enough if he is fancied (and the booking of Ryan Moore suggests he is) and he was only beaten half a length off 95 in last year’s Britannia Handicap which used to be a good guide. He is 5lb higher today but is still lightly raced so that would not overly concern me. He is one a bunch who could start second-favourite, a position narrowly held by Farraaj until yesterday but he is now a doubtful runner.
In addition to Abseil, the quartet of Chil The Kite, Pacific Heights, Sea Shanty and Niceofyoutotellme arrive directly off the back of a win. Chil The Kite was trying his luck in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at this meeting last season but, back in his grade, he won a Newbury handicap last time over 7f and he is a course and distance winner. Pacific Heights needed to win at Chester to pick up a 5lb to get him in the race but he was helped by the plum number 1 draw that day. Sea Shanty is chasing a hat-trick after wins at Kempton and by the narrowest of margins of Sandown on Saturday where Hughes had to wait for the gaps to appear so he can be marked up for that win. Interestingly, in his Racing Post column on the morning of that win Hughes stated that he would ride Trumpet Major in the Hunt Cup as he shaped so well over 1m1f last time and had been held back for this handicap dropping back to a mile but he now rides Sea Shanty. How much of that is because it would be hard to get off a horse at Royal Ascot owned by The Queen I don’t know (plenty I suspect) but Sea Shanty would have won that good handicap with something to spare with a clear passage and that 5lb penalty has got him in here. Niceofyoutotellme made a winning reappearance at the Guineas Meeting after which Ralph Beckett commented that he had been trained for that race so how much more there is to come is questionable.
Twelve of the last 15 winners won or finished second earlier in the campaign which is enough to put me off Steeler, Tales Of Grimm, Regulation, Burano, Starboard and Red Avenger of those not mentioned earlier as they don’t appear to be in good enough nick. In addition to Queensberry Rules and Field Of Dream, Stirring Ballad and Short Squeeze make their seasonal debut. Stirring Ballad is particularly intriguing as he has not run since he started co-favourite for this race last year when Richard Hughes got roundly chastised for his ride switching him from the winning group to the losing group and was allowed to come home in his own time when beaten. If he has been trained to the minute for the race with connections not wanting to risk his raising his current handicap mark this season, then he is shortlist material. Short Squeeze may not be in the grip of the Handicapper having finished fifth on his last start after three handicap wins in the summer.
Of the remainder, the Lincoln winner and top weight, Ocean Tempest, will do well to win a second major handicap off a mark as high as 115 (13lb higher than Doncaster), Artigiano looks the main Godolphin hope with William Buick now being Appleby’s go-to jockey and was a smart 2yo who missed last season and is feeling his way back, Gabrial’s Kaka is 8lb higher than when winning the Spring Cup at Newbury three starts back which is enough, Rebellious Guest is better known for his all-weather exploits and Ingleby Angel was second in the Thirsk Hunt Cup to Fort Bastion (disappointing since) but well beaten at York since.
CONCLUSION - Abseil is the right favourite but I can resist 5/1 shots in 30-runner handicaps and, at the prices prefer the each-way claims of Queensberry Rules from 32 of 32 with Moore booked and Stirring Ballad who was favourite last year when receiving an awful ride (which Hughes put his hands up to) and connections may have been looking after his mark by not running him this season. Artigiano would be my idea of the best of the 33/1+ shots.
5:35 Sandringham Handicap
This Listed handicap for three-year-old fillies has been part of Royal Ascot since 2002 but isn’t that strong a stats race though it has been a good race for punters with only two of the last 19 winners not being sent off in the front half-dozen in the market. The statistic that does catch the eye however is that winning form earlier in the season has been a factor with 14 of the last 18 winners visiting the Winner’s Enclosure at some point and one of those not to score earlier in the campaign was having her seasonal debut. Fillies yet to win this season I am therefore cool on are the top five in the weights; Majeyda (third in Nell Gwyn and sixth in the 1000 Guineas), Queen Catrine (fifth in Nell Gwyn and 11th in 1000 Guineas), Coral Mist (7th in Fred Darling), Lady Lara (4th in Fred Darling and 13th in 1000 Guineas) and Qawaseem in addition to Fedeyah, Dutch Courage, Graceful Grit, Lamar, Oxsana, Hot Coffee, Midnight Angel, Psycometry and Stealth Missile. Regards Majeyda’s third and Queen Catrine’s fifth in the Nell Gwyn, three fairly recent Sandringham winners finished between third-fifth in that Group 3 event.
As many as ten of the last 18 winners struck last time out and their representatives are the hat-trick chasing Crowley’s Law trained by Tom Dascombe, the unbeaten-in-three Muteela for Mark Johnston (surprisingly he has mustered just one runner in the last eight renewals considering four of his previous five runners made the frame here including the winner in 1998), the Mick Channon-trained Wee Jean who just got home at Goodwood and looks exposed, Odisseia who is one of four good chances this week that Edward Lynam sends over from Ireland, Alumina who has won her last six races, all on the all-weather for Andrew Balding, and Polar Eyes but she runs from 8lb out of the handicap. In fact, the bottom four run from out of the weights, Psychometry by 1lb, Stealth Missile by 2lb and Nakuti by 6lb. Muteela and Odisseia appeal most of the last-time-out winners, the first named having made all to win gamely at Newmarket last time and is now 8lb higher but this is just her fourth start with the latter having won over 1m2f last time which should stand her in good stead in a big field handicap dropping back to a mile.
Of winners earlier in the season but not last time out, Queen Of Power was seventh in the Irish 1000 Guineas after winning a Gowran Park maiden at odds of 4/9, Secret Pursuit was fifth behind Marsh Daisy in an Oaks trial at Goodwood after running second in the Cheshire Oaks so is back in trip, Adhwaa was trained by the late John Hills so would be an emotional winner and won here at the April Meeting before disappointing at York next time and Alutiq has been comfortably beaten in her last three starts.
CONCLUSION - I like the last-time-out winner stat and Muteela and Odisseia appeal most who are both around the 10/1 mark.