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Royal Ascot Friday predictions: Inspiral ready for successful comeback
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Enda McElhinney

We hit the penultimate day of action at Royal Ascot today but the quality keeps on coming.

The fillies are to the fore and there is an intriguing clash between 1000 Guineas winner Cachet and last year's champion Inspiral in the Coronation Stakes, while further Group 1 action is served up in the Commonwealth Cup.

They race once more from 2.30pm until and we have analysis for all the action as we turn into the home straight at Royal Ascot.

2.30pm — Albany Stakes (Fillies' Group 3, 6f)

There is a field of 18 runners in the Albany Stakes and nine of them have yet to experience defeat.

Among the most impressive of those winners have been Mediate, a Group 3 champion at Naas for Aidan O'Brien, and Charlie Appleby's Newmarket victor MAWJ

The latter could improve plenty from that effort and looks sure to go close.

Cathy Come Home, Fully Wet, Elvenia, Queen Olly and Powerdress all won on their only outings so far and are capable of progress, while Lady Bullet defied a penalty in strong fashion at Ripon three weeks ago and is perhaps one to consider from under the radar.

Verdict: Mawj could be something special based on a sparkling debut win, with Lady Bullet not discounted.

3.05pm — Commonwealth Cup (Group 1, 6f)

A host of the best three-year-old sprinters in Britain and Ireland converge here.

El Caballo beat several of the runners in last month's Group 2 win at Haydock — his sixth straight success.

But Greenham winner PERFECT POWER could find the distance here is ideal.

He has got leading claims for Richard Fahey and Christophe Soumillon. Irish raider Sacred Bridge is a possible outsider of note for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane.

Verdict: His Greenham win was all speed and Perfect Power might have found the perfect test now.

3.40pm — Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap, 1m4f)

We have seen plenty of Johnny Murtagh on our TV screens this week but he is set to switch focus now with some key runners for his stable. 

MASHHOOR was having only his second start for the Irish trainer after moving from Sir Michael Stoute when he carved up a 19-runner Curragh handicap last month.

The handicapper has piled on 12lb but he could still be ahead of his mark. 

Verdict: Mashhoor created a strong impression in Ireland last time and should be on the premises.

4.20pm — Coronation Stakes (Fillies' Group 1, 1m)

The English and French 1000 Guineas winners clash here, with Newmarket winner Cachet pipped late on by Mangoustine at Longchamp a fortnight later. 

Prosperous Voyage, second at Newmarket, comes here fresh and could have more to offer but she was no match for INSPIRAL last season.

John and Thady Gosden's Frankel filly was forced to miss the Guineas after a minor setback but she is still very exciting and may lead these rivals a merry dance.

Verdict: Inspiral may have missed her Classic engagement but Frankie Dettori's mount is going to be very hard to beat now.

5pm — Sandringham Stakes (Fillies' Handicap, 1m)

Hayley Turner will be hoping for more Royal Ascot glory on Friday
Hayley Turner will be hoping for more Royal Ascot glory on Friday

Hayley Turner has ridden two of the last three Sandringham winners for Charlie Fellowes and Fresh Hope is a possible player for them now, while Washraa and Persist are other notable entrants.

The manner in which HEREDIA overcame traffic woes at York last month suggests Richard Hannon's filly could be very smart and can make it four wins in four starts.

Verdict: Heredia looks the filly with the best prospects, though Fresh Hope is feared for a trainer-jockey combo who are sure to have targeted this race.

5.35pm — King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2, 1m4f)

The Derby at Epsom was lamentable for CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD as he forced the pace, perhaps trying to better the claims of Ballydoyle stablemate Stone Age on the day. 

His previous Chester Vase win was a strong effort and with Ryan Moore back in the saddle now and sights lowered, he may be too strong.

This faster ground could see Lysander improving to be the best of the rest ahead of Ottoman Fleet.

Verdict: This is far less daunting than Epsom for Changingoftheguard and he looks equipped to bounce back.

6.10pm — Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap, 5f)

American filly Ruthin may blaze a trail here but under top weight she could be vulnerable late in the game. 

Tippy Toes ran well to a point in a strong Haydock Group 2 last month despite missing the break and is most interesting now with similar sentiments afforded to LADIES CHURCH.

Murtagh's filly pushed Sacred Bridge all the way in a Listed Cork event on her seasonal bow and could be all the better for that.

Verdict: Ladies Church and Tippy Toes are key contenders racing from the same mark, with the former just shading it on account of having fewer miles on the clock.


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