Royal Ascot Wednesday predictions: Stoute seeks another historic double
Day two of Royal Ascot features another four Group races as well as the Royal Hunt Cup — one of the fiercest handicaps at the meeting.
Another seven-race card from the Berkshire venue runs this afternoon and we have previewed all the action as Sir Michael Stoute looks to bridge a 41-year gap with a big race double.
2.30pm — Queen Mary Stakes (Fillies' Group 2, 5f)
As we have come to expect in two-year-old Royal Ascot sprints, US trainer Wesley Ward has a fancied runner in Love Reigns, an impressive all-the-way winner at Keeneland in April.
She is blinkered this time and looks a player for a trainer seeking a fourth success in this race.
Richard Fahey's The Platinum Queen and David Loughnane's entry Omniqueen, who both won on their only outings so far, would be apt scorers and have more to offer.
But DRAMATISED made an impressive start at Newmarket for Karl Burke, recording a fast time and beating a subsequent dual winner in doing so.
Verdict: Dramatised's form is strong and she looks the real deal.
3.05pm — Queen's Vase (Group 2, 1m6f)
Charlie Appleby has a brace of solid contenders here in Nahanni and Hafit, with William Buick on the former, while unbeaten £480,000 Breeze-up purchase Eldar Eldarov is a player for Roger Varian.
However, Aidan O'Brien has a good record in the Queen's Vase and having caught the eye staying on into third in a Group 3 at the Curragh on comeback, ANCHORAGE may well thrive stepping up in distance now.
Verdict: Anchorage should relish the stamina-test offered here.
3.40pm — Prince Of Wales's Stakes (Group 1, 1m2f)
Lord North is a former winner of this but perhaps has lost some of his sparkle now.
He, like Japanese raider Shahryar, was a Meydan winner in the spring but they may do well to contain runaway Brigadier Gerard Stakes winner BAY BRIDGE.
The New Bay colt dominated that Group 3 on his seasonal bow and has won his last five starts. He is surely a top-level performer in the making.
It is 41 years since Stoute bagged the Epsom Derby and this race in the same season and, after Classic glory with Desert Crown this month, he may do it again.
Verdict: The rising tide is with Bay Bridge and he is destined for the top.
4.20pm — Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Fillies And Mares' Group 2, 1m)
In what looks a wide-open eight-runner contest, Saffron Beach and Mother Earth, who traded blows last season, could figure.
The latter won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket with Jane Chapple-Hyam's charge behind in second but it was role-reversal in the Sun Chariot Stakes in the autumn.
William Buick's filly is penalised for that win and recent Epsom winner BASHKIROVA is on the up for William Haggas and Tom Marquand, based on her Princess Elizabeth Stakes win.
An 11-day turnaround is something of a concern but she might be good enough to defy it.
Verdict: Bashkirova to announce herself as a Group 1 filly.
5pm — Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap, 1m)
Real World turned this into a procession last summer, though it is doubtful if there is anything quite as good lurking in the 2022 field.
Astro King was second 12 months ago and may do well to match that.
Symbolize and Cruyff Turn are considered but TEMPUS is a solid each-way prospect for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle.
The Kingman gelding has C&D-winning form and did not let himself down in the 2020 Cambridgeshire when he last lined out in a field of this size.
He has twice finished second on turf this season behind Chindit and Modern News in small-field Listed races and has a chance to shine now.
Verdict: Tempus to shine in the Hunt Cup minefield.
5.35pm — Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed, 5f)
Naas maiden winner Little Big Bear will be popular for the Aidan O'Brien-Ryan Moore partnership, while it is noted that John and Thady Gosden send Far Shot straight here a week after a winning debut at Yarmouth — they did something similar when Ardad won this in 2016.
American raider Seismic Spirit is also shortlisted but KNEBWORTH is perhaps under the radar for Richard Hughes.
He has won both starts on the Polytrack at Lingfield, latterly conceding a penalty with next-time-out winners behind in second and third, and is capable of making his mark upped in class.
Verdict: Knebworth can be the headline act.
6.10pm — Kensington Palace Stakes (Fillies' And Mares' Handicap, 1m)
IMPROVISED was second in a Listed event at Musselburgh 10 days ago and the Raven's Pass filly lurks on a very dangerous mark for this first tilt at a mile.
Irish raider Haziya is another unexposed at the trip, while State Occasion and Farhh To Shy are solid players in a tough finale.
Verdict: This new trip could be just the ticket for Improvised.