Race 1 ALBANY STAKES (Group 3) – 17/06/2022
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – Jockey: Ryan Moore
MEDITATE smoothly took out a Group 3 at Naas to add to her authoritative debut success at the Curragh. Owners Coolmore have the Windsor Castle under their belt and it would not come as a surprise to see this daughter of No Nay Never justify favouritism and remain unbeaten.
QUEEN OLLY wowed on her introduction at York where she looked better the further she travelled. She gives stallion No Nay Never a further powerful strong to his bow, and should enter the shake-up for trainer David Loughnane.
Karl Burke sent out a dazzling filly to land the Queen Mary in Dramatised, and it’s likely CATHY COME HOME can give that trainer more to shout about by stepping up on her Musselburgh debut over a suitable longer trip.
MAWJ looked exciting when running right away with a Newmarket novice for Saeed Bon Suroor, and will surely be a factor if stepping up from that.
Prediction: 1st MEDITATE, 2nd Queen Olly, 3rd Cathy Come Home, 4th Mawj
Race 2 COMMONWEALTH CUP (Group 1) – 17/06/2022
Trainer: Richard Hannon – Jockey: Jim Crowley
TIBER FLOW held EHRAZ by a fast diminishing short head in a Listed race at Newbury when the latter appeared to be given too much to do. It looked a good race, and granted Ehraz has previous experience of this track as well as of racing on turf, the chestnut can turn the tables.
PERFECT POWER took out the Norfolk Stakes here 12 months ago before scooping the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes, both Group 1s. He found seven furlongs in his comfort zone when landing the Greenham on seasonal reappearance at Newbury, but his fuel gauge flashed red towards the end of the 2,000 Guineas. Back at six furlongs today, he’s a fascinating contender.
Prolific scorer EL CABALLO pipped FLAMING RIB in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock and is a horse who seems to know where the winning post is. He goes into the mix, while Irish challenger TWILIGHT JET can also take home a cheque.
Prediction: 1st EHRAZ, 2nd Tiber Flow, 3rd Perfect Power, 4th El Caballo
Race 3 DUKE OF EDINBURGH HANDICAP – 17/06/2022
No8 JUST FINE ( Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Ryan Moore
As a horse that has been trained with this one day in mind, JUST FINE has to be a bet to take the spoils in the colours of Her Majesty The Queen. The Sea The Stars gelding limbered up for this with a solid run behind Gaassee in a Class 2 at York. He should improve from that and doesn’t have to worry about his conqueror reopposing.
TRAWLERMAN is a lightly-raced individual and a good staying prospect for Godolphin who successfully came back from a year off in a mile and a quarter race on Polytrack. Given the background to that triumph he has plenty of scope for further progression on what is only his sixth career start.
STAY WELL represents a trainer that is always respected with his runners in handicaps at this meeting. James Doyle is an interesting booking for the gelding, who hit the crossbar on recent outings at Kempton and in the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar.
Others needing serious consideration are hat-trick seeker CONTACT and dual purpose horse AJERO, who has made a smooth transition from jumping to the Flat.
Prediction: 1st JUST FINE (Nap), 2nd Stay Well, 3rd Trawlerman, 4th Ajero, 5th Contact
Race 4 CORONATION STAKES (Group 1) – 17/06/2022
Trainer: John Gosden – Jockey: Frankie Dettori
INSPIRAL wasn’t ready to defend her impressive unbeaten record in the 1,000 Guineas, but the daughter of Frankel has pleased Gosden in her recent homework and can start to make up for lost time in one of the most alluring races at the meeting. She has to overcome a 252-day absence, but was hugely impressive in each of her four races as a juvenile, having PROSPEROUS VOYAGE in her wake in both the May Hill at Doncaster and the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Prosperous Voyage failed by a diminishing neck to reel in CACHET in the 1,000 Guineas before a decision was taken for her not to step up in trip at Epsom. That should have put the cutting edge on her, and she has a good chance of turning round the Guineas form.
CACHET herself has been industrious through the spring and now has a score to settle with her Pouliches conqueror MANGOUSTINE, after just a head separated the pair at Longchamp.
Prediction: 1st INSPIRAL, 2nd Prosperous Voyage, 3rd Cachet, 4th Mangoustine
Race 5 SANDRINGHAM FILLIES’ HANDICAP – 17/06/2022
Trainer: Richard Hannon – Jockey: Sean Levey
Hannon has no hesitation in naming unbeaten HEREDIA as his best chance of a winner at the meeting. That’s quite a statement from a man who fields a strong team, and when examining her form it’s not difficult to see why. She probably wasn’t at concert pitch on her seasonal return at Windsor yet dug deep into her reserves to secure the victory. She had a good blow afterwards, and has been made fitter.
INVIGILATE appeals as one that can give her problems at a bigger price, and is a wonderful mount for Jimmy Quinn to obtain on what could be that veteran jockey’s final Ascot. The Acclamation filly found one to beat her at Nottingham but that is believed to have sharpened up Sir Michael Stoute’s runner.
Her conqueror that day, WASHRAA, must also command respect as she bids to complete a hat-trick, while ZANBAQ had performed well in a Listed race before smoothly landing the spoils at skinny odds at Haydock.
Prediction: 1st HEREDIA, 2nd Invigilate, 3rd Washraa, 4th Zanbaq
Race 6 KING EDWARD VII STAKES (Group 2) – 17/06/2022
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – Jockey: Ryan Moore
The so-called Ascot Derby has attracted only a small field and in truth is not one of the more alluring races of this stellar week. The one to be on is CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD, who after landing the Chester Vase ran well to finish fifth behind Desert Crown in the Cazoo Derby. He can become the first horse to endorse the Epsom form, at the main expense of OTTOMAN FLEET and GRAND ALLIANCE.
Prediction: 1st CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD, 2nd Ottoman Fleet, 3rd Grand Alliance
Race 7 PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE HANDICAP
Trainer: Wesley Ward – Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr
While it hasn’t been a memorable week for the American horses, RUTHIN can post a change in their luck. The Ribchester filly is with only three outings under her belt one of the most inexperienced runners in the field. But weight is often easier to give away over five furlongs, and she has experience of the track from her seventh placing behind Chipotle in last year’s Windsor Castle Stakes. She came back from hibernation to plunder a stakes race at Keeneland, and must not be underestimated.
NYMPHADORA is a filly bred to enjoy the conditions and well worth a market check with Harry Davies on her back, while KORKER and hat-trick seeker STERLING KNIGHT should also go into the mix for exotic wagering purposes.
Prediction: 1st RUTHIN, 2nd Nymphadora, 3rd Korker, 4th Sterling Knight