Saturday 20th of July 2024

Royal Ascot 2017 Preview – Day 4

Friday’s showcase race is the Coronation Stakes (Gr 1) which looks to have another banker for Aidan O’Brien with the dual 1,000 Guineas (Gr 1) winner Winter (Galileo), writes Clive Webb-Carter. 

Like the St James’s Palace Stakes (Gr 1), the Coronation Stakes is run over the mile round course, but is restricted to three-year-old fillies’. Winter, who followed up her two lengths win of the Newmarket’s Classic with an extended four lengths win in the Irish 1,000 Guineas (Gr 1) will take all the beating.

One filly that should give her a good race is the John Gosden-trained Dabyah (Sepoy). Dabyah, who ended last year with a good third in the Prix Marcel Boussac (Gr 1), before making a seasonal winning debut in the Fred Darling Stakes (Gr 3) at the end of April.

Another who will make an impression is the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Grace (Born To Sea), who was runner-up in the Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Gr 1), the French 1,000 Guineas, last time out.

The Commonwealth Cup (Gr 1). This six furlongs race was first run in 2015 to give top-class opportunities to the three-year-old sprinters. Both the previous two winners, Muhaarar and Quiet Reflection, have gone to be crowned the Cartier Champion Sprinter. This year’s renewal looks again to be a competitive one.

The likely favourite is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Caravaggio (Scat Daddy).  The Coolmore-owned colt was unbeaten at two, which included winning the Coventry Stakes (Gr 2), at last years Royal meeting, and the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Gr 1) before injury cut short his season. However, Caravaggio kept his unbeaten record intact with an impressive winning seasonal a Naas in May.  

Godolphin also have a strong hand with two very well-fancied runners. Sheikh Mohammad’s racing organisation have recently purchased the Clive Cox-trained Harry Angel (Dark Angel) off the back of his impressive win of the Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes (Gr 2). However, Harry Angel had finished runner-up to the Godolphin’s second runner Blue Point (Shamardal) in the Merriebelle Stable Pavilion Stakes (Gr 3) at Ascot over the same distance in early May.

Wesley Ward looks to have another speedy sort in Bound for Nowhere (The Factor). This unbeaten colt has won both his two starts to date by six lengths and four and respectively.

Royal Ascot’s Derby, King Edward VII Stakes (Gr 2), run over 12 furlongs for colts’ has been won by Sir Michael Stoute five times. He will be looking to win the race for the second consecutive year with another son of Sea The Stars. The Crystal Ocean (Sea The Stars) followed up his maiden win in April with a good third in the 10f Dante Stakes (Gr 2). A half-brother to the 2013 winner of this race Hillstar (also trained by Stoute), Crystal Ocean will relish the step up to 12 furlongs.

Mark Johnston also looks likely to run his Dante Stakes (Gr 2) winner Permian (Teofilo). Permian was a disappointing tenth of 16 in the Derby (Gr 1), so he will be looking to amend his form over 12 furlongs.

The leading Ballydoyle chance looks to come in the way of Sir John Lavery (Galileo), who had been well beaten in the Lingfield Derby Trial (L); he will have to improve a lot to win. Godolphin looks to be double handed. Their Hugo Palmer-trained Best Of Days (Azamour) was a good winner of the Royal Lodge Stakes (Gr 2) on his final start at two but has not run since. He could run a good race if fit.

Godolphin’s other runner is the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Best Solution (Kodiac), who won the Lingfield Derby Trial (L), before finishing eighth when looking not to stay in the Derby (Gr 1) over the same trip last time out.

Clive Webb-Carter Bloodstock Services

07860 158645

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