Royal Ascot Day Four Preview
King Edward VII Stakes Group 2
Sir Henry Cecil harboured hopes of running Thomas Chippendale in the Derby but the imposing son of Dansili showed he wasn’t ready to take on Camelot and company when only fifth in a Newbury handicap in May. Instead of Epsom his second start of the year was in another handicap at Newmarket where he confirmed he was a smart prospect with a smooth victory.
Thomas Chippendale should progress throughout the season and he would not be lining up against the quality of opponents he meets here unless Sir Henry thought he was up to the task.
With a longer gap than usual between the Derby meeting and Royal Ascot this year the horses that ran in the Derby have had more time to recover from their exertions at Epsom, so Astrology and Thought Worthy, who were third and fourth behind Camelot, must be feared.
Selection: THOMAS CHIPPENDALE
Coronation Stakes Group 1
The mere fact that a trainer of William Haggas’ calibre is considering running Haydock maiden winner Cardigan in a race of this nature makes her worth considering each-way. Cardigan won in smooth style at the Lancashire track last September but it’s a huge step from a class 5 maiden to a Group 1 contest and the chestnut daughter of Barathea must have been giving her connections plenty of encouragement on the home gallops.
Mick Channon has a strong hand with Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Samitar and the progressive Laugh Out Loud, who won a Group 2 at Chantilly last time. Runaway Qipco 1,000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen was beaten by Samitar at the Curragh last time.
John Gosden’s Elusive Kate, who will be making her seasonal bow, will go well if retaining the ability that helped her win the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp last year.
Selection; CARDIGAN each-way
Wolverton Handicap Listed
Gatewood has been put up 7lb by the handicapper for winning at Epsom last time but he still looks potentially well weighted in this 1m2f contest. John Gosden’s four-year-old had a minor injury which hindered his career prior to this season but he’s starting to make up for lost time now and won at York on his seasonal return. He only had a neck to spare at Epsom last time but he came from a long way back and failed to enjoy a clear run before catching Ottoman Empire close home.
With just five races under his belt, Gatewood should have more to offer and can complete his hat-trick.
Seamus Durak has done a superb job with Qaraaba, who was winning for the fourth time since joining his small Wiltshire yard when hacking up at Newmarket last time. The mare should go well again despite a 9lb hike in her rating while the prolific winner, Hyper, is a fascinating challenger for American trainer Chad Brown.
Queen’s Vase Group 3
If you are at Ascot and want to pick up a top hat for free this could be a good opportunity as there will be hundreds of them flying through the air if the Queens’ Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly Estimate wins this 2m event. The daughter of Monson has it all to do on official figures but she’s only had two starts and is open to any amount of improvement.
Estimate stayed on strongly to land a maiden over 1m4f at Salisbury last month and, as a half-sister to the Ascot Gold Cup victor Enzeli and Prix Royal Oak winner Ebadiyla, she should relish this stiffer test of stamina.
Brian Meehan’s Ripon maiden winner Yazdi is a well-bred, lightly raced three-year-old full of untapped potential that could make his presence felt.
Buckingham Palace Stakes Handicap
Primaeval, who’s owned by TV presenters Ant and Dec, has the talent to win the finale on day four and give the excellent Hayley Turner a Royal Ascot success to add to her brace of Group 1 victories last year.
The James Fanshawe-trained six-year-old has won seven of his 21 starts, four of them under Turner, and he’s been in great form this season, finishing second in Meydan and winning his last two races at Kempton and Goodwood.
Lightning Cloud is one of the principal dangers to Primaeval. Kevin Ryan’s tall grey was very progressive last year when he won five times, including here, and he will be all the better for his reappearance fifth over the course and distance last month in the Victoria Cup.