Any number of smart prospects take their chance in the Queen Mary Stakes on day two of Royal Ascot on Wednesday – but Wesley Ward has not hidden his admiration for Love Reigns and she gets the verdict.
The daughter of U S Navy Flag absolutely blitzed her rivals on her only start to date at Keeneland, in the same colours as Ward’s previous Queen Mary winners Lady Aurelia and Campanelle.
Ward also took this with Acapulco and there seems little point in trying to ignore the obvious.
The Queen’s Vase is even more of a St Leger trial than it was previously since being cut in distance and there is lots to like about the chance of lightly raced Eldar Eldarov.
The Dubawi colt is in the Irish Derby which is a sign of the regard in which he is held by Roger Varian. There is plenty of stamina in his pedigree as well, with lots to like in how he
galloped on strongly at Newcastle – looking better the further he went.
Talk after that run at Gosforth Park was of the King Edward VII Stakes, the Royal Ascot Derby, but this looks the right option.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes takes centre stage on day two and hopefully a resurgent Sir Michael Stoute will be picking up the trophy with Bay Bridge. It was a marvellous sight to see one of the game’s great names rocket back to the top with Desert Crown in the Derby and in Bay Bridge he has another high-class performer on his hands.
He has been more of a Stoute project, though, with the four-year-old progressing from handicaps to Group company last time out, where he absolutely oozed class in the Brigadier Gerard.
This is tougher again, with solid Group 1 horses in opposition, including Japanese raider Shahryar, who is feared. But so good was Bay Bridge at Sandown that he should take the beating in a race Stoute has won twice in the last four years.
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes has an open look to it, with plenty having claims, but it might present a good opportunity for Mother Earth.
Her record is rock-solid at the highest level and it seems only fair to forgive her a disappointing effort in the Lockinge, a run that was most unlike her. Last year’s 1000 Guineas winner is unpenalised in this and it would be no surprise to see her bounce back.
One who could go well at a price in the Hunt Cup is Intellogent. A Group 1 winner in his native France back in 2018, he is now with Jane Chapple-Hyam and will be having his third run for her.
The first one came after an absence of over a year at Newmarket, where but for meeting with interference at a crucial point he would surely have won, and he then ran in a four-runner affair over this course and distance.
Four runners there might only have been, but it was a solid quartet and the selection lost little in third, seeing it out well in a race that did not play to his strengths. The fourth home actually won a Listed race at York the other day and the helter skelter nature of the Hunt Cup looks made for a horse that has won over further.
Bolt Action had jockey David Egan waxing lyrical after his Leicester debut so makes plenty of appeal in the Windsor Castle Stakes, while the lucky last, the Kensington Palace Stakes, can go the way of Farhh To Shy for George Margarson and Tom Queally. – Press Association
TAB is betting on 5 UK race meetings. Here are the tips:
UTTOXETER: Race 1: 14.00 Hell Red, Race 2: 14.35 Iddergem, Race 5: 15.10 Branson Missouri, Race 4: 15.45 Mahanakhon Power, Race 5: 16.20 Rock Legend, Race 6: 17.00 No No Maestro, Race 7: 17.33 Mackie Dee.
HAMILTON: Race 1: 14.50 Lightning Attack, Race 2: 15.20 Debydinks, Race 3: 15.55 Monte Forte, Race 4: 16.30 Kats Bob, Race 5: 16.10 Showmedemoney, Race 6: 17.40 May Punch, Race 7: 18.15 Chinese Spirit.
ASCOT: Race 1: 15.30 LOVE REIGNS (NAP), Race 2: 16.05 Eldar Eldarov, Race 3: 16.40 Bay Bridge, Race 4: 17.20 Mother Earth, Race 5: 18.00 Intellogent, Race 6: 18.35 Bolt Action, Race 7: 19.10 Farhh To Shy.
NOTTINGHAM: Race 1: 18.10 Good Regal, Race 2: 18.45 James Watt, Race 3: 19.20 Polyphonic, Race 4: 19.50 Infiniti, Race 5: 20.20 Eponina, Race 6: 20.50 Sunstone, Race 7: 21.20 Keep Me Happy.
RIPON: Race 1: 18.26 Power To Love, Race 2: 19.00 Dragon Glory, Race 3: 19.40 Elzaal, Race 4: 20.10 Miss Harmony, Race 5: 20.40 Khanjar, Race 6: 21.10 Carrigillihy, Race 7: 21.40 Alfred Cove.
ALL TO COME: Love Reigns and Bay Bridge (Ascot, Races 1 and 3).
For fields, race betting and more information go to www.tabonline.co.za