Al Kazeem to be crowned Prince
Man On The Spot previews day two of Royal Ascot 2013 and he's backing Al Kazeem for the feature race.
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No favourite has won this in the last 10 years which doesn't bode well for likely market leader GALE FORCE TEN. But that's the only negative surrounding the Ballydoyle colt as the third has franked the form of his second in the Irish 2000 Guineas behind stablemate Magician and he was just beaten in the French 2000 Guineas prior to that. He can reverse recent trends as none of his rivals can boast that level of form. Tawhid might need some rain to fall to take his chance but his third in the German 2000 Guineas wasn't a bad run and he is possibly more effective over this shorter trip. Garswood will also benefit from the drop in distance and can't be discounted while Montiridge is consistent and won a Listed race at Sandown last month. The unbeaten Mutin may prove best of the French raiders and Music Master possibly has place claims but it looks like most of the others have a bit to find to play a part.
Duntle was giving 9lb to Ladys First when winning last year's Sandringham Handicap here and improved thereafter, finishing first past the post in her next three starts including the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown where she beat Chachamaidee only to lose the race in the stewards' room. She won't go down without a fight but Chachamaidee's stable companion CHIGUN looks the one to be on today. Lady Cecil's filly beat Thistle Bird, who had Ladys First and Beatrice Aurore behind in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom, at Newmarket in the autumn and got back to winning ways in a Group 3 at the Curragh last month having just been caught by Dank over an extra furlong at Newmarket on her reappearance. The latter was conceding 3lb that day so will be a danger again but the ground is likely to be too quick for Sarkiyla, though she was just touched off by the smart Don Bosco at Saint-Cloud last time.
Camelot's reputation has taken a bit of a battering since he completed the Epsom/Curragh Derby double a year ago and he was put firmly in his place by AL KAZEEM in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last month, despite the presence of pacemaker Windsor Palace. We can see no obvious reason why Aidan O'Brien's colt should reverse that form here with Roger Charlton's lightly-raced five-year-old, who is finally beginning to justify his trainer's high opinion of him. The latter gets a confident vote in this as he is less exposed than Jonathan Pease's Maxios, though the French raider has done very little wrong this season having run at the highest level and won twice at Longchamp. The Fugue is a high-class filly and has been given plenty of time to recover from a rough race in Breeders' Cup Fillies And Mares Turf at Santa Anita in November where she would probably had won if she hadn't been trapped on the rails. She'll be ready for this and makes more appeal than globe-trotting Red Cadeaux and Brigadier Gerard Stakes winner Mukhadram.
PRINCE OF JOHANNE races off the same mark as when beating Excellent Guest, Don't Call Me and Field Of Dream in this 12 months ago and looked to be on the way back when second to Navajo Chief at York last time. He's 4lb better off with the latter now and should turn the tables and that run gives him the beating of Two For Two, Moran Gra and Es Que Love. Tom Tate's charge loves these big-field handicaps and, probably well drawn towards the far side, looks the one to beat again. Excellent Guest won the Victoria Cup over 7f here last month and is also respected, though is 4lb higher than last year, while Educate is an interesting runner. He's won four of his last five starts and will be held up for a late run here by Jamie Spencer. Goodwood scorer Burke's Rock is a possible improver near the foot of the weights and has Frankie on board while Chester winner Captain Bertie has just got into the handicap and could be dangerous, though he was only 11th last year and would probably have preferred some rain. Elusive Time and David Livingston represent Japan and South Africa respectively but neither make much appeal at the weights and Johnny Murtagh's first Royal Ascot runner as a trainer, Sweet Lightning, will do well to figure under a welter burden.
Another two-year-old race in which Richard Hannon is mob-handed. Richard Hughes has opted to ride maiden Oriel but she looks to have a bit to find to trouble some of these. Reroute was quite impressive when winning her maiden at York and can only improve but last year's winner Ceiling Kitty won the Listed Highgate Fillies' Stakes on the Knavesmire last year en route to winning this and BELDALE MEMORY is fancied to follow suit. Clive Cox' filly only had to be pushed out to add to her debut success at Bath and the fourth in that York contest, Lexington Rose, went on to run Ventura Mist to a neck in the Hilary Needler at Beverley which is another good trial for this. Fire Blaze missed the break and then ran green on her debut at Newmarket but still managed to come out on top in a race in which last month's National Stakes winner Rizeena finished fifth. She has to go on the short-list but Sweet Emma Rose may struggle to emulate Jealous Again, who won this in 2009 for Wesley Ward. Survived, an easy winner on her second start at Lingfield, may be best of the rest.
ANNECDOTE has only run one bad race so far but that was on her only previous try over today's trip when she was more than seven lengths behind Trapeze. The latter is much worse off at the weights now, however, and is also 5lb out of the handicap proper and we're prepared to give another chance to Jonathan Portman's filly as not everything takes to Goodwood. Senafe is 5lb better off with Zurigha than when beaten a length and three-quarters at Kempton in April and she improved to finish third in the German 1000 Guineas earlier this month. Jeremy Noseda's charge also has claims as does the unexposed Hint Of A Tint, only beaten a neck in a Leopardstown Group 3 last month and now fitted with a hood to aid concentration. Mango Diva, who beat Stresa at Kempton before finishing second in a Listed race at Sandown, and Musidora Stakes third Woodland Aria are others with scope for improvement while Fleeting Smile is closely matched with a few of these on last year's form and can't be ignored after making a winning reappearance at Salisbury.