Tellme the Hunt Cup winner

  • Last Updated: June 18 2014, 17:01 BST

Channel 4 commentator Simon Holt with his best bets for the second day of Royal Ascot.

Niceofyoutotellme can land the Royal Hunt Cup
Niceofyoutotellme can land the Royal Hunt Cup

All eyes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday will be trained on TREVE, the brilliant winner of last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, when she makes her English debut in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

Criquette Head-Maarek's filly comes here after meeting defeat for the first time in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp in April but it was probably a mighty performance to push the classy Cirrus Des Aigles so hard on her first start of the season and on soft going which much favoured the winner.

The quality of the effort has certainly been advertised by Cirrus Des Aigles subsequently as that evergreen eight-year-old has gone on to win two more Group Ones including when finishing lame in the recent Coronation Cup at Epsom.

If running to her Arc form, or even that run in the Ganay, Treve must take all the beating with ground conditions set to suit her and with the drop to ten furlongs unlikely to be a problem.

On their best form, Magician and The Fugue, first and second in the Breeders Cup Turf at Santa Anita last November could give the favourite a race but they have both run a little below-par on recent starts. Magician only scraped home at The Curragh in May before finding Noble Mission too strong last time while The Fugue, who finished third to Al Kazeem on her reappearance in this race 12 months ago, was struck into when down the field behind the mightily impressive Just The Way (Dank beaten eight lengths into third) in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan in March.

Dank, another winner at the Breeders Cup last November, has made very good progress while Dubai World Cup runner-up Mukhadram also looks set for further success and should be capable of winning a Group One at some stage. However, it is doubtful if either will have any answer to the turn of foot of a top-form Treve in the closing stages.

The Duke Of Cambridge Stakes sees the reapparance of last season's 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes winner Sky Lantern.

Richard Hannon's star grey filly could well prove too classy but she finished last on her final start of 2013 in Hong Kong and, at the weights, she has little in hand of Integral who she beat a length in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in September.

Integral, a pleasing second to the French challenger ESOTERIQUE when well fancied for the Dahlia Stakes on her reappearance, now gets a 5lb pull with Sky Lantern.

I was impressed with Esoterique at Newmarket. A fine, scopey filly who finished second in the French Guineas and seventh to Treve in last year's French Oaks, she was always holding Integral at Newmarket and, on looks, could be open to plenty more improvement. In a superb contest, she gets a narrow vote under the excellent Maxime Guyon.

Veteran trainer Clive Brittain proved with his handling of Rizeena last season that he remains a man not to be underestimated and BRAZOS could just spring a surprise in a huge field for the Jersey Stakes.

A recent course and distance winner, lines through the runner-up that day Wee Jean and Penny Drops suggest this grey colt has every chance of beating the well regarded That Is The Spirit while, on his previous outing, he was conceding 13lb to the winner when beaten into third by subsequent French Guineas fourth Muwaary in a handicap at Newbury.

Brazos could well repay an each-way interest though I also have a good deal of respect for Irish Guineas third Mustajeeb (penalised), the progressive Royal runner Musical Comedy who Richard Hughes prefers over stable companion Coulsty and the Charles Hills-trained Passing Star who looked a horse of promise on the all-weather earlier in the year.

In the Royal Hunt Cup, NICEOFYOUTOTELLME will appreciate the likely strong pace and, freshened up since winning over nine furlongs at Newmarket in May, could continue his winning ways.

A highly-strung type who needs switching off in the early stages, the son of Hernando is a real trier and I often think you need a horse who stays a bit more than a mile for this traditional cavalry charge.

  • Posted at 1200 BST on 17/06/2014.