Tellme the Hunt Cup winner
Channel 4 commentator Simon Holt with his best bets for the second day of Royal Ascot.
Channel 4 commentator Simon Holt with his best bets for the second day of Royal Ascot. 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.
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, scopy 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.