Go Dutch in the finale
Man On The Spot previews day two of Royal Ascot featuring the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.
A powerful raiding party is dispatched from Ireland for a red-hot renewal. Aidan O'Brien bids for a third straight win in this with Giovanni Boldini looking to have the best chance of the Ballydoyle trio. Dermot Weld runs Irish 2000 Guineas third Mustajeeb, who finished a long way ahead of a below-par Big Time at the Curragh. The latter ran much better in Group 1 company last year when runner-up to SUDIRMAN in the Phoenix Stakes. David Wachman's colt made a low-key comeback at Naas earlier this month but should be a lot sharper today and gets the nod. Shining Emerald and the unexposed Waltzing Matilda make up the Irish contingent while Redbrook represents France after landing a Listed contest over 7f at Longchamp. The home challenge is led by Muwaary. John Gosden's colt has leading claims on his fourth in the French 2000 Guineas and Paul Hanagan prefers him to the penalised Anjaal. The remainder all have a bit to find on these terms including Richard Hannon's Listed winners Coulsty and Musical Comedy.
Last year's winner arrived on the back of victory in a Listed race at Sandown and TIGGY WIGGY won the same contest by nearly four lengths last month. Richard Hughes prefers the Kodiac filly to stablemate and Ascot maiden winner Dangerous Moonlite and she gets the nod. Wesley Ward won this in 2009 and easy Keeneland winner Spanish Pipedream shares a similar profile. The American raider may well figure in the finish and Ireland's challenge is being led by Anthem Alexander, who trounced the opposition at Tipperary earlier in the month. She's preferred to compatriot Newsletter. Blue Aegean won impressively at Nottingham a fortnight ago and Harry's Dancer dotted up at Thirsk in good style. They should also figure and Clouds Rest is progressing well and is another to consider on her latest win at Newbury.
Arc de Triomphe heroine TREVE lost her unbeaten record at Longchamp on her reappearance. But she wasn't disgraced losing a tough battle in testing ground to a fighting-fit Cirrus Des Aigles and is the one to beat if back at her brilliant best. The Fugue finished third to Al Kazeem in this last year when Mukhadram gave the winner a fright attempting to make all and nearly succeeding. The latter looks sure to go close again if allowed his own way up front while Breeders' Cup Turf winner Magician should help make a race of it after finding only the rejuvenated Noble Mission too good in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh. Dank also won at last year's Breeders' Cup and makes more appeal than Parish Hall but Zambucca and Elkaayed look outclassed.
This looks a good spot for SKY LANTERN to kick-start her campaign. She won the Coronation Stakes at this meeting last year in between landing the 1000 Guineas and Sun Chariot Stakes. Richard Hannon's filly will be hard to beat if anywhere near her best. Certify was a high-class two-year-old and beat Sky Lantern at Newmarket in 2012. But she missed the whole of last year before winning a Group 2 at Meydan back in January when beating French challenger L'Amour De Ma Vie. Andre Fabre returns with Esoterique, who beat Integral a head at Newmarket last month and the latter also has a bit to find with the selection on last season's form. Purr Along beat Fiesolana, Princess Loulou and Peace Burg at the Curragh last month. But she's not certain to confirm superiority on this faster ground.
Abseil is clear at the head of the betting after picking up a competitive handicap at the Epsom Derby meeting. Lightly-raced and progressive, his chance is there for all to see but there may be better value on show, including RED AVENGER. Upsides with Abseil when badly hampered by the latter at Epsom, he's 5lb better off and should be thereabouts. Here Comes When beat Abseil at Chester last month but was raised 11lb for that success. Belgian Bill and Prince Of Johanne have won the last two renewals but both race off higher marks today. Artigiano should go well after a second at Nottingham but Chil The Kite has been upped 5lb for winning at Newbury and Sea Shanty is penalised for a narrow weekend win at Sandown. Richard Hughes still prefers the latter to Trumpet Major while Ayaar and the returning Short Squeeze are others to consider in a typically competitive renewal.
Majeyda wasn't disgraced ahead of Lady Lara when sixth in the 1000 Guineas and drops in class. Queen Catrine also has her sights lowered having been well beaten in the French equivalent. The unbeaten Muteela made all at Newmarket last time but is there to be shot at by the likes of Psychometry and Coral Mist. Goodwood winner Wee Jean could also go well but a chance is taken on DUTCH COURAGE. The latter has to reverse latest running at York with Lady Lara but beat Adhwaa, Qawaasem and Midnite Angel to finish fourth and should be in the firing-line. Crowley's Law continues to progress but is upped a further 9lb for a win at Leicester while Aluminia has been making hay in much lower grade races on the all-weather and will find this tougher. Odisseia and Graceful Grit are overseas challengers worth noting.