Newmarket trainer Richard Spencer, who sent out Rajasinghe to break the track record when winning the Coventry Stakes last year, has assembled a strong team in a bid for further Royal Ascot success next week.
Keyser Soze didn’t show his colours at Royal Ascot last year but will bid for redemption in the Royal Hunt Cup, a race in which he is a general 12/1 shot and his trainer is confident of a big run if he makes the cut.
Spencer said: "We’re on the cusp of whether we’re going to get a run, but it’s looking more likely than not that we’ll get in. He’s in great form and he’ll do his final bit of work this week and I think he’s got a very good chance. I think the race will play to his strengths, he’s run twice this year and run very well both times, he was certainly unlucky not to win first time."
The trainer is boasting a 31% strike rate with his two-year-olds so far this season and the Sefton Lodge handler possesses juvenile firepower for Royal Ascot. Alfie Solomons will bid to emulate Rajasinghe in the Coventry, Rumble Inthejungle will likely head to the Norfolk Stakes and Cococabala will line up in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
"Alfie Solomons has come out of his Newcastle win last week very well and he’s on track for the Coventry. I think the race he ran in at Newbury is going to be one of the hottest six-furlong maidens run this year; the first three (home that day) will be lining up in the Coventry (Advertise, Pogo and Burj). He (Alfie Solomons) ran a good race there and he stepped up on that to win at Newcastle nicely last week. His build-up has been very similar to Rajasinghe’s last year, we know he stays six furlongs and we’re looking forward to running him," Spencer said.
“Rumble Inthejungle has two entries. We are leaning towards the Norfolk but he’ll also have an entry in the Windsor Castle. He won very well at Salisbury first time out and the form of that race has worked out well, I think two winners have come out of that race already. He’s taken a big step forward from his debut and I think he’ll run a big race."
Finally, Cococabala gave weight and a beating to a well-backed Mark Johnston debutante at Wetherby last Thursday and will contest the last race on the opening day of Royal Ascot.
"Cococabala has come out of his win at Wetherby fine. He won well that day at after Tom (Queally) gave him a great ride. We gave the second a lot of weight (12lbs) and he’ll go for the Windsor Castle now and I think he’ll have a good chance in that."
Tom Queally who is building up a head of storm following his return from riding in the USA over the winter, has ridden four winners for Richard Spencer from just 11 rides so far this season at a strike rate of 36% and three of those have come aboard the Royal Ascot bound two-year-olds and Spencer sees that association carrying on into Royal Ascot.