With the forecast calling for rain as Tuesday unfolds at Royal Ascot, the going on Wednesday is likely to be softer. That has to become an additional factor to consider in handicapping a series of tough contests, beginning with a 28-horse stampede for juvenile fillies. Race 1, The Queen Mary (G2) 1st – #7 DIVINE SPIRIT (10-1), one of four serious contenders for Godolphin in this lottery, may be the best priced of the quartet and could work out a favorable trip with Kerrin McEvoy. A record-setting Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up purchase for 850,000 guineas ($1,167,479) – the sale’s highest-ever price for a filly – the daughter of Kingman was scratched from her intended May 10 debut on account of soft ground. Trainer Charlie Appleby hadn’t even had her a month since her April 16 sale, so was the decision based upon a moral certainty she wouldn’t act on the going? Or was it just a case of not wanting to start her out in a slog, especially since Divine Spirit had this race stamped all over her? Her dam, Shyrl, missed by a neck in the 2008 Queen Mary, and it would make sense to map out the smoothest path here. Divine Spirit instead lined up at Windsor, where she burst through late to win with speed to spare. I’m whistling past the graveyard about the ground, but Kingman performed on very soft, and she’s too interesting at the odds. Drawn in post 17, she’ll be near Wesley Ward’s flyers, who will give the stands’ side of the field a serious pace to chase. 2nd – #12 GOOD VIBES (7-1) was hailed by trainer David Evans as the best he’s ever had after she motored through the field to take the Marygate, the York prep that’s produced three Queen Mary winners in the last dozen runnings. A better-than-appears second to Chasing Dreams (favorite for this race before being sidelined) at Newmarket, Good Vibes would have won more clearly next time at Salisbury if not hanging left in the stretch. She put it all together in the Marygate, and Evans explained it’s because she finally got cover in a big field. This race offers the same scenario, if she gets enough of a tow into the race from post 9. Although she is untested on anything other than good-to-firm, freshman sire Due Diligence was effective on softish going as well. 3rd – #9 FINAL SONG (5-1) rates as the lukewarm favorite in light of her five-length romp over this course and distance, in the same soft-ground maiden that Divine Spirit swerved. The Saeed bin Suroor pupil flashed good speed, and kept flicking her ears for challengers, in conditions she might encounter again here. Aside from the price being short enough in the circumstances, there’s a question of how the Dark Angel filly will cope with Ward flyer ANNA’S FAST drawn right next door. 4th – #16 KIMARI (6-1) is the Ward flyer who arguably made the most scintillating debut at Keeneland, crushing males in a meet-fastest :51.02. That makes her worthy of considerable respect, although she’ll have to be Lady Aurelia to carry her speed all the way on a rain-affected track. Others to note: Aidan O’Brien’s #25 TANGO (post 2) and Appleby’s apparent first-stringer (with James Doyle) #26 THEORY OF TIME (post 16) – both part of the five-filly mutuel field – struck me more as types for Friday’s Albany (G3) but are perfectly logical. They also offer a hedge regarding post positions, being drawn on different parts of the course. #13 ICKWORTH (7-1), yet another Godolphin, beat the boys in a Curragh stakes last out on yielding and sports collateral form with Juddmonte’s Siskin. The main question is whether post 3 is the place to be, but that might be a red herring for an otherwise top chance. #11 FLIPPA THE STRIPPA (12-1) also comes off a score versus males in the National S. at Sandown. The Mark Johnston-trained #23 RAFFLE PRIZE (20-1) has upset potential if handling the cutback from six to five furlongs, since the daughter of sprint star Slade Power will stay on strongly. Race 2, The Queen’s Vase (G2) 1st – #10 NORWAY (7-1) won’t go off near that price since Ryan Moore has signed on, but the O’Brien sophomore is still worth tabbing with his profile similar to last year’s winner, Kew Gardens. Both Galileo colts captured the 1 1/4-mile Zetland at Newmarket as juveniles, stamping themselves as stayers in embryo, and both placed in classic trials before getting burned up in the Ballydoyle pace relay in the Derby (G1). Norway has the added allure of being a full brother to 2013 Derby hero Ruler of the World and a half to European champion Duke of Marmalade, from the family of A.P. Indy. Two starts back in the Chester Vase (G3) on good-to-soft, the way Norway kept on chugging for second to Sir Dragonet implied he’ll relish the step up to 1 3/4 miles. 2nd – #8 NATE THE GREAT (15-1) is overpriced off his third to next-out Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck in the Lingfield Derby Trial on soft ground. Nor was that an outlier for a fairly consistent colt who’s also placed in last summer’s Chesham and Pat Eddery here, and concluded 2018 with a third to Norway in the Zetland. The Archie Watson trainee figures to inherit abundant stamina as a son of Nathaniel and a Dubawi mare. 3rd – #7 MOONLIGHT SPIRIT (10-1) is ostensibly Godolphin’s second string with McEvoy, but he’d beaten his Appleby stablemate JALMOUD in their mutual debut. I’d also argue his only loss so far, a recent third in the Prix du Lys (G3), was more of a tactical miscue than a true barometer of his ability. By Dubawi, and a grandson of champion and dual classic heroine Kazzia, Moonlight Spirit looked like he was going places in his nine-length handicap conquest at Leicester two back. 4th – #13 WESTERN AUSTRALIA (2-1), famously a near-miss third at 50-1 in last year’s Vertem Futurity Trophy (G1), didn’t build on that effort this season until stretching out to 1 5/8 miles in the Yeats S. His workmanlike score over PYTHION suggests he’ll need to up his game against stablemate Norway, but he’s an obvious threat. Others to note: #3 DASHING WILLOUGHBY (10-1), a Nathaniel colt from the family of recent Oaks (G1) winner Anapurna, exits a third to Sir Dragonet and Norway at Chester. The Andrew Balding runner has a likeable, never-say-die attitude that can carry him some way. Mark Johnston, the race’s current leading trainer with seven Queen’s Vase wins, is double-handed – #12 THEMAXWECAN (15-1) is less exposed while #9 NAYEF ROAD (15-1) brings the higher official rating. CHECK OUT THE ROYAL ASCOT BETTING GUIDE HERE! Race 3, The Prince of Wales’s (G1) 1st – #1 CRYSTAL OCEAN (4-1), the price play compared to the all-star fillies, should find a solidly-run 1 1/4 miles on a rain-affected surface playing to his strengths. Hitherto better known for his exploits over further, the Sir Michael Stoute charge hinted that he’s reached a new level at the age of five in his Gordon Richards (G3) title defense. He shot clear in the 10-furlong warm-up, showing his best change of gear so far at this trip, before stretching back out to repeat in the Al Rayyan (Aston Park) (G3). Last year, Crystal Ocean was beaten by only three horses – Enable (when giving her eight pounds), Cracksman, and Poet’s Word (when the latter two delivered epic performances). This might be his time. 2nd – #8 SEA OF CLASS (2-1) has not been seen since falling just short of catching Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), where her poor post position may have been the difference. Although her signature wins likewise came over 1 1/2 miles in the Irish Oaks (G1) and Yorkshire Oaks (G1), the Sea the Stars filly has a sparkling turn of foot at this trip too. If she’d had the benefit of a prep, or if the ground were riding firm, she’d be the top pick. But it’s not easy to win this first up, especially such a vintage renewal, while simultaneously trying a softer course than she’s met so far. Yet the William Haggas filly is well named, and her class might trump all. 3rd – #7 MAGICAL (3-2) rates as the favorite after winning four of her last five for O’Brien, including the British Champions Fillies & Mares (G1) over a soft Ascot. Her lone reverse in that span is her second to Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). The Galileo filly has since breezed through her preps at the Curragh, most recently romping in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1). She didn’t have anything to prove there as the class of the field, but now she faces the sternest test she’s ever had at this 1 1/4-mile distance. Stablemate HUNTING HORN figures to serve as her pacesetter. 4th – #4 WALDGEIST (6-1) turned in a superb display on the cutback in the Prix Ganay (G1), implying that perhaps he’s found himself at around this trip. The Andre Fabre veteran has sometimes promised more than he’s delivered (e.g., his fourth in the Arc and fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf), but it’s quite possible that the fully mature five-year-old can maintain his progress here. Others to note: #5 ZABEEL PRINCE (12-1) is in career form for Roger Varian, capturing a key edition of the Earl of Sefton (G3) before earning a breakthrough in the Prix d’Ispahan (G1). Those efforts would have made him a major player in Tuesday’s Queen Anne (G1), but connections have opted to go up in trip. #6 DEIRDRE (60-1) doesn’t bring the strongest resume from Japan, but she scored her biggest victory in the 2017 Shuka Sho (G1) on softer going. She’s also capable on the road, having placed in last year’s Dubai Turf (G1) and Hong Kong Cup (G1), and her sire Harbinger loved Ascot. Race 4, The Duke of Cambridge (G2) 1st – #17 VERACIOUS (8-1) is poised for a peak effort after two better-than-appears losses in historically productive preps. Trained by Stoute for Cheveley Park – the leading trainer and owner in this race – the daughter of Frankel loomed like the winner in the nine-furlong Dahlia (G2), only to wilt up the Newmarket hill in fourth. Veracious then tried mightily in the Princess Elizabeth (G3), but just couldn’t get organized on the Epsom camber and wound up third to ANNA NERIUM. This straight mile at Ascot should suit her, and she has the class as the third in last year’s Coronation (G1) (on the round course) and Nassau (G1). 2nd – #11 PREENING (20-1), the other Cheveley Park homebred, makes her Group debut off a second to AGROTERA in the Snowdrop at Kempton. The winner had the better trip, and Preening is liable to turn the tables. While improvement is required, a few have graduated from the Snowdrop to make noise in stakes, and trainer James Fanshawe has already won this race twice. 3rd – #13 RAWDAA (3-1), a late-running third in the Snowdrop, illustrates the point for she stepped up in the Middleton (G2) and almost upset Lah Ti Dar. The Stoute filly accordingly became the favorite here, but her most notable bits of form are over 10 furlongs. 4th – #1 I CAN FLY (9-2) ran the race of her life at this very course and distance last fall, when coming within a neck of Roaring Lion as a 33-1 longshot in the Queen Elizabeth II (G1). The O’Brien trainee could be cycling back to that level after a sixth versus males in the Lockinge (G1) and a second in the Lanwades Stud (G2). She carries an extra three pounds, however. Others to note: #10 NYALETI (20-1) can be forgiven her flop last time since she had a foot abscess. Effective on softish going and with back class at Ascot as a juvenile, the Johnston gladiator can get involved. Stablemate #16 THREADING (15-1), runner-up to record-setter Alpha Centauri in the Coronation when Veracious was third, is not the most reliable customer but could fire off the layoff. #12 PRETTY BABY (5-1) sports an admirable five-for-seven record, and prepped with a gutsy decision in the Chartwell Fillies’ S. (G3). The question is whether she’ll be as effective on the stretch-out to a mile. Good luck! Watch and wager on all Royal Ascot races at TwinSpires.com. More analysis is available on the Royal Ascot news and notes page, and be sure to consult the free Brisnet past performances. Royal Ascot scenic (c) Frank Sorge/Horsephotos.com