Royal Ascot Tuesday Previews

Tuesday – Royal Ascot previews

2:30    Queen Anne Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Straight course) 1m 
3:05    Coventry Stakes (Group 2) 6f 
3:45    King´s Stand Stakes (British Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge) (Group 1) 5f 
4:25    St James´s Palace Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Round course) 1m 
5:00    Ascot Stakes (Handicap) 2m4f 
5:35    Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed Race) 

Queen Anne Stakes

Richard Hannon believes Toronado (pic at foot of email) represents his best chance of a winner as he puts the finishing touches to his team ahead of his first Royal Ascot as a trainer in his own right.

Runner-up to Dawn Approach in the St James’s Palace Stakes 12 months ago, Toronado arrives in Berkshire this year without the aid of a previous run.

He has not been sighted since he disappointed on his first run over 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International at York and a Breeders’ Cup bid was subsequently abandoned after he failed to shine in a gallop at Lingfield.

“Like my dad, all I ever ask for is at least one winner at Royal Ascot, and I suppose our best chance comes in the very first race, with Toronado in the Queen Anne Stakes,” said Hannon.

“This has always been Toronado’s first target, and his preparation could not have gone better.”

Chief market rival for Toronado is Aidan O’Brien’s American import Verrazano, third in the Lockinge at Newbury behind Hannon’s Olympic Glory on his European debut which was his first run on grass.

Joseph O’Brien expects considerable improvement from his first run and said: “He’s done well since the Lockinge, we feel he’s come on since the race.

“We feel he’ll like Ascot, it’s going to be his second run on grass, he should have learned plenty from Newbury so we’re looking forward to it.”

Four years ago Freddy Head’s brilliant mare Goldikova just held off Paco Boy and this year the French handler is bringing just one horse over for the meeting, Goldikova’s brother Anodin who was supplemented for the race.

He finished just a length and a half behind superstar Cirrus Des Aigles on his latest outing.

“He’s been very good and I think he’s improved this year, he’s very well,” said Head. “He’s a horse I like from a family I know very well – they have all got better with age, none of them were precocious.”

South African raider Soft Falling Rain is better judged on his defeat of Montiridge at Newmarket than his heavy defeat at this course on Champions Day when the ground went against him, a run that has helped make him the second highest rated runner in the race. He has had an interrupted preparation, however, with his trainer Mike de Kock saying it was ‘touch and go’ whether he lined up just last month.

Coventry Stakes

Ger Lyons believes Cappella Sansevero’s temperament will help him overcome the disadvantage of being away from home when he competes in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

The unbeaten Showcasing colt gets his chance to tackle this fascinating Group Two contest after adding the Listed Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh to earlier wins at Dundalk and Naas..

“I’m happy where we’re drawn, 13 has been lucky for me,” said the County Meath trainer.

The other horse unbeaten in three starts is Kool Kompany, who completed a hat-trick in a Listed race at Naas where the odds-on War Envoy, trained by Aidan O’Brien, was third and who renews rivalry.

“He has the best six-furlong two-year-old form in Europe, so why should we run away from anything,” said Tim Palin, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing. “He deserves to take his chance and we are looking forward to the race.

“War Envoy takes us on again, maybe a different War Envoy will turn up this time we’ll just have to wait and see. Adaay looks a very smart horse, and there are plenty of once-raced maiden winners in the field.”

King’s Stand Stakes

Hot Streak bids to live up to his name and his reputation when he goes for Group One gold in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

The three-year-old announced himself on the sprinting stage with a clear-cut victory in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last month and is strongly fancied to take the five-furlong honours.

“Hopefully he’s the new sprinting sensation and I’m looking forward to seeing him on a track that we know suits him against the best sprinters around. We’ll know where we stand at the end of tomorrow,” said David Redvers, racing and bloodstock manager for owners Qatar Racing.

The same colours are also sported by Pearl Secret, who was third in this race 12 months ago and was just half a length behind Hot Streak in the Temple.

“He ran a great race in this last year first time out, needing the run and it was a run that puts him bang there,” said Redvers.

Edward Lynam has high hopes of Sole Power repeating last year’s victory as long as the ground is quick enough for his stable flagbearer.

“We are very pleased with Sole Power and he has been in great form since he won the Palace House Stakes. We hoped to run him at Haydock in the Temple Stakes but the weather beat us,” said the County Meath trainer.

South African sprint sensation Shea Shea was only caught close home and beaten a neck behind Sole Power 12 months ago.

The Mike de Kock-trained speedster twice finished ahead of Sole Power at Meydan in the spring and connections of the seven-year-old globetrotter are looking for another big run.

“He ran the race of his life last year. He’s pretty much in the same form. It just depends how the others in the race are,” said de Kock’s assistant Steve Jell. “There are a couple of three-year-olds in there to worry about but he’s in good form.”

St James’s Palace Stakes

John Gosden is not approaching the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot with Kingman believing it is a two-horse race.

The highlight on day one of the showpiece meeting is being billed as the ‘royal rumble’, as the QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder takes on Gosden’s Irish Guineas hero.

The Group One contest will be the third time the pair have met this season, after Kingman won comfortably at Newbury in the Greenham before the Richard Hannon-trained Night Of Thunder turned the tables at Newmarket.

The bookmakers have Kingman as odds-on favourite to gain his revenge, which Gosden disagrees with, and he is also giving full respect to the likes of Night Of Thunder’s stablemate and champion two-year-old Toormore, as well as War Command, last year’s Coventry and Dewhurst winner.

Gosden said: “I’m very happy with him. This is a very good race, though – it is by no means a two-horse race and if anyone goes in there thinking it is they are wrong, I’m certainly not underestimating anything.”

Hannon is also struggling to see why Kingman is favoured so much in the betting.

“It’s going to be a great race. I’ve got no reason to see why the form from Newmarket’s going to be reversed and I don’t see why the betting isn’t 6-4 each of two,” said Hannon.

Godolphin’s Outstrip was a surprise winner at the Breeders’ Cup but he ran no sort of a race at Newmarket. His trainer Charlie Appleby is confident of a better display.

“Outstrip blew very hard after he finished last in the Guineas and he then scoped dirty so we gave him a nice break, waited until he had finished his treatment and then resumed training. I have been pleased with his preparation since,” said Appleby.