Royal Ascot Day 2 – June 21, 2017

By Ben Archer
Published on June 07, 2017
Royal Ascot 2017

The second day begins with the Group 3 JERSEY STAKES which has a rich tradition of providing exciting finishes, and last year was no exception when Ribchester came fast and last to score.

This year’s renewal has DREAM CASTLE at the head of the market following his effort in fifth behind Churchill in the 2000 Guineas. He had a troubled run in that race, being hampered running down to the 2f pole and then having to switch to find room to make a run. He did well in the circumstances to finish where he did.

Dropping back from 1m to 7f will surely be in his favor and he could open up the second day as a winner for Godolphin.

They will need to have a good Ascot to stop the current unease in their ranks. Twenty-four hours after the public outburst from trainer Saeed Bin Suroor over the way operations were being run, John Ferguson, the man entrusted by Sheikh Mohammed to have free rein to get the team moving in the right direction, handed in his notice.

This is a time of acute public embarrassment for Godolphin as John Ferguson has been alongside Sheikh Mohammed for over 25 year but he admitted his position had become ‘untenable’ and said ‘it was the only course of action to take’.

Queen Mary Stakes

The second race on the card is the QUEEN MARY Stakes for 2yo fillies and this prize has gone to America for the past two years.

Trainer Wesley Ward first brought over ACAPULCO in 2015, and she took the field apart under Ryan Moore, who called her an aeroplane. Last year he introduced LADY AURELIA who was simply sensational, winning by a massive 7 lengths under Frankie Dettori.

Ward also won this race in 2009 when he brought over JEALOUS AGAIN, who scored under John Velazquez.

Bookmakers are taking no chances this year, and have installed Ward’s HAPPY LIKE A FOOL as the 3/1 market leader.

She breezed ½ mile under the watchful eye of her trainer at Keeneland this week and he confirmed he is pleased with her progress and looking forward to sending his team to Ascot next week.

The Wesley Ward team comprises:

  • LADY AURELIA                             (King’s Stand Stakes)
  • BOUND FOR NOWHERE            (Commonwealth Cup)
  • UNDRAFTED                                  (Wokingham Stakes)
  • FAIRYTALE                                     (Albany Stakes)
  • McERIN                                            (Norfolk Stakes)
  • NOOTKA SOUND                           (Windsor Castle)
  • HAPPY LIKE A FOOL                   (Queen Mary Stakes)

Duke of Cambridge

Race 3 is the DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE Stakes, which is open to fillies and mares of four years and older.

Some are regarding this race as their banker bet of the week as LAUGH ALOUD comes into this on the back of some strong form on her last two starts.

Trained by John Gosden for Godolphin, she showed her wellbeing with a Listed race success at Goodwood in May but bettered that performance last time out, when running away with the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom on Derby Day.

She could be called the winner a long way from home so well was she traveling and she was immediately made the 2/1 favourite for this race at Royal Ascot.

A bet of £20,000 to £10,000 was reported to have been taken shortly after the Epsom race and it’s likely she will go off even shorter come the day.

Prince of Wales Stakes

The fourth race on the Wednesday card is the highlight, the Group 1 PRINCE OF WALES STAKES, a race rich in tradition.

First run in 1862 this race was named after the Prince of Wales at that time, the future King Edward VII.

This year’s renewal has a very open look about it and bookmakers have yet to report a sizeable bet.

The current odds are:

ULYSSES                                 (Sir Michael Stoute)                                       3/1

Won on seasonal return, landing the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown in April; this race was immediately earmarked after that success and he has every chance of following up.

JACK HOBBS              (John Gosden)                                               4/1

Won the Irish Derby in 2015 and got back to winning ways last time out when landing the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March; should give his running.

CLOTH OF STARS                  (Andre Fabre)                                               9/2

French challenger who has won all three starts this season; he won the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Saint Cloud on his latest start and is very much a player on that form.

HIGHLAND REEL                   (Aidan O’Brien)                                             5/1

A model of consistency who recently took the Coronation Cup at Epsom, beating Frontiersman by a comfortable margin; always gives his running and deserves to be in the line-up.

SO MI DAR                             (John Gosden)                                               11/2

Five starts and four wins for this filly; won the Derby trial at Epsom last year and followed up in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York; yet to run this season.

HAWKBILL                             (Charlie Appleby)                                          7/1

Won the Group 3 Aston Park Stakes at Newbury in May but finished behind Highland Reel at Epsom recently and will need to find more to overturn that form.

10/1 Bar 6

The Royal Hunt Cup

The ROYAL HUNT CUP is the fifth on the card and is a traditional Cavalry charge down the straight Ascot mile.

Normally a full field of 30 sets off and bookmakers normally go 10/1 the field.

The last seven winners returned prices of 10/1, 8/1, 20/1, 33/1, 16/1, 12/1 and 28/1.

The last favourite to win the race was back in 2009 when a major gamble on Forgotten Voice was landed and he returned as the 4/1 market leader.

Sandringham Stakes

The final race on Day 2 is the listed SANDRINGHAM STAKES over 1m and this race has yet to take shape.

Declarations for this race have yet to be finalised and more information will be available next week.

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