3.45 Royal Ascot
Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Class 1) (4YO plus)
Winner £297,728 – 8 run
Advice: 13 pts win Treve (8/11 Paddy Power), 1 pt each/way The Fugue (9/1 general)
Elkaayed: Only fifth in the Tercentary Stakes last year, albeit a strong renewal, and not backed that form up since; Will need to be on a new level today but possibility that he may be here to set a good pace.
Magician: Showed remarkable improvement as 3yo, romping home with Dee Stakes and then routing field in Irish 2,000 Guineas; Neither of those performances as remarkable as his Breeders’ Cup Turf win, coming after disappointing showing at Royal Ascot, mowing down The Fugue late; Not seen to best effect so far this year (although did beat Parish Hall giving 4lbs) but easy to forgive his two defeats and now has trip and ground to suit, so likely to be involved in the shakeup.
Mukhadram: Second in this last year when he slipped the field coming around the home turn but that no fluke about it as Eclipse third and York Stakes win shows (soft ground not to liking on Champions Day) and same tactics almost saw him come away with the Dubai in World Cup on his return; No rason hy he can’t go well again today.
Parish Hall: Very useful horse but not the juvenile that won the Dewhurst and close second to Magician was flattering getting 4lbs; Well behind The Fugue in Irish Champion last year too, and looks overmatched against these.
Zambucca: Third in Round 2 of the Al Maktoum Challenge but more is needed here and not backed that form in any of his recent runs either; Hard to be enthused about his chances.
Dank: Improved hand over fist last season as so many from yard do at 4, landing 2 Grade 1’s in the USA, landing the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on final start; Returning third at Meydan was even better form even if the winner trashed her silly.
The Fugue: Third in this last year but caught all in the wrong position around the turn and a much better marker of her ablity is her two group 1 wins, including the Irish Champion Stakes, and nail-bitingly close Breeders’ Cup second to Magican where she may have went very early; Nowhere on return but Meydan not to her liking and looks as sure as any to make an impact here.
Treve: The class of last year, slamming field in French Oaks before scything turn of foot landed Vermille, but that nothing compared to just how impressive she was when she blitzed a superb Arc field containing world’s superstars by 5 lengths in performance for the ages; First start since not on that level when she was turned over in the Ganay by Cirrus Des Aigles, but he has since won 2 Group 1’s since and fourth second in Singapore Cup; If she improves from that, then a fine chance today of regaining winning thread; Won’t want ground too fast but is a winner of Diane on good.
VERDICT: One of the races of the week. TREVE didn’t seem to please too many with her Ganay second but that form has been underlined by Cirrus Des Aigles since and she will take a world of beating today. She’ll need to be on form though, with a fantastic race featuring Dank, Mukhadram, Magician, and The Fugue, who could be the main threat and is the each/way choice.