Royal Ascot: David Junior's speed to stun Electrocutionist

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The Independent Online

A first prize exceeding £200,000 is loose change to the two favourites for the big race today, but to win it will require an even better performance than when each made off with record revenue last time out. In the Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Nad Al Sheba in March, David Junior trousered more prize-money than any British-based horse in history; barely an hour later, Electrocutionist won still more in the Dubai World Cup.

There is little doubt that the Prince of Wales's Stakes will more closely resemble the test passed that night by David Junior, who travels fluently on fast ground and has an incisive turn of foot. Electrocutionist is a more mechanical galloper and the problems endured by his stable over recent weeks will make him vulnerable. Indeed, it may prove that the threat to David Junior (3.50) comes from the progressive Notnowcato, who looks tempting at 12-1. Ouija Board naturally commands respect, too.

Another cherished mare, Soviet Song (3.10) holds obvious claims in the Windsor Forest Stakes. She shaped very well indeed when in need of her reappearance at Newbury last month and it is difficult to see any filly other than Echelon intruding here. These two look a rock-solid forecast bet.

Jamie Spencer, who rides both David Junior and Soviet Song, will be hoping to start the afternoon in style with Levera in the Jersey Stakes, but this is a more competitive race than those he has been winning on easier ground. Secret World is highly regarded but lacks experience, making Jeremy the one to beat for Asset (2.35), so disappointing in the 2,000 Guineas but likely to be suited by this drop in distance. Events yesterday suggested that his rails draw can only help, and also that it will pay to concentrate on low numbers in the Hunt Cup. Fast ground may mean that Forgery gets going too late, and Stronghold has an awful lot of weight, leaving a short list of Minority Report and Pinpoint (nb, 4.25), who caught the eye over an inadequate trip on his reappearance here last month. He would be a stronger recommendation but for the sleepy form of his stable.

A low draw is also the icing on the cake for LA MOTTIE (nap 5.30), who produced a much improved performance on her debut for a new stable at Windsor a fortnight ago. Roxan (4.55) is so highly regarded by her astute trainer that she made her debut in a Listed race and can build on that remarkably deep foundation in the Queen Mary Stakes.

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