The Commonwealth Cup, Royal Ascot’s new six-furlong Group One confined to three-year-olds, has been so well received and supported, it’s a wonder the initiative was not implemented years ago.
Several of the most exciting young sprinters from England, Ireland, France and the US meet this afternoon in one of the races of the meeting and if one of them wins with any degree of authority he or she will be in pole position to head a division searching for a leader as Sole Power’s reign draws to its inevitable close.
Limato sets the standard, despite losing his unbeaten record at the hands of Adaay recently on Haydock ground softer than ideal. He has the makings of an outstanding champion sprinter, as has the blisteringly quick filly Tiggy Wiggy, a more than respectable third in the 1,000 Guineas, but back doing what she does best.
This, though, is a race with real depth. The Irish are especially sweet on Anthem Alexander and the Americans on Hootenanny, both Royal Ascot winners last year in the Queen Mary Stakes and Windsor Castle Stakes respectively.
One flying slightly under the radar is Tendu, a strong-finishing runner-up to Limato on her seasonal return at Ascot before a slow start cost her victory on a drop back to five furlongs at York.
John Gosden’s filly will not be able to give ground away so carelessly in this company, but on the other hand she might prove the best of those arriving at the death when others may have burnt themselves out. Limato is the safest choice, but Tendu makes considerable each-way appeal at 16-1.
Lucida, runner-up in the 1,000 Guineas, Found, runner-up in the Irish equivalent and Ervedya and Irish Rookie, first and second in the French version, meet in the Coronation Stakes.
The form of the Newmarket Classic is working out extremely well, but Ervedya was most impressive at Longchamp, sweeping by almost the entire field in the home straight under Christophe Soumillon’s calm handling, and she is probably capable of a fair bit better.
In contrast, the King Edward VII Stakes looks a substandard renewal and is an unexpected opportunity for Godolphin’s Festive Fare – no better than Listed class so far, but stepping up markedly in distance, to land a Group Two contest.
Fabricate, trained by Michael Bell for the Queen, would be an appropriate winner of the Queen’s Vase. Tough, genuine, in form and likely to benefit from a step up to two miles, he has the right profile, too.Reuse content