Fugue best played at rapid tempo for Royal Ascot

Gosden filly can spring surprise against Derby winner Camelot and his Curragh conqueror

Royal Ascot

Since seeming within touching distance of greatness, this time last year, Camelot has found himself relegated to a supporting role in the human melodramas that have claimed the headlines instead. His historic Triple Crown challenge, for instance, was foiled last September by a horse whose reputation has since been contaminated by his disgraced trainer's administration of anabolic steroids. In his next start, meanwhile, Camelot seduced Frankie Dettori into sealing the end of his long partnership with Sheikh Mohammed, by riding in the Arc for his patron's great rivals at Coolmore.

The time has come now for Camelot himself to show whether or not he can retrieve centre stage, and all the lustre previously obtained in three consecutive Classic wins. In hindsight, he seems to have been the best of a fairly ordinary generation, and arrives at Ascot for a rematch with the horse who turned him over at odds-on in a four-runner race at the Curragh last month. The Prince of Wales's Stakes is likely to be run at a rather more earnest tempo, but that is just as likely to suit Al Kazeem. From the punter's point of view, moreover, Camelot's residual glamour means that both horses are arguably now too short in the betting.

Maxios warrants respect, the French having a fine record in this race with similar types, and this one has taken his form to a new level with maturity. And it would be gratifying to see Red Cadeaux crown his achievements abroad with a big win on home soil, not least with the freelance Dettori seeking to put down fresh roots. But the concession of 3lb to The Fugue (3.45) could prove beyond them all.

Though beaten in four out of five Group One starts last year, she was repeatedly unlucky – she should really have won both the Oaks and the Filly and Mare Turf at the Breeders' Cup – while also leaving the impression that this kind of intermediate trip suits her best. She has a fine record when fresh, running fourth in the 1,000 Guineas first time out last year and again excelling after a lay-off at Santa Anita, and is primed by one of the modern Ascot masters in John Gosden. Lightly raced, she is entitled to return as a stronger specimen at four and her turn of foot could be decisive on the fast going that suits her so well.

Garswood gets the chance to atone for his 2,000 Guineas disappointment in the opening Jersey Stakes, and should at least appreciate the drop in trip. But the Yorkshire colt faces stiff opposition from overseas – the Irish through Gale Force Ten, and the French with one that could be underestimated at the odds in The Brothers War (2.30). This well-bred colt has shown good speed in decent company in his homeland and looks the type to relish a big field and strong pace on faster going.

Another raider eligible to export a big prize over the Channel is Sarkiyla (3.05). Neither of her races against colts this year has panned out ideally, but she finished off with more to offer in both cases and can confirm herself an improved filly back against her own sex.

The Royal Hunt Cup is as bewildering as ever, even before an unpredictable draw advantage is taken into account. Two For Two and Fury head the shortlist of those drawn high, the former still improving for his new trainer and the latter now in blinkers and a big field, but Stirring Ballad (4.25) gets the nod on the other side of the track. She remains unexposed, above all at this trip, and looks the type to pounce late off a hectic gallop under Richard Hughes.

Beldale Memory (5.00) has made an impressive start to her career and looks as solid as they come in a Queen Mary Stakes as full of unexposed improvers as you would expect.

The last of three races confined to fillies, meanwhile, can go to Bracing Breeze (5.35). The Irish raider takes a top-class pedigree into new territory after shaping well in a sprint finish, over a shorter trip in soft ground, on what was only her third career start.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Bracing Breeze (5.35 Ascot)

Next best

Stirring Ballad (4.25 Ascot)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate