Langtry the classic act to upstage showman Ward

The Albany Stakes is one of the youngest prizes at the meeting, and is scheduled today merely as an appetiser to the Coronation Stakes. All of a sudden, however, it has the potential to prove one of the more significant races run anywhere in the world this year.

At the start of the week, Lillie Langtry looked the banker of the meeting. Unlucky not to beat the highly regarded Kitty Kiernan at Naas last month, she duly reversed form when they met again in a Group race over the same course and distance. What is more, she did so with a real swagger, and only a slight reservation over her ability to last a mile qualifies her credentials as a Guineas filly already.

But then along came Wesley Ward. When he arrived from California with five two-year-olds, people were touched by his spirit of adventure, but essentially considered him naïve. Not for long. His first two juvenile runners won – the second, Jealous Again, taking the Queen Mary by five lengths. And Ward more or less shrugged and said: "You should see my other filly." And that is what you can do today, when Aegean meets Lillie Langtry.

Like Ward's other runners here, Aegean has a modest pedigree but she beat Jealous Again – admittedly on dirt – at Churchill Downs last time. She had previously won a maiden on polytrack, on which basis she is expected to prove at home on turf.

It is not as if Ward has come here with the elite juveniles of North America. If he can go on and beat a filly as obviously exceptional as Lillie Langtry – by local standards, at any rate – then he may cause not just a sensation, but a crisis. For now, however, anyone who wants to bet must do so on the premise that Aidan O'Brien juveniles cannot suddenly be dismissed as big fish in a small pond. You must remain loyal to Lillie Langtry (2.30), and just be grateful she will be a bigger price than had seemed remotely possible.

Last year's Albany winner, Cuis Ghaire, was ultimately foiled only by Ghanaati in the 1,000 Guineas and that filly leads the home defence in the Coronation Stakes. She did exceptionally well to win on her first start outside maidens, but few managed to get involved from off the pace that day.

One who did finish well was Heart Shaped, despite becoming unbalanced in the Dip, and she has now produced top-class form on both starts over a mile on quick ground. Richard Hughes could suit her well, in the absence of the suspended Johnny Murtagh, and at 18-1 with Coral Heart Shaped (3.45) looks an excellent each-way alternative to Elusive Wave. The French raider, a Classic winner herself, represents a formidable stable and is obviously going to run well, but the odds make that perfectly clear.

O'Brien could have another big day all round, as Black Bear Island (3.05) remains the one to beat in the King Edward VII Stakes despite that disappointing run in the Derby. There is clearly nothing amiss and he had previously shown himself a really talented, progressive colt when surging from last to first in the Dante.

In the Queen's Vase, Dhushan (4.55) looks the sort to improve considerably for such an extreme test, while Sir Michael Stoute has intriguing types for both handicaps in Perfect Stride (4.20) and Seasider (5.30).

Chris McGrath

Nap: Heart Shaped (3.45 Ascot)

NB: Lillie Langtry (2.30 Ascot)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Manchester United's kit for the 2014/15 season
football
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
peopleNobel laureate was a powerful anti-Apartheid voice
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
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

Marketing Comms / Digital Marketing Specialist

Not Specified: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role exists for a...

Search Engine Optimisation/ SEO Executive

£25000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

Programme Planner

£30000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

CREST Web Application Tester

£30000 - £35000 per annum + BENEFITS: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: CREST Web...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor