BILL ESDAILE PREVIEWS TODAY’S ROYAL ASCOT ACTION AND THE BEST OF TOMORROW’S RACES
IT WAS the fillies off the track who were the stars of the show yesterday on Ladies Day. Now it is the turn of the equine fairer sex to take centre stage in this afternoon’s Coronation Stakes (4.25pm).
You will rarely see as an impressive performance at Royal Ascot as when Sky Lantern bolted up in this race 12 months ago. They went hell for leather up front, which played into Richard Hughes’ hands, but she put the race to bed in a matter of strides.
This year’s renewal doesn’t look quite as strong, although English and Irish 1000 Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder is certain to have her supporters. However, for me the most interesting contender is MY TITANIA and with the ground now good to firm I will be backing her at 7/2 with Star Sports.
John Oxx has trained some top class animals over the years and this daughter of Sea The Stars can give him a second Coronation success after Ridgewood Pearl in 1995.
My Titania was supposed to make her seasonal reappearance in the English Guineas, but she suffered a setback and was then unable to run in the Irish Guineas due to the soft ground.
I think she could be very good and I wouldn’t worry too much about her not having a run as her trainer is a master at getting one ready and conditions are perfect.
Aidan O’Brien had a disappointing first couple of days, but things improved yesterday and I think he can get on the scoresheet again this afternoon with ADELAIDE in the King Edward VII Stakes (3.45pm).
The son of Galileo was being considered for the French Derby a couple of weeks ago, but connections have opted for this and they seem sure that he will appreciate the better ground.
He was very impressive at the Curragh last time and this is the sort of unexposed horse with which Ballydoyle regularly mop up group races.
There have been a few shocks in the opening Albany Stakes (2.30pm) over the years and this afternoon’s 24-runner field gives the race a very open feel. Patience Alexander is likely to start favourite after beating Queen Mary second Tiggy Wiggy at York last time. She should go well, although I’d rather have a couple at bigger prices and the first is David Wachman’s SEXY LEGS.
The daughter of Dutch Art was bought for 300,000 guineas by Coolmore and she ran a really promising race on debut at the Curragh last month on ground that was too soft for her.
She will appreciate the quicker conditions and looks a good each-way bet at 12/1 with Paddy Power.
Mick Channon has won this race twice in the past seven years, with a 16/1 and 50/1 shot. He doesn’t often have a runner so it has to be of interest that he sends MALABAR here on just her second start.
As a daughter of Raven’s Pass she will definitely stay further than this six-furlong trip, but she ran well on debut at Haydock and is another who will love the quicker ground. Take the 33/1 with Star Sports.
As with all the sprint course handicaps this week, the Buckingham Palace Stakes (5.35pm) is a real lottery. Russian Realm will be a warm order for Sir Michael Stoute, but the one I like is Godolphin’s top weight FORT KNOX.
Richard Hughes is an interesting jockey booking and a mark of 104 is by no means insurmountable for this Dubawi colt who will surely be plying his trade at group level this season.
SEXY LEGS e/w 2.30pm Ascot (today)
MALABAR e/w 2.30pm Ascot (today)
ADELAIDE 3.45pm Ascot (today)
MY TITANIA 4.25pm Ascot (today)
FORT KNOX e/w 5.35pm Ascot (today)