Byword to maintain France’s strong record in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes

Bill Esdaile
Follow Bill
FRENCH trained horses have won two of the last three renewals of the Prince of Wales’ Stakes (3.50pm), the feature race on the second day of Royal Ascot, and BYWORD can maintain their hot streak. Andre Fabre landed this race back in 2007 with Manduro and has a brilliant record with the handful of horses he has brought over to England for this meeting. Byword can make it Royal Ascot win number seven for the legendary handler.

Our selection was last seen chasing home yesterday’s Queen Anne winner Goldikova over an inadequate trip at Longchamp in May. Interestingly, the four-year-old son of Peintre Celebre was doing all his best work late and will relish the step back up to 10 furlongs. He looks a fair price at 7/2 with Paddy Power and is a confident selection. His biggest danger looks sure to be last season’s Champion Stakes winner Twice Over who should put up a better performance than he did in the Dubai World Cup.

The day kicks off with the Jersey Stakes at 2.30pm and this year’s renewal doesn’t look the strongest of affairs. For that reason, I’m going to take a chance on Irish raider FREE JUDGEMENT being able to carry a Group race penalty to victory. Jim Bolger’s colt finished second to Canford Cliffs in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and that form is head and shoulders above anything else on offer here.

Only 10 fillies and mares go to post for the Windsor Forest Stakes (3.05pm) and Sir Michael Stoute’s Strawberrydaiquiri and Godolphin’s Antara are likely to go close. However, that is reflected in the market and I’d rather take a chance on Richard Hannon’s fast improving SHAMWARI LODGE at 7/1 on Betdaq. She has been a revelation so far this term with three wins in the bag already, most recently recording a facile win in a Group Three at the Curragh.

The Royal Hunt Cup (4.25pm) looks as impossible as ever and you really need to get the hat pin out to find the winner of this 30 runner cavalry charge. I like to pick one from each side of the draw and like the look of ACROSTIC of those drawn high and AXIOM of those drawn low. Both are trained by Luca Cumani and are best priced 11/1 and 25/1 respectively. Paddy Power are just one of a handful of bookmakers paying five places each-way, so make sure you use to hunt around.

John Gosden’s MAQAASID may not have beaten much on her debut at Sandown, but did so in breathtaking fashion. She faces a host of really talented fillies in the Queen Mary (5.00pm) and looks the one to beat. The Irish fillies Meow and Moonlight Garden will be her biggest dangers, but, if she is as good as her trainer thinks she is, she’ll win.

I will be leaving the Sandringham Handicap (5.35pm) alone as it simply looks too tricky. I am sure that Lolly For Dolly is far better than she showed in the Irish Guineas last time, but she has a massive weight and a host of dangerous opposition at the foot of the handicap.

FREE JUDGEMENT 2.30pm Royal Ascot

SHAMWARI LODGE 3.05pm Royal Ascot

BYWORD 3.50pm Royal Ascot

AXIOM e/w 4.25pm Royal Ascot

ACROSTIC 4.25pm Royal Ascot

MAQAASID 5.00pm Royal Ascot