SOME of the fillies that US trainer Wesley Ward has fielded in the Queen Mary Stakes (2.30pm) at Royal Ascot in recent years have been absolute monsters.
The likes of Lady Aurelia and Acapulco, who both won this race in devastating fashion, have built Ward a reputation for his muscly sprinters and both Anna’s Fast and Kimari will be feared today.
The former was a four-and-a-half length winner at Keeneland on debut, while Kimari blew her rivals away by a staggering 15 lengths at the same track.
Of those two performances, and on jockey bookings, the John Velazquez-ridden Kimari looks the stable’s leading hope but I’m not convinced she’ll have it all her own way.
The storms are brewing over Ascot and any rain that falls could dampen her chances, while the switch from four furlongs on the dirt at Keeneland to five furlongs on turf at Ascot isn’t entirely straightforward.
She’s the 11/2 joint-favourite with FINAL SONG, who carried the famous blue silks of Godolphin in an impressive win over course and distance last month.
The Charlie Appleby-trained daughter of Dark Angel quickened up nicely and stretched away from a good field to score by five lengths.
The going was soft that day and I think she’ll be able to cope with most ground, while the form of that race also looks strong.
The third, Star Alexander, scorched home by six lengths in a hot sprint at Bath over the weekend, and I’m expecting that form to hold up.
Godolphin are also represented by Ickworth, who handled soft ground to land a Listed contest at the Curragh last time out.
If the rain does come, then she enters equations and could be the one to chase home Final Song.
Final Song e/w 2.30pm Royal Ascot