Sir Michael Stoute opted to bypass the Investec Oaks with LEOCORNO and she showed at Sandown last time that she is a filly right out of the top drawer. It may have only been a 0-80 handicap she won that day, but the daughter of Pivotal quickened away in the style of a very useful prospect.
Our selection probably has the most to fear from John Gosden’s Pretty Polly winner Take The Hint, while her own stable mate July Jasmine is another sure to be in the mix. However, Stoute has won this contest three times before and is a maestro at bringing on a late maturing filly. Leocorno has plenty of stamina on her dam’s side, so I’m sure the trip will be no problem. Ryan Moore has chosen her over July Jasmine and the fact that he has overlooked a filly with a decent form line with the Oaks runner-up Midday is a tip in itself.
Aidan O’Brien saddles FREEMANTLE in the Hampton Court Stakes (4.55pm) and the Dante runner-up is a confident selection. The stable’s runners always improve from their first run and because he too bypassed Epsom, it means that he comes here fresh. He looks in a different league to this lot and the likes of Palavicini, Monitor Closely and Four Winds should all be chasing his shadow. The one danger could be French raider Cashelgar, but it is difficult to quantify what he has achieved so far.
The King George VI Stakes looks as impossible as always, but I’d take a chance on QUAI D’ORSAY who loves decent ground and is heading in the right direction. He looks sure to be given a positive ride from the front.
LEOCORNO Royal Ascot 3.05pm
FREEMANTLE Royal Ascot 4.55pm
QUAI D’ORSAY e/w Royal Ascot 5.30pm