Magical has taken her form to a new level as a four-year-old after chasing home fellow filly Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs last November.
Trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, this daughter of dual Derby hero Galileo has come back from America following a winter break better than ever. Magical has beaten stable companion and last year’s Irish St Leger winner Flag Of Honour in three consecutive races this season.
After the landing the Alleged Stakes on her return to action at Naas in April, she followed up in the Mooresbridge Stakes at The Curragh and completed the hat-trick when bolting up by seven lengths in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup.
O’Brien confirmed he is looking at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday, 19 June as her next target. He has trained three previous winners of this Group 1 race over about 10 furlongs, the most recent being Highland Reel in 2017.
As all of Magical’s recent wins have come over this trip, she is the clear best in Ireland at this middle distance. If taking her chance in the Prince of Wales, she will receive a 3lb sex allowance from the boys.
With Magical already one of the highest rated horses entered, this puts her at a real advantage and bookmakers Paddy Power make her 9/4 joint-favourite in the Ascot betting on this race.
Sea of Class Clash Only Adds to Occasion
Another filly, the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Class, is also prominent in the market. The Irish and Yorkshire Oaks winner from last season has posted her best form over further, though did also land two Listed races at Newbury at this distance.
When the pair faced each other in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris over a mile-and-a-half, it was Sea of Class who was a fast finishing narrow runner-up to Enable. Magical, meanwhile, was never a danger and only 10th but still beaten just over five lengths.
Although that run was disappointing, she has definitely left it behind her since. Magical proved she stays further – attributes which are a plus for the Prince of Wales – when winning next time out on British Champions Day at Ascot.
That means Magical is a course winner after taking the Group 1 fillies and mares’ race. With experience of Ascot under her belt, that is an advantage she enjoys over Sea of Class.
This promises to be a fascinating duel between the two fillies. Sea of Class is lightly raced for her age and certainly compared to Magical, but the latter is simply thriving and in the form of her life.
Haggas looks to be going straight to Royal Ascot with Sea of Class and it’s possible she may need the run after 255 days off the track. Magical, meanwhile, is race fit and there may be even more to come from her in this big race.
With French trainer Andre Fabre set to bring Group 1 Prix Ganay winner Waldgeist over for the Prince of Wales, the race is looking strong.