Wednesday is all about the girls on the track at Royal Ascot with high class fillies and mares set to light up the action on the track. We get underway with a wide open, high quality looking renewal of the Queen Mary where 28 speedy two-year-old fillies will go to post.
Final Song was an impressive winner of an Ascot novice in May while Anna’s Fast will be looking to get Wesley Ward’s week off and running under rising American star Tyler Gaffalione. Ward also has Kimari in the race who clocked a very fast time on her debut in America while Lambeth Walk for Archie Watson could run well at a big price.
Western Australia heads the market for the Group Two Queens Vase and he could be the pick of these young stayers after improving considerably stepped up in trip last time out. Plenty could improve from what they have done so far though and Jalmoud is of interest for Charlie Appleby and James Doyle having stayed on really well when winning a Listed race at Longchamp last time out.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is not just the feature contest of the day but most likely the race of the week. Two star fillies head the field with Magical, a dual Group One winner, and Sea Of Class, second in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the market leaders. They could deliver a memorable contest but there’s not much between them and Crystal Ocean on ratings and Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old could well be up to landing a first Group One. French raider Waldgeist should be in the mix if he can replicate his home form while Japanese challenger Deirdre has strong international credentials.
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile has attracted a bumper field of 16 with Rawdaa and I Can Fly vying for favouritism. Last year’s Sandringham winner Agrotera could run a big race while if Threading can replicate her three-year-old form when she was second to Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes then she could look a big price.
The traditional cavalry charge of the Royal Hunt Cup will be no different this year and it could pay to make sure you are coming from off the pace. Last year’s winner Settle For Bay has every chance of a repeat success while the unexposed New Graduate looks potentially well handicapped. This could be the end of the 32-year wait for another female jockey to ride a Royal Ascot winner though as Nicola Currie takes the ride on Raising Sand for Jamie Osborne. Winner of the Challenge Cup here in October he is ultra consistent and will appreciate any cut in the ground that the rain brings.
Rounding off the card is the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes where the two Wesley Ward speedsters Karak and Foolish Humor will be popular choices. Temple Of Heaven for Richard Hannon is unbeaten in two starts while Southern Hills could be a typical improver for Aidan O’Brien who enjoyed a double on the opening day.