Pretty Baby may stay a mile in time, but there is a world of difference between a seven-furlong performer who stays that trip well, and a miler, and the straight track at Ascot in a big field with rain around is not the scenario in which to test your stamina.
14:30 – Queen Mary Stakes
Anna’s Fast is clearly well named, but Wesley Ward’s filly will need plenty of stamina if she’s to win the Queen Mary, and persistent rain on Tuesday and into tomorrow threaten to blunt her chief asset. With the form of her debut win over 4½ furlongs not really working out, and the time nothing special either, I reckon she has plenty to prove, with her position on the wing far from ideal, and her jockey lacking experience of riding a track which is like nothing the US has to offer.
15:05 – Queen’s Vase
According to the ratings, Norway is the pick, but I find it hard to rate him above this field on the basis of finishing eighth in the Derby, which is hardly outstanding form. It’s true that Kew Gardens won this after running poorly at Epsom, and O’Brien has a fine record, but this looks a pretty open affair, and nothing would be a huge surprise. I thought he rather picked up the pieces when second in the Chester Vase, and I would fancy Dashing Willoughby to gain his revenge all things being equal.
He’s not easy to dismiss from calculations entirely, so a place lay looks a tad risky, and I’ll field against him conservatively in the win market.
15:40 – Prince of Wales’s Stakes
Sea of Class looks the weak link in this clash of three tough and consistent stars, and I mean that merely in that she is coming here off a less-than-ideal preparation, and with no margin for error, that could prove her downfall. She was a star last year, but it’s hard to tell how fillies will progress from three to four, and with nothing to gauge her well-being on, she has to be opposed on balance of probability.
16:20 – Duke of Cambridge Stakes
Pretty Baby usually finds for pressure, but she is a front runner who has done her running at six and seven furlongs, and the straight track at Ascot in a big field with rain around is not the scenario in which to test your stamina for a mile. She may get it in time, but there is a world of difference between a seven-furlong performer who stays that trip well, and a miler. There are several better than her on ratings, and although that’s a close call, it shows how little she needs to run below her best to be out of the money.
- 14:30 Place lay Anna’s Fast @ 4.0 or shorter to win 5pts [max liability 15pts]
- 15:05 Lay Norway @ 5.0 or shorter to win 5pts @ [max liability 20pts]
- 15:45 Lay Sea of Class @ 4.0 or shorter to win 10pts [max liability 30pts]
- 16:20 Place lay Pretty Baby @ 3.3 or shorter to win 10pts [max liability 23pts]