Albany Stakes (6f, Friday, June 18, 2.30pm)
Royal Ascot is the biggest week in the British flat racing calendar. Alongside a plethora of Group 1s, racing fans are treated to some of the most competitive handicaps of the year, and some cracking juvenile contests that unearth future stars. In anticipation of this year’s meeting, Daryl Carter is providing his expert analysis and ante-post betting selections for all of the big Royal Ascot races. Here, Daryl provides his thoughts on the Albany Stakes – one of the highlights on Day 4 of Royal Ascot.
A half-sister to a 1m6f winner, but she has a speedy pedigree and made no mistake on debut at Goodwood when bolting up four lengths and the time figure matched up well to that of the 7f race on the card won by a now 92 rated horse. We can expect her to rate a good deal higher than 92 with natural improvement and a quicker surface, so she must be a leading player.
All-weather winner on debut at Wolverhampton in very taking fashion. Her rider didn’t need the use of the whip, and she looked a decisive winner at the line. It’s hard to get a hold of what the form is worth, but the impression she left won’t be easily forgotten.
She was an easy winner on debut at Newmarket and she knew her job well despite drifting to the right once hitting the dip. She was strong at the finish and will surely improve for the run, but her action suggests that soft ground would benefit her. Daahyeh won the same race before going onto glory in the Albany last season.
Showed a tremendous late burst at Tipperary over 5f to score comfortably on what was probably the wrong side of the track. She knew her job first time up for Donnacha O’Brien, but that doesn’t take away from the borderline useful performance, and she will be well suited to a step up to 6f on quicker ground. The form was given a good boost by the second and the third so she remains one to be positive about.
Aidan O’Brien trained and looked like a potential superstar with a spectacular visual performance on debut under Ryan Moore at Naas. She took a backwards step next time at the same venue when well held at odds of 2/7, and it was reported -after the race- the filly had shown signs recently of being in season. It may be worth forgiving her that run, given how impressive she was on debut.
She scored on her second start for Charlie Fellowes at Lingfield in a minor event on soft ground under a typical Jamie Spencer ride, but she will need to improve significantly to land this race on the figures.
This market is yet to really hot up with very few in the ante-post betting, but CONTARELLI CHAPEL is undoubtedly better than she showed on her latest start, and the market has over-reacted with a price tag of 14/1. This remains a dangerous market to get involved in at the moment.