Commonwealth Cup (6f, Friday, June 18, 3.40pm)
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 Commonwealth Cup – one of the highlights on Day 4 of Royal Ascot.
Wesley Ward trained and made quite the impression when coming over from America as a two-year-old to land the Queen Mary Stakes at this meeting last year, scoring over Sacred (108). That form one year on doesn’t look as strong as it did at the time despite the runner-up running creditably since, and it’s the same story with her Deauville Prix Mornny win, but she has done very little wrong since.
She was a non-stayer over 1m in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in which she was beaten 4 lengths with subsequent 1,000 Guineas winner Mother Earth in second. This looks a lot tougher than anything she has faced to date, but back at 6f she could play a strong hand, but her current price is woeful.
Looked very, very good in Chantilly to make it four from four, and she is undoubtedly a big player if turning up here, and she won’t mind what the ground does, with winning form on heavy and good to soft. She was hardly pushed out to win her Group 3 in May, and while the form will need improving, she did it in an eye-catching fashion. Her price looks about right for this deeper contest.
He has a King’s Stand entry but showed at Haydock in the Sandy Lanes Stakes that stamina is no issue when sticking to the task well over 6f in heavy ground. It’s hard to know what to make of him now, but with such a lightly raced profile, he is one to view positively.
Her form is rock solid; there is no getting away from that, and the drop back to 6f for this contest would make her of interest, but connections are keen to keep her at 1m, according to reports. Should she turn up here, there is a good chance the Group 1 Cheveley Park winner will play a strong part in proceedings.
Has a smart turn of foot but the future probably lies over 1m and has a St James Palace entry, although after disappointing in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him down in trip.
Measure Of Magic
Form ties in closely with the market leader Campanelle with a good third in the Flying Childers at Doncaster last season when Sacred finished 2nd. She has improved this season with back to back victories, including over the potentially useful Logo Hunter. The step back up to 6f should hold no fears, but she will be an unknown on ground softer than good, so rates a risky proposition in terms of an ante-post bet.
A Case Of You
Looked every inch a Group 1 performer in the making when getting up late at Naas last time in a Group three to beat a handful of useful horses. Despite the neck winning margin, he had plenty in hand, and his sole defeat this term came over 7f in the Guineas trial. He could be a dark horse here.
Looked right out of the top draw last term and found only the useful Alkumait too good in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury before running with credit at Newmarket in the Dewhurst Group 1. He failed to handle the Newmarket track there, and soft ground coupled with the extra distance was all wrong for him. He is one to remain very positive about.
He looked a top-class prospect as a two-year-old and his only disappointment came when the saddle slipped at Newmarket in the Middle Park Stakes, which can easily be forgiven. He stuck to the task well over five furlongs at the same venue to suggest this 6f is certainly his trip and he bumped into a very useful type on that occasion but wasn’t given a hard time. He is entitled to improve for his showing at Haydock behind Dragon Symbol and isn’t one to write off just yet.
It would be very interesting should he drop back to 6f after showing plenty of speed at Newbury only to be caught late by the very smart Chindit in the Greenham Stakes. He had the field off the bridle at halfway and that looks strong form in the context of this, with the fourth and sixth tieing the form in with the top of the market. He is unexposed and could be well suited to this test.
This looks like a belting race, and Mehmento would be the horse that would interest me the most at the current prices if he were to drop back in trip. That’s not a given, though, but A CASE OF YOU is likely to show up here, and his price is handsome.