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Commonwealth Cup Tips 2024 – Favourite Inisherin Can Power to Success

The newest Group 1 at Royal Ascot is the 6f Commonwealth Cup, open exclusively to three-year-olds. First run in 2015, it already boasts a number of high profile winners and the 2024 renewal, despite some notable absentees, may be no different, as Joe Napier dives into.

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Last year’s race provided a fairytale victory, as Shaquille upset favourite Little Big Bear for Julie Camacho.


INSIHERIN

(Kevin Ryan/Tom Eaves)

It is rare for sprinters to begin their career over further, but Inisherin immediately went over 1m as a two-year-old, only narrowly failing to win over that trip on debut behind a future Listed winner. He subsequently scored at the trip, precipitating an attempt at the 2,000 Guineas, in which he travelled powerfully before fading into sixth.

Hence, the drop in trip ahead of the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes over 6f at Haydock. He could barely have faced a more fearsome opponent over that trip in the unbeaten Vandeek, but he simply ploughed through the soft ground to effectively annihilate his opposition. He should not be wrongly pegged as a soft ground slugger though, as he has run well on quicker and looks a potential sprint superstar if transferring that form to this race.


ELITE STATUS

(Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)

Completely conversely to Inisherin, Elite Status has never raced beyond 6f, appearing on seven occasions to date. He has recorded four wins in that time too, scorching to a Listed success on just his second start before being upset as a 7/4 favourite in last year’s Norfolk Stakes.

He did make amends at Group company next time out, though faded as the season went on in Group 1s. That is a concern regarding this race given he performed so much worse at this level last term, but his reappearance win at Newbury was taking, and the third boosted the form at Sandown at the weekend. If he puts his Group 1 curse aside, he is a likely contender.


JASOUR

(Clive Cox/Jim Crowley)

Jasour is much more similar to Elite Status than Inisherin, being another who has only ever appeared as a sprinter, and another who was underwhelming at Group 1 level as his juvenile season ended. Indeed he had form of 89 in the two Group 1s in which Elite Status finished 78.

They are neatly matched, as they are based on their reappearances too. Jasour beat Adaay In Devon, as Elite Status did on his return, in the trial for this race, conceding the filly 3lb. Of extra emphasis though is that that victory came at this track, and he scythed through the entire field from last that day. Pulling that off again will be tricky, but he has the ability to go close.


STARLUST

(Ralph Beckett/Rossa Ryan)

Only sixth to Jasour on his seasonal return, Starlust has since returned to winning ways in some fashion at York. he is easily the most experienced among the top four in the market, already racing 12 times, and earned Group 3 honours at Kempton last season.

He also has far less Group 1 hoodoo to date than the two directly above him in the betting, finishing fifth in the Middle Park Stakes and then third at the Breeders’ Cup. He also placed twice in Dubai over the winter during his busy schedule, but his best performance was surely saved for last when bolting up in a 5f York handicap. The slight issue is that he may be better suited by that shorter trip, but he is now back in tip top order, and is well worth his place here.

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THE FIELD

Only the 11 others to sift through in a competitive race. Pandora’s Gift is a decent starting point having won her last four. All five of her starts have come on the all-weather, but she won a Listed race at Chelmsford likeably last time and transferring her form across to good-to-firm ground is very possible.

Kind Of Blue is the only unbeaten runner, winning both starts for James Fanshawe. This race is an entirely different prospect, but he won well at Doncaster and is bred to be useful as is Gimcrack winner Lake Forest, albeit this is a tough assignment for his seasonal debut.

Malc beat Elite Status in last year’s Norfolk Stakes when second to 150/1 shot Valiant Force when he himself was a 66/1 shot. He is without a win since debut, but has been consistent, as has Givemethebeatboys, who is yet to be out of the first four in his career and has improved his form at three. He may be a good each-way play.


VERDICT

Having already looked useful when sixth in the 2,000 Guineas, INISHERIN blazed an exceptional trail at Haydock to win the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes, leaving his connections no choice but to supplement him for this. He beat the ante-post favourite for this, the absent Vandeek, by a wide margin that day and should be able to maintain or even improve upon that form on quicker ground. Elite Status looks next best after a taking comeback win at Newbury, while Givemethebeatboys may edge out Jasour for the places given his admirable consistency.

  1. Inisherin
  2. Elite Status
  3. Givemethebeatboys
Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (No Geldings)
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