Royal Ascot Day 4 Preview
One of the best innovations on the race programme at Royal Ascot in recent times is the G1 Commonwealth Cup, a six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds. It is a race that needed inventing -- just to give some of the younger speedsters a proper opportunity in their own age group.
Godolphin rely on Log Out Island, who looked potentially very smart when running away with a Listed contest at Newbury last start. Wearing a hood for the first time, he established a lead of 10 lengths at one stage and won with plenty in hand.
It is generally agreed that he will find it impossible to dominate in that manner in the G1 Commonwealth Cup, but he must be a major contender, just the same. The one he has to beat is Quiet Reflection, a filly whose record of five wins from six starts is highly impressive. She loves soft ground, and has won both her outings this season, so she ticks many of the boxes required.
Romantic View can get Godolphin off to a bright start in the opening G3 Albany Stakes, over six furlongs. She finished second on debut at Ascot and then tasted success in a small race at Goodwood. She is well-regarded by trainer Charlie Appleby.
The opposition is strong -- Grizzel will be suited by ground conditions and American trainer Wesley Ward runs Create A Dream, who has already won at Ascot.
Godolphin's Linguistic has a crack at the G2 King Edward VII Stakes, but this colt may find Humphrey Bogart, fifth in the G1 Investec Derby, too strong and classy.
The G1 Coronation Stakes is as open a renewal as we have seen over the past decade. The William Haggas-trained Basharah has never been far away from the best of her generation, and this is a perfect chance to re-establish her reputation. Nathra, second in the G1 French 1,000 Guineas, should also be thereabouts.
Elite Army is a top grade stayer on his day, and despite top weight of 9st 10lb, he can defy them all in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes, while in the finale, the two-mile Listed Queen's Vase, the Aga Khan's Ebediyin can out-battle them all in what could develop into a real slog to the line.