Ascot 2014 – 4 to Watch
This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
Something to watch before the World Cup starts
Tuesday – St James’s Palace Stakes
The 1-2 from the 2,000 Guineas stand out in a small but high-quality field. We fancy Kingman (5/4 with Ladbrokes) as a winner, with the Ascot bend playing right into his hands. Kingman’s long suggested that he could be the best three-year-old miler in Europe. Expect him to prove it on the biggest stage of all.
Wednesday – Prince of Wales Stakes
Looked at simply, Treve (4/6 with Ladbrokes) is the best horse in the world never mind this race. But this is now different from any other for Treve, because she comes into it on the back of a defeat, which brings a psychological dimension into play.
She has ample ability to negotiate through it with Dettori at the helm however, and all sports fans should hope they do it: the season narrative demands no less.
Thursday – Gold Cup
This should be a straight showdown between two class horses. Leading Light won the Queen’s Vase and St Leger last year, so his class and effectiveness at the course are beyond reproach. Leading Light (6/4 with Ladbrokes) is the likeliest winner of the Gold Cup, the potential superstar stayer we’ve been waiting for since Yeats retired.
Brown Panther has been around for longer than Leading Light but it is only over the last 10 months that he has truly emerged; wins in the Goodwood Cup, a heavy-ground Ormonde and the Henry II Stakes sit well beside an admirable eighth in the Melbourne Cup under a significant weight.
Friday – Coronation Stakes
One filly who does arrive at the top of her game is dual-Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder (4/1 with Ladbrokes), who got to within a neck of beating Miss France in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Lightning Thunder was also runner-up in the Irish 1000 Guineas under markedly different ground conditions, and Olly Stevens’ filly looks sure to give her running once again.
Her biggest danger is My Titania, last season culminated for her with a Group 3 success at the Curragh.
Others worth a positive mention are the German-trained Meerjungfrau, who extended her unbeaten record to three when winning a Group 3 over a mile at Cologne on her return in April w, and the US raider Rosalind, who dug deep under pressure to win a Grade 1 on polytrack on her penultimate start.