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Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06

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The six-million dollar questions

THURSDAY 3.40 RIBBLESDALE STAKES

MATT BUTLER

Will the winner be one who missed the Oaks? The Oaks and the Ribblesdale are 20 days apart, so the option of competing in both, as the last two winners Magic Wand and Coronet have, remains a factor to consider. Magic Wand and Coronet finished fourth and fifth respectively in the Classic before triumphing at Ascot, but their wins make the Ribblesdale a hard race to weigh up. After all, the previous eight Ribblesdale winners did not run in the Oaks. Of those who did not run at Epsom, Entitle and Queen Power appear to have leading claims. Entitle took a mighty step forward from her twoyear-old season to dead-heat for second in the Musidora at York, while Queen Power won a Listed race at Newbury. Who will Coolmore rely on? Four of the last five winners have carried the Coolmore silks, including the David Wachman-trained Curvy in 2015, while Aidan O’brien trained the other three. Goddess, who looked potentially high class at two at one stage, would be a fascinating runner if turning up given her pedigree, while Happen is another who looked destined for better things when winning at the Curragh in May.

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