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Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06

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Constantinople best of likely O’brien runners

FRIDAY 3.05 KING EDWARD VII STAKES

Tom Collins

Broome A lazy but talented son of Australia who was a rather cheap purchase by Ballydoyle standards at 150,000gns as a yearling, but has already earned almost double that amount after just eight starts. Runner-up in the Group 2 Juvenile Stakes and Group 1 Jean-luc Lagardere to end his juvenile campaign, Broome proved he had trained on over the winter by recording Group 3 victories at Leopardstown on his first two starts this year before a valiant effort in the Derby saw him finish a narrow fourth to stablemate Anthony Van Dyck. Further progression is likely and Epsom didn’t really suit his workmanlike style. Buckhurst Son of Australia who is owned by Lloyd Williams, so will likely be aimed at an Australian campaign if he meets expectations. Despite having plenty of stamina in his pedigree, Buckhurst was able to win a slowly run Leopardstown maiden over a mile on his debut, which suggests he’s got plenty of talent, before sticking on well to take fifth behind Broome on his penultimate outing. Slightly disappointing to see him picked up by Constantinople last time when holding a comfortable lead inside the final furlong, but he may have just bumped into a good horse that day. Step up in trip will suit. Constantinople A promising juvenile last year over a mile, finishing behind Derby second Madhmoon on his debut before taking third at Newmarket and running away with a late-season Thurles maiden by ten lengths. His pedigree suggests longer trips will suit, as he’s a brother to St Leger second Bondi Beach. That has been proven this year when he was a luckless runnerup on his return over 1m2f before landing a Group 3 over the same distance at the Curragh. Has plenty of improvement in the locker based on those efforts, especially stepping up another two furlongs, and rates the one to beat. Khagan Trained by Andre Fabre, Khagan has stamina and speed in his pedigree but has looked an out-and-out stayer in three runs so far. Looked highly promising when beating a subsequent Aga Khan-owned winner on his debut by three lengths and was pitched into better company following that effort. Ridden patiently in a Listed contest on his second outing, Khagan found the six-length start he gave the leaders slightly too big a gap to breach, finishing a close-up third of six, before going one better in a Group 3 from the front. Has to improve to feature but is with a master trainer. Jalmoud Highly regarded homebred colt who made amends for his debut defeat at Newcastle by winning his next two starts in fine style. After his penultimate victory in April, trainer Charlie Appleby suggested a Derby trial could be his next engagement and you wouldn’t have said he was overestimating Jalmoud based on that win as he did it easily from the front. However, connections decided against that plan and sent him to Longchamp for a Listed race on soft ground where he landed the prize with a strong late run. Versatile in terms of ground and needs this trip. Could be a dark horse at double-figure odds. Japan Another representative for trainer Aidan O’brien, who last won this race with Five Dynasties in 2004. Japan is winless in two starts this season but has improved bundles since his juvenile campaign and ran exceptionally well for such a big horse in the Derby, finishing ahead of Broome and Sir Dragonet. Epsom and the rattling ground were probably not ideal and he is certain to improve when conditions are in his favour. He doesn’t seem to hold the same status as others in the O’brien yard – he was not considered first string in three races when other stablemates have also run – but has an improving profile and this race will suit him more than some rivals. Private Secretary Son of Kingman who, like Jalmoud, was going to be aimed at the Derby but was rerouted by his trainer with this race in mind. Has improved with every start this campaign over 1m2f and 1m3f, beating smart horses along the way and building his reputation. He often sits towards the back so you would think a reasonable pace would help him, but he seems to have inherited an electric turn of foot from his sire and that will certainly stand him in good stead. Definitely the best of the British runners and could be anything for trainer John Gosden who has won this race three times, most recently in 2014. Rakan Dermot Weld-trained son of Sea The Stars, who sired the 2016 winner Across The Stars. Rakan will need to prove he stays this trip – pedigree suggests he will – and is up to this grade. Weld doesn’t send his runners to Royal Ascot for no reason, though, so you have to take note of the master of Rosewell House’s entries. Beaten on his debut before making amends in a big-field maiden at Leopardstown, Rakan returned this season with a fine fourth behind Broome in a Derby trial without looking like winning. Not for me but an interesting horse for top connections. Sir Dragonet Extremely talented colt who apparently showed nothing at home before making his debut at Tipperary in April, winning by three lengths under a cosy ride from Seamie Heffernan. Again forgotten about in the market before his next start in the Group 3 Chester Vase, Sir Dragonet proved punters wrong by coasting clear of his rivals to win by eight lengths despite being unextended. Made favourite for the Derby – I tipped him as the most likely winner – but seemed to lose out due to inexperience after making a huge move to hit the front and eventually fading into a close fifth. Will come on plenty and was probably the best horse in the race, but may not take in this engagement. Telecaster Not even considered as a threat on his debut at Doncaster when sent off at 20-1 for trainer Hughie Morrison, but ran an extremely promising race to almost run down the experienced and talented Bangkok and was instantly talked about as one of the next big British hopes for the Derby. Backed up those claims with a nine-length romp at Windsor on his next start, before being the recipient of a cracking ride from Oisin Murphy to beat Too Darn Hot in the Dante at York. He bombed out in the Derby, though, finishing last of 13, and Murphy stated he had nothing left with over three furlongs to go. Maybe that was due to four quick runs, but it was disappointing nonetheless and it’s hard to support him without evidence that he is over those exertions. Verdict Aidan O’brien has a strong hand at this early stage and it will be interesting to see how many of his staying three-yearolds go to post for this race. Constantinople, who hasn’t had a hard campaign, would be the choice of his runners with plenty of improvement to come, while I would not rule out Japan for place money. Private Secretary’s turn of foot makes him hard to leave out the frame too. 1 Constantinople 2 Private Secretary 3 Japan

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