Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06


Main Edition can be leading light again


James Hill

Castle Lady Godolphin-owned daughter of Shamardal who rose to the top of the ranks in France with victory in the Pouliches at Longchamp, holding off the late challenge of Commes. The quality of the form is open to question, but that victory leaves her unbeaten in all three starts. Trainer Alex Pantall has ruled out stepping the filly up in trip for the Diane, which leaves the door open for this. Proved she handles soft ground in the Pouliches, but pedigree suggests a faster surface won’t be a problem. Foxtrot Liv Rated 103 as a juvenile having finished second to Hermosa in a Group 3 at Naas, and has proved so far this season that she is a Pattern-race filly having finished third to the same rival in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh. Won at Killarney by six lengths the time before and she is a credit to her trainer Paddy Twomey. Could take her chance at the royal meeting and the current 20-1 underestimates her ability. Happen Progressive daughter of War Front who could be Aidan O’brien’s principal hope in the absence of Hermosa. A stayingon second in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on her reappearance, she struck in Pattern company for the first time on her most recent start when beating her elders in the Group 3 Athasi Stakes over 7f at the Curragh, again staying on strongly. This would be her first try at a mile, but you wonder if it’s far enough, as she’s crying out for a trip and the pedigree on her dam’s side is chock-full of stamina. Sire’s progeny do go well at this meeting. Hermosa The filly of 2019 so far. Surprised many when outstaying the field to win the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but took a jump up from that when justifying favouritism to slam her rivals by four lengths in the Irish 1,000 at the Curragh. Is clearly very tough and improving at a rate of knots. Would be the one to beat if she took her chance here, but Aidan O’brien prefers a step up to 1m2f for the Prix de Diane in France. Jubiloso Unbeaten daughter of Shamardal. Just the two starts, but she could be anything following her winning performance in a novice race at Newbury last time, where she bolted up by seven lengths eased down. Saw the 7f out really well there so the mile should be no problem and has a proper engine. Form has already worked out with the second having gone in since. Slight concern about the race time, it was nearly half a second slower than the first division (winner of that recorded much lower RPR yet was carrying 5lb more), and this is a massive rise in class. Price a bit skinny on that basis. Just Wonderful Talented if tricky daughter of Dansili. Has looked pretty good on occasions, notably when winning the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket last season. Fancied to run big races in English and Irish Guineas this season, but having travelled well in those Classics, she fell in a hole both times, her high head carriage remaining in evidence. You feel the talent is there and Aidan O’brien will be searching for the key to unlock it, but hard to fancy at present. Likes fast ground. Magnetic Charm Unexposed filly for the Queen. No great shakes at two, but proved she has clearly progressed when galloping on strongly to landed the Listed Michael Seeley Stakes at York on her reappearance, having too many guns for the muchfancied and race-fit Twist ‘N’ Shake. William Haggas is not one to over-face his fillies so significant that they are now thinking about this race. Bare form of the York contest would not be up to this sort of level, so she’ll probably need to improve plenty to have a chance. Main Edition Royal Ascot winner after landing the Albany Stakes 12 months ago. Won another Group 3 later in the summer with victory in the Sweet Solera at Newmarket, but fell short in other starts including when fifth in the Group 1 Moyglare at the Curragh. Didn’t show up when seventh on her reappearance at Newmarket this term, but back to form last time when landing the German 1,000 Guineas at Dusseldorf. That was a wise move by Mark Johnston sending her to Germany – it will have done her confidence good – and we know she likes this track. Maqsad Classy filly. Winner of two of her last three starts, both victories coming at Newmarket. Got the better of a ding-dong battle with Twist ‘N’ Shout first time up on the Rowley Mile before running out an impressive winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes when stepped up to 1m2f. Was strongly fancied for the Oaks on the back of that, but she patently didn’t stay at Epsom having travelled well into it. This race could now be under consideration. Pretty Pollyanna Last season’s top-rated juvenile filly following a seven-length victory in the Duchess of Cambridge at Newmarket, and was all the rage after landing the Morny in France. However couldn’t back up her summer performances in the autumn, finishing fourth in the Cheveley Park and third in the Fillies’ Mile. She wasn’t ready in time for last month’s 1,000 Guineas, but did take her chance in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh and ran well on her return when finishing second to Hermosa. With that one seemingly heading to France, she has strong claims here. Qabala Just the one start at two, winning at Newmarket, and has since really moved forward at three. Backed into favouritism on her reappearance in the Nell Gwyn and the money was justified as she comfortably saw off stablemate Mot Juste by a length and three-quarters. Started favourite for the 1,000 Guineas after that and ran well out on the wing to finish third. Went to the Curragh for her most recent run – her first away from the Rowley Mile – but things didn’t go well as she finished ninth of ten – she was reported to have scoped abnormally. Will now have to bounce back from that. Twist ‘N’ Shake Progressive daughter of Kingman who joined John Gosden after Luca Cumani retired, and has shown up well in all three starts this term, narrowly losing out to classy fillies Maqsad at Newmarket and Magnetic Charm at York. Won her maiden at Nottingham by seven lengths in between. Likeable, she’s yet to race above Listed level, but her trainer has done well with similar types in this race before. Watch Me Another potential contender for France. A winner of two of her four starts, she finished sixth on her second try at a mile in the Pouliches at Longchamp last month, and was the unlucky filly in the race as she never got a run, although it’s dubious whether she’d have troubled the winner with a clear passage. Her sire, Olympic Glory, won a Group 1 at Ascot and this contest could suit. Has won on heavy so rain would be in her favour. Verdict I’m still not convinced about the quality of these three-yearold fillies and this is an open Group 1. Three of the last nine winners had top form at the royal meeting previously. Pretty Pollyanna finished fifth in last season’s Albany, but the horse who won that race, Main Edition, is more than twice the price despite heading into this on the back of a Classic success. She’s been forgotten. France have a decent record in this, and Castle Lady enters calculations too. 1 Main Edition 2 Pretty Pollyanna 3 Castle Lady



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