Overnight rain has the potential to be a significant game changer as we head into day two of Royal Ascot.
If it does arrive it won’t be any help to my mount, Stylehunter, who goes in the 30-runner Royal Hunt Cup at 5.00pm.
A talented horse, he ran well to be sixth for me in the Britannia Stakes here 12 months ago, before winning easily in a much smaller field at Goodwood in August.
Hopefully he has an each way squeak, though if I was forced to pick any of his 29 rivals without hesitation it would be David Barron’s Kynren.
Drawn in stall three, he’s only one berth away from the favourite New Graduate, meaning Robert Winston will be able to keep tabs on him as the race develops.
Not only that, his form this year is excellent, with an impressive second to the talented Auxerre at Doncaster, before failing by just a neck over an inadequate seven furlongs in the Victoria Cup at Ascot last month.
This step back up in trip on a track he clearly enjoys will be right up his street, and I can see him running a big race. As long as it’s not a deluge some rain won’t harm his chance, so for all those reasons I’m making him my Racing Welfare charity selection for day two.
I’d love nothing better than to cause an upset on Stylehunter, but if that’s not to be let’s hope my £50 each way on Kynren in the Royal Hunt Cup is the formula to bag some cash for them.
Elsewhere on the card, Divine Spirit is a filly I’m looking forward to seeing in action in the opener at 2.30pm.
Given how she bolted on the way to the start she shouldn’t really have won, especially in the manner she did, on debut at Windsor a month ago.
Having previously been a breeze up filly she will know plenty, and being by Kingman any rain that materialises won’t damage her chances.
Moving on, my colleague James Doyle is having a great time of it these last few days, and might be on a winner in the 3.05pm in the shape of Jalmoud.
By New Approach, he steps up to a mile and three quarters for the first time in this Group 2 Queen’s Vase, a race in which he might well be the unexposed type of improver they’ll all be afraid of.
The big race at 3.40pm is the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, a mile and a quarter Group 1 which has thrown up an unbelievable field in terms of quality, featuring the likes of Crystal Ocean, Waldgeist, Sea Of Class and Magical.
They’ll all have their fans, but the one I would want to be on is Magical.
Race fit and in great form, she’s a proper Group 1 filly who is simply hard as nails, plus it helps she gets three pounds from the boys.
Don’t forget, she was good enough to put it up to Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf back in November, and that takes some doing!
In terms of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at 4.20pm, I think one of the more interesting ones in a very open event is Agrotera, Ed Walker’s filly who struck at this meeting 12 months ago when winning the Sandringham Stakes.
She’s a hold up filly with a really impressive turn of foot, so being drawn 14 wouldn’t bother me, nor will it bother Gerald Mosse who will be looking to replicate what Jamie Spencer did on her last year, namely attack fast and late.
Lastly, given the possibility of rain I discussed above it’s tough to weigh up the chances of some of them in the concluding Windsor Castle Stakes at 5.35pm, especially the American runners who are all about speed and hitting the gates on a fast surface.
Either way, one who might give them something to chew on is Summer Sands, who built on his debut third at York when scoring at Beverley 11 days ago.
Richard Fahey can get one ready for a big meeting and will be hoping for a bit of luck in a wide open contest.
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