On Tuesday, the first day of the Royal Ascot meeting, racing gets started with a bang with three group I races right off the bat. On Wednesday, things ‘slow down’ a bit, with only one group I race scheduled—the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Contested over 10 furlongs, the Prince of Wales will have a field of seven, highlighted by the Australian champion, So You Think. A son of High Chaparral, So You Think was a champion in Australia before being transferred to Ballydoyle, where he is now under the tutelage of Aidan O’Brien.
So You Think has made two starts so far in Ireland, notching victories in the Mooresbridge Stakes (Ire-III) and the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I). Ryan Moore will once again have the mount.
The Coolmore horse will face some stiff competition from Juddmonte Farm’s Twice Over, who was second in this race last year. The 6-year-old son of Observatory won two group I races in 2010, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) and the Champion Stakes (Eng-I). The Sir Henry Cecil trainee started this year off with an impressive victory in the Maktoum Challenge-R3 (UAE-II), before disappointing in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). Twice Over most recently finished a well-beaten sixth to Canford Cliffs in the JLT Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I), a race that really wasn’t at his best distance.
Rewilding will make his first start for the Godolphin team since demolishing a quality field in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-IT). A half-brother to champion Dar Re Mi, Rewilding was third in the 2010 Investec Derby (Eng-I), before going on to capture the Great Voltigeur Stakes (Eng-II). Frankie Dettori will once again ride.
Planteur ships in from France for trainer Elie Lellouche. The son of Danehill Dancer has won both of his starts this season, most recently capturing the Prix Ganay (Fr-I) on April 30. Christophe Soumillon will have the mount.
An interesting mix of 3-year-old sprinter-milers will start things off on Wednesday in the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes (Eng-III). Richard Hannon sends out Strong Suit, who captured the Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) over the same course last year.
Splash Point will make his first start since finishing a disappointing tenth in the UAE Derby (UAE-II). Prior to that, the son of Street Cry zipped to an easy victory in the UAE 2000 Guineas (UAE-III).
Havane Smoker may be sent off as the race favorite off of his strong second to Tin Horse in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Fr-I) in May. The son of Dubawi was beaten just two lengths that day, and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget has him primed for this race.
Trainer Wesley Ward hopes to once again find the winner’s enclosure in the Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II). Ward captured this five-furlong contest two years ago with Jealous Again, becoming the first US-based trainer to win at Royal Ascot. This time Ward sends out Gypsy Robin, a daughter of Daaher. Gypsy Robin has won her only start, a 4 ½-furlong maiden race at Keeneland.
The Windsor Forest Stakes (Eng-II) for fillies and mares run at a mile is the other group stakes on the card. A field of 13 will go to the post, led by Music Show, who won the Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I) last year. Also in the field is Jacqueline Quest, who won the Stanjames.com 1000 Guineas (Eng-I) last year, but was disqualified and placed second for interfering with Special Duty.
That's a brief look at Day 2 of Royal Ascot. Looks like another great day of racing!