My Ascot Gold Cup super-fecta: 1st-Rite of Passage 2nd-Estimate 3rd-Last Train 4th-Simenon.
Al Kazeem just keeps getting progressively better and better every time he races!! It looks like Roger Charlton finally has him healthy enough for a full season. This horse will be a monster in the King George or the Arc because he's just as good, if not better, when he's racing at 12f.
Estimate loves Ascot. She won the G3 Queen's Vase & G3 Sagaro Stakes both at 2 miles there. The only question is whether or not she can get the extra 4f in the Gold Cup or not? I think she can, but I think Rite of Passage is gonna take some beating because there's no question he'll stay. My Gold Cup tri-fecta is 1st-Rite of Passage 2nd-Estimate 3rd-Last Train.
My picks for the G1 Prince of Wales's Stakes: 1st-Al Kazeem 2nd-Maxios 3rd-Camelot is my tri-fecta selection, and as of right now I'm debating between using Saint Baudolino or The Fugue to complete my super-fecta.
@travel_vic, with no disrespect whatsoever intended to Wise Dan or Point of Entry, both terrific turf horses themselves, I think you're absolutely correct travel_vic. Or at the very least I would say the best "middle distance" turf horses in the world nowadays are scattered between Ireland, Great Britain, & France.
I'm a really big fan of Declaration of War and was happy to see him win the G1 Queen Anne Stakes, but after just watching the shear determination of Dawn Approach in the G1 St James's Palace Stakes, I think he's gonna be a very tough beat at a mile for any of the older milers that might come up against him in 2013. Glory Awaits managed to take Magician completely out of the race and nearly took out Dawn Approach and Toronado also with the domino effect. Fortunately for them they were far to the outside that both were able to recover. Excellent effort by Toronado, but I get the feeling Dawn Approach is truly something special at a mile.
Sole Power and Shea Shea have been knocking heads going back to the Dubai Carnival this year. Shea Shea beat Sole Power in the listed Meydan Sprint and G1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan, but today at Ascot in the G1 King's Stand Stakes, Sole Power turns the tables on Shea Shea with an impressive late burst of speed and a great ride by Johnny Murtagh.
Completely different level turn of foot shown by Declaration of War in the Queen Anne Stakes than we saw out of him in the Locknge Stakes last month. Don't call this horse a G3 level horse anymore. As I very much suspected would happen, Animalk Kingdom had a lot of trouble handling that rolly straight mile course at Ascot. Very different than racing over flat, left handed racetracks. Well done to Aidan O'Brien and team Coolmore!!
@icyhotboo, Yes, it's said great horses can run on any course. But in the case of Animal Kingdom, all of his best runs, I.E., Ky. Derby, Dubai World Cup, BC Mile, & Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, have all come over flat, left handed tracks, no matter what the surface was. The straight course at Ascot with it's up and down humps throughout the course will be an entirely different ballgame than going left handed over flat tracks for Animal Kingdom. Elusive Kate ran 5 times at G1 level in 2012 over straight mile courses which included Ascot, Deauville, Newmarket, & Newmarket's July Course and she won the G1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville beating Golden Lilac and was never out of the $$ in any of the other 4. I'll take 5-1 on her versus even money on Animal Kingdom at Ascot, thank you very much.
With Animal Kingdom representing the USA there'll definitely be a lot of excitement about the G1 Queen Anne Stakes kicking off the royal meeting on Tuesday. But for my money, the prospect of Dawn Approach, Magician, & Toronado lining up to face each other with a strong supporting cast in Mars, Mshawish, Dundonnell, George Vancouver, Glory Awaits, & Letir Mor makes the G1 St. James's Palace Stakes the most potentially exciting race on the card on opening day, IMO. Can't wait to see the 2 impressive English & Irish 2000 Guineas winners knock heads.
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