Royal Ascot : Kingman crowned

Royal Ascot : Kingman crowned
Photo: Harris Equine Photography

Kingman banished the recollections of his English 2,000 Guineas defeat to the deepest depths of our memories with a display of near perfection in comfortably defeating Night of Thunder in the St James' Palace Stakes
Settled towards the rear of the seven-strong pack throughout the early stages of the race as Richard Hughes set a sedate early pace aboard Night of Thunder, Kingman was pulled out in the clear by James Doyle in the stretch and mowed down his Guineas foe as if he were standing still.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Outstrip returned to something like his best level of form with a strong late run for third, with War Command improving slightly to grab fourth.
"He showed a lot when winning his madden last year and they made him favourite for the Guineas which was a bit unfair on the horse," said winning trainer John Gosden. "Fortunately he doesn't read the newspapers; he just sleeps, eats and races. Our horse has won it in the way I wanted him too and the jockey has shown a lot of skill."
Verrazano, known as 'Big V' to most of us, produced a good improved performance in the Queen Anne Stakes, but he proved no match for Toronado, who powered to victory in the Group I contest in his seasonal reappearance to provide a first win for Richard Hannon at Royal Ascot since taking over from his father, and at the first time of asking just like his bid for Classic glories earlier in the season.
Verrazano was off the bridle for the middle part of the race, but thrusted late to be just three-quarters of a length behind the winner, suggesting that all top level races over a mile and ten furlongs could be open to Aidan O'Brien's import.
Earlier on the card the King's Stand Stakes saw Sole Power defend his crown in amazing fashion, storming up the far side rail to grab a comfortable late victory under Richard Hughes.
Sole Power will reportedly return in Saturday's second sprint feature, the GI Diamond Jubilee Stakes run over six furlongs, in which he will take on his own stablemate Slade Power who is currently favourite for that race. Stepper Point considerably out ran his odds of 50-1 to finish second, with favourite Hot Streak in third. 
In the juvenile races, The Wow Signal continued his own stunning progression by taking the GII Coventry Stakes on just his second ever start under Frankie Dettori, whilst Hootenanny took the Windsor Castle Stakes for Wesley Ward.
Domination was the other winner on the card in the Ascot Stakes, run over two and a half miles. 
On Wednesday all eyes more towards the Prince of Wales' Stakes where Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve takes on Dubai World Cup second Mukhadram and Breeders' Cup Turf first and second place finishers Magician and The Fugue amongst a field of seven rivals.
Al Shaqab Racing have started the week incredibly well, winning both of the first two races of the Festival, but they will be disappointed if their crown jewel cannot bounce back from an agonising defeat at the hands of super gelding Cirrus des Aigles. 
On the undercard, Sky Lantern returns to take on Integral in a rematch of the Sun Chariot Stakes of last year in a race which sees the first British appearance of Godolphin's Certify for the first time since 2012. James Doyle has been booked for the ride fresh from his powerful victory aboard Kingman in Tuesday's feature.
Across The Pond's Three to Follow for Wednesday
THAT IS THE SPIRIT (Race 1 : The Jersey Stakes)
David O'Meara is without a Royal Ascot winner so far in his career, but there was a lot to like in the first two performances of That Is The Spirit's season. 
There were excuses for his last performance at Epsom, in which he struggled to get home for a victory in a Listed contest, with the jockey winless at that track until that win and with notable inexperience of such a testing track. A return to a fairer course at Ascot should see this impressive three year old out run his surprisingly large odds.
DANGEROUS MOONLITE (Race 2 : Queen Mary Stakes)
This is a juvenile contest to savour with American raider Spanish Pipedream well up there for favouritism, but the chances of Dangerous Moonlite looks dramatically under rated none more so than by her own stable jockey.
Richard Hughes has opted to ride Tiggy Wiggy after that filly's performance against the colts at Sandown, but Dangerous Moonlite enters as a once raced filly with a perfect win record, and that run came over course and distance. 
Ryan Moore is booked and she has obvious chances at a big price. 
FIELD OF DREAM (Race 5 : Royal Hunt Cup)
Another at a big price from the yard of Jamie Osborne, who enjoyed a notable success in the UAE Derby earlier this year with Toast of New York.
Field of Dream loves the big field handicaps at Ascot more than anywhere else, and has run very well in this very race in the past over the last two years.
The field often splits into two groups in this race, and Field of Dream was a short head away from winning his side last year behind a subsequent Group race winner. He's sure to be thereabouts again and represents a good win-place-show chance.

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