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Prince of Wales's Stakes Ante-Post Preview: Regal can make it a Reality
Posted in: Royal Ascot Tips
Sir Michael Stoute and Poet’s Word caused a shock in last year’s renewal of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, turning over the 5/2-on favourite Cracksman in impressive fashion. Admittedly, Cracksman was below form on that occasion, but there was no taking from Poet’s Word performance that day, and he would go on to prove himself a high-class performer when beating stablemate Crystal Ocean in the King George back at Ascot on his next start.
Crystal Ocean has proved himself as good as ever by winning both starts this season, following the same route as last year in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown and the Aston Park Stakes at Newbury. He went on to win the Hardwicke Stakes (over a mile and a half) at this meeting 12 months ago, and again holds an entry in that race as well as this. The betting would suggest he is more likely to follow the same route this time round, but he is equally effective at this trip and will be a much shorter price than the 6/1 available if he is confirmed for this.
However, Stoute may have had this race in mind for Regal Reality, who looked better than ever when winning the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown last time on his first try at further than a mile. He proved difficult to get to post on that occasion – delaying the start time with his pre-race antics – but was nothing but professional in the race itself, squashing any stamina doubts with an authoritative victory. This is a big leap in class, and it will demand even more, but this lightly-raced type is exactly the type his trainer excels with and he will be looking to emulate Poet’s Word by completing the same double.
Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3)
2000m , 70.000 GBP, for 4yo+
Regal Reality (GB)
(4h Intello - Regal Realm , by Medicean)
J: Ryan Moore
T:Michael Sir Stoute
O: Cheveley Park Stud
3rd Danceteria pic.twitter.com/1iSt8GQZ3Q
— 𝐌𝐆 (@WorldRacing_) 23 May 2019
Although Enable has been ruled out of Royal Ascot – she was due to make her reappearance in this race – it is another pair of high-class fillies that fill the top two slots in the betting, namely Sea of Class and Magical. The first-named did nothing but progress last season, winning four of her six starts, and was beaten just a neck in second by Enable in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp when last seen. That is a remarkable feat given she didn’t make her debut until April, and this good-topped filly rates the type to progress even further as a four-year-old. This will be no easy task pitched in at this level against the boys on her return from eight months off, but her trainer is a master at placing his horses and she shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Magical, on the other hand, made her reappearance in April and has won all three of her starts this term, the latest in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last time by 7 lengths from Flag of Honour. That was an impressive display and, on the figures, it matched her three-quarter length second to Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs last season. She would have to be at the top of anybody’s shortlist if taking her chance here, but Aidan O’Brien mooted earlier this season that she may be given a break after the Tattersalls Gold Cup to freshen her up for another autumn campaign, which brought out the best in her last season.
The 2018 Derby winner Masar hasn’t been seen since after suffering an injury but is reportedly back in training and has had this race on his agenda for a while. The form of the Derby has worked out well, with Dee Ex Bee now challenging to be one of the top stayers in the country, while Roaring Lion went on to prove himself the best middle-distance performer of his generation last season. The lengthy lay-off is a concern, though, and there isn’t enough juice in his price to make him of interest at this stage.
French-raider Waldgeist looked at least as good as ever when successful in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp on his return from five months off in April. He is another who will command plenty of respect if making the trip across the channel, but he missed Royal Ascot last year, and his trainer has mentioned the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud – which takes place at the end of June – as a next possible target.
In summary, this race has the potential to cut up, and with that in mind, it could pay to get Regal Reality on side now at double-figure odds. If Magical stands her ground, then she will likely be the one to beat, but Regal Reality could just take another step forward on just his second start at this trip and he couldn’t be in better hands.
Back Regal Reality at 16/1 for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes
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