Two world-class Group 1 races provide the highlights on the track for the fourth day of Royal Ascot with a supporting cast of three competitive handicaps and two more Group level contests. Heavy rain early Friday has made the going soft for the next-to-last day of the meeting.
American trainer Wesley Ward has been shut out through the first three days of the prestigious meeting but starts perhaps his best chance at a victory Friday.
A high-quality field of 20 are due to go to post for the Commonwealth Cup (3.40pm), the first Group 1 race of the day. They are headed by Ward’s Campanelle who won the Queen Mary Stakes last year. Ward has endured a frustrating week but she could be his best chance of a winner provided the ground doesn’t get too testing.
The top-level action comes thick and fast with the Coronation Stakes (4.20pm, 10:20 a.m. EST)next and this is another absolutely brilliant renewal with the English, Irish and German Guineas winners all set to go head-to-head to decide who is the best European three-year-old filly over a mile.
Mother Earth claimed the Newmarket Classic before finishing second in the French version while Empress Josephine finished strongly to claim victory at the Curragh. Novemba is the German Guineas winner and she is a real unknown quantity for Peter Schiergen. Potapova is unexposed after winning both her starts while Pretty Gorgeous has the best juvenile form and would have every chance if she improves for seasonal reappearance
First Three Days of Royal Ascot:
Love, Palace Pier, Poetic Flair and Subjectivist were among the equine stars of the first three days of the five-day Royal Meeting, which saw a limited return of well-dressed racegoers after last year’s races were held behind COVID-closed doors.
Subjectivist, a 4-year-old Teofilo colt, announced he’s for real at the top level among stayers, winning Thursday’s big race, the Group 1 Gold Cup, by 5 lengths as 7-year-old Stradivarius, seeking his fourth straight win in the event, finished fourth.
That may not represent a changing of the guard though as Stradivarius was badly blocked through a good part of the stretch and Subjectivist was home free before his rival saw daylight.
Wednesday’s Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes was a front-running tour de force for Coolmore’s star filly Love.
The daughter of Galileo not only made all while coming off a 300-day layoff but then survived a late bid by last year’s Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Audarya to win by 3/4 length.
That earned Love a “Win and You’re In” spot in this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf but “the lads” presumably have an eye on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe first.
Palace Pier opened proceedings on Tuesday with a 1 1/2-lengths score in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.
The 4-year-old Kingman colt, with Frankie Dettori up for John and Thady Gosden, won for the eighth time from nine starts and clearly has bragging rights at Europe’s, if not Earth’s, best miler. Maybe he can settle that at Del Mar as he earned a “Win and You’re In” spot in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile.
More recaps from UPI Sports here.