It’s day 2 of the July meeting at HQ and the Falmouth Stakes takes centre stage with Qabala looking to put a disappointing run in the Irish Guineas behind here. The Albany winner looks the one to beat in the Duchess of Cambridge, while there is a competitive Group 3 to enjoy from York.
This handicap is for three-year-olds only and on paper has some very progressive looking types amongst the field. Good Birthday represents the red hot King Power team who had a fitting winner at the Royal meeting last week. The Andrew Balding colt was dropped a pound for his most recent run and I think he might need another slight drop to win in this grade.
Migration is another that went into Ascot with a progressive profile and although he ran pretty well, I think the extra yardage is not certain to suit and can be taken on. Ryan Moore rides handicap debutant Walkinthesand for Richard Hannon. He ran well in a listed race over an inadequate trip when last seen and is the one to beat now.
The final horse of note is Almashriq who notably has the assistance of leading Irish rider Chris Hayes. John Gosden’s colt has yet to win this season but stayed on well over a mile on his latest start and could feature.
Duchess of Cambridge Stakes
Just the seven go to post here for this Group 2 contest. The race is restricted to two-year-old fillies with Daahyeh the only one boasting a 100% record. She looked very impressive when winning the Albany at Royal Ascot and sets the standard. The Irish-raider Celtic Beauty showed improved form to finish runner-up behind Daahyeh and I find it hard to see her reversing the form.
This quality contest sees the 1-2 from the Queen Mary re-oppose and I think Final Song can overturn the placings with Raffle Prize.
This valuable contest sees some very classy individuals do battle with the much-hyped but infrequent winner Ben Vrackie heading the market. The man of the moment Frankie Dettori does the steering on John Gosden’s charge was just touched off behind Baghdad in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes and off only four-pounds higher he’ll take all the beating.
Secret Advisor would have definitely needed his first start in nearly two years most recently and if avoiding the bounce factor a mark 0f 101 looks very manageable.
King’s Advice went into the Northumberland Plate seeking a seven-timer and was far from disgraced behind Who Dares Wins. He was possibly a non-stayer that day and could still be on a workable mark, given how Mark Johnston’s horses tend to progress.
The very lightly-raced Outbox catches the eye having won all three starts last season and then missing out in a listed race at Chantilly on seasonal debut. He’s only having his fifth career start here and has more to offer.
Selection: Outbox – E/W
This is the undoubted top billing of the day and three-year-olds have a great record in the race having taken the last three contests. I must admit it looks like a weak Group 1 with One Master bringing the best form into the race having won the Prix de la Foret last season. She ran a cracker in the Queen Anne Stakes behind Lord Glitters and is the one to beat.
Qabala brings Classic form here having finished third in the 1000 Guineas. She disappointed in the Irish equivalent but scoped badly after the race so a line can be put through that run and she’ll give One Master plenty to think about.
Of the other three main protagonists, Beshaayir was very progressive last season and looked good when beating the re-opposing I Can Fly in a Group 2 at the Curragh most recently. I think she can once again beat the Ballydoyle inmate. Veracious needs to take a step forward if she is to win at this level but if anyone can eke out more improvement, Oisin Muphy can.
Archer’s Dream is looking to complete a four-timer and maintain her unbeaten record and given how progress she has looked it could very much be on the cards.
Andrew Balding’s Foxtrot Lady was a model of consistency last season but has yet to sparkle in three starts this season. She has won off four-pounds higher and should go close.
There are so many with chances but the one I’ll side with is the well-bred Fairy Falcon who finished last of three behind Ornate when last seen but was all wrong at the weights that day and I think there is more to come from her.
Selection: Fairy Falcon