There are two Group Ones that’ll make every racing enthusiast excited on Friday. The Commonwealth Cup and Coronation Stakes are both fascinating races. The Commonwealth Cup is a 6f furlong contest for three-year-olds which was first ran in 2015.
Sioux Nation looks the most likely winner of this year’s race, Aidan O’Brien’s colt has the smartest form on offer having won last season’s Norfolk Stakes, along with the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. On his most recent start, Sioux Nation was a Group three winner at Naas which confirmed the colt’s well-being.
The lightly raced Equilateral will prove stern opposition to Sioux Nation, as the Equanio colt has won two of his three starts. This represents a huge step up in class but following an eight-length victory in a novice event at Doncaster, one can understand why Charlie Hills is stepping Equilateral up in class.
Royal Ascot spectators will be treated to a proper clash in the Coronation Stakes where the English and Irish Guineas winners Billesdon Brook & Alpha Centauri do battle. Both were surprise winners of their respective Guineas and it’ll be very interesting to see what transpires.
It’s far from a two horse race though, with last season’s Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Clemmie also in the line-up. That Group 1 form looks somewhat suspect as Different League now a stablemate of Clemmie, has been disappointing so far this season.
The Albany run over 6f for two-year-old fillies kicks off the action on Day 4 of Royal Ascot, where once again Aidan O’Brien holds leading claims of victory. He trains the top two in the market in the form of Just Wonderful and Fairyland. Both fillies are unbeaten which is something they share with the majority of the field.
Wesley Ward, fresh from his victory in yesterday’s opener runs Stillwater Cove and he’s going to be my token selection in a race where a case can be made for most runners.
The Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes looks a very open affair with Raa Atoll, Delano Roosevelt and Old Persian all likely candidates. The Queen will be represented by Elector and the Dansili colt could just be the surprise package for in-form trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
The penultimate race on day 4 is the Sandringham handicap which is a typically competitive Royal Ascot handicap where any of ten horses could easily emerge triumphantly. I’m going to keep it simple and bank on potential!
Betty F is a daughter of Frankel who ran very well all things considered in the Cheveley Park last season on only her second career start and following a promising third finish on seasonal debut, the mount of Frankie Dettori looks primed for a big run.
Course form is important at these big festivals, this is what I’m banking on with my selection in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes. The lightly raced Appeared looks to have been laid out for the race having finished runner-up in last year’s renewal. Again this is a competitive handicap, but this course and distance winner has an obvious chance if fit enough to do himself justice.