herald

Saturday 21 July 2018

Fair Crack' off Frankie

Dettori will be full of confidence before Prince of Wales

Cracksman and Frankie Dettori (l) win from Salouen and Silvestre De Sousa at the Coronation Cup at Epsom
Cracksman and Frankie Dettori (l) win from Salouen and Silvestre De Sousa at the Coronation Cup at Epsom

It was Frankie's Day at Royal Ascot yesterday and the lethal Italian will be hoping for more of the same again this afternoon.

Dettori missed Royal Ascot through injury last year but made up for it yesterday with a treble and he has Cracksman to look forward to today.

John Gosden enjoyed the treble with Dettori as he was responsible for the trio of Calyx, Without Parole and Monarchs Glen and that old firm will be hoping that Cracksman can make life a bit easier in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes than he did at Epsom.

Cracksman failed to produce his very best at Epsom but still managed to grind out success despite clearly not enjoying the undulating track and following a slight incident in the stalls before the gates opened.

The fear going into the race today has to be that Cracksman had a tough race in getting to Salouen and win the Coronation Cup. It could have left his mark but this doesn't look a vintage renewal and Cracksman should be too good for a team that were unstoppable yesterday.

In the Champion Stakes last year Cracksman was seven lengths too good for Poet's Voice and he is the current second favourite but with only two places being paid out it looks a race to avoid from a punting point of view but Cracksman should win.

Dettori could be absolutely bouncing with confidence by the time he gets the leg up on Cracksman because in the opening race he rides the American speedster Chelsea Cloisters for Wesley Ward.

Ward was out of luck yesterday but his record with two-year-olds at Royal Ascot means he warrants plenty of respect and Chelsea Cloisters was an eight length winner over four and a half furlongs on debut and she should be hard to beat.

For those wanting something at a bigger price in the Queen Mary Stakes the Jessica Harrington-trained Servalan should go well.

For the second year in a row Aidan O'Brien drew a blank on the opening day but he has more bullets to fire today and Hydrangea should win the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.

In truth, this filly was my idea of the horse that could of taken down Cracksman in the feature but O'Brien has opted to keep her against her own sex in this Group Two contest.

She is likely to make a massive leap forward from her defeat at the Curragh on her seasonal debut.

O'Brien has a strong hand in the Queen's Vase over 1m6f and if Nelson can handle the ground he looks to have the pick of the form in that race. Nelson missed the Epsom Derby so comes here fresh but the ground would be a concern.

At a decent price in the last keep an eye on James Garfield who looks overpriced in the Jersey on some of his juvenile form.

Royal Ascot today

2.30 Chelsea Cloisters

3.05 Nelson

3.40 Hydrangea

4.20 Cracksman

5.00 Gabrial

5.35 James Garfield

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