So ready to be new sensation
FROM one machine to another, Royal Ascot is proving again it’s the pinnacle of the Flat season as all the stars continue to emerge and after today's fascinating action, tomorrow the attention turns to SO YOU THINK in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.
Only six colts, which include his stable companion, Jan Vermeer, have been declared to take on Aidan O'Brien's latest sensation who is unbeaten since joining from the southern hemisphere last winter.
As is so often the case in horse racing, there are those with divided opinions about the five-year-old son of High Chaparral and questions have been raised in some quarters as to whether, after his two Irish successes, he warrants the lofty reputation he carries.
On official ratings So You Think is just rated a pound higher than Henry Cecil's Twice Over but with the bookies the Irish raider is clear favourite.
The absence of Workforce from the race takes away from the spectacle slightly but it no doubt delighted So You Think’s pilot, Ryan Moore, who didn't have to make the big decision on which to ride.
That conundrum will surely come at some stage in the year, though, and what a race that could turn out to be.
French-trained Planteur could be interesting on the back of his two wins this season, as could Dubai winner Rewilding for the Godolphin outfit of Mahmood Al Zarooni, with Twice Over arguably not going the right way to win this.
So You Think is an obvious choice despite some who are holding out to see if he can do it at the top level.
Stiffer tests than this will lie ahead this season, so if So You Think is going to be looking towards a battle with Workforce in the King George or later on in the Arc, this would want to be pretty straight forward.
So You Think should leave people in absolutely no doubt that he is a force to be reckoned with.
Without holding anything near as strong a challenge as we do when we cross the Irish Sea for Cheltenham, there is still quite a healthy contingent of Irish runners with chances in Royal Ascot this week and if things fell right it could be quite a memorable few days.
In tomorrow's chief supporting race, the Windsor Forest Stakes, Tommy Stack sends over the very likeable LOLLY FOR DOLLY, who is overpriced at around 10/1 in a highly competitive race.
There has always been a lot to like about the four-year-old, who is a fourtime Group Three winner and has to put in a career best to win here tomorrow. But if the rain gets into the ground and it turns up soft or worse, that will suit her more than it will suit most of the rest of the field and for that reason 10/1 is quite large.
Seta is likely to be near the head of the market and if the ground is on the good side she would certainly be an alternative selection for Luca Cumani and Frankie Dettori.
A winner on the opening day of this meeting last year when he won the Coventry Stakes, STRONG SUIT returns to head the 10 runners for the Group Three Jersey Stakes and he is a tentative selection for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes.
Hannon and Hughes have been a forceful team at Royal Ascot in the past although not managing to raise a blow against Frankel last time out at Newbury, he may be worth one more chance at what will be a big price.
American GYPSY ROBIN is the selection if the ground is riding on the quick side of good for the juvenile fillies in the Queen Mary Stakes and punters should keep an eye on what way the ground is being described at the end of the action this afternoon.
Wesley Ward sends over this two-year-old, who bolted up on her only start to date at Keenland, and the American horses like her are generally very pacey so she would get the nod over the likes of Best Terms and the Irish duo of Fire Lily, who has form with Ballydoyle’s Power (who runs today), and also Jim Bolger's debut winner, Somasach.
Again, in the Royal Hunt Cup, the Irish raider, Super Say, for Andy Oliver and Ben Curtis would not be without a shout having beat Hujaylea last time out.
However, jockey sensation and Derby winner Mickael Barzalona may be set for his first taste of Royal Ascot glory on the Jeremy Nosedatrained featherweight POINT NORTH.
A two-time winner from his last three starts, Point North drops back to a mile here after being narrowly touched off over 10 furlongs last time and is worth trusting to return to winning ways with a lightweight and a rider full of confidence on his back.
Named after one of the queen's favourite places, the concluding Sandringham Handicap might see the reigning British monarch celebrating if Hannon's Humdrum can complete a hat-trick and win tomorrow's concluding race.
A winner on her last two starts over a mile, she clearly goes into the race with a strong chance, although DUBAI QUEEN is selected as she may just be better treated and more progressive.