The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the Group 1 highlight of Royal Ascot’s second day. The day is a nightmare for punters with four of the races being big-field handicaps. They include the Royal Hunt Cup and, this year, a Silver Royal Hunt Cup for those who failed to make the cut for the main event. It’s best to look elsewhere.
The 1m 2f Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at 1.50 is the first test of the 2000 Guineas form. None of the first four lines up but fifth-placed Juan Elcano is there. So are New World Tapestry (eighth) and Kenzai Warrior (ninth). The latter lost all chance when stumbling badly leaving the stalls. Main rivals include Kempton’s Classic Trial Stakes winner Berlin Tango and Derrinstown Derby Trial runner-up Russian Emperor. Sir Michael Stoute’s First Receiver (Frankie Dettori) steps up in distance, having won a mile maiden by seven lengths. Kenzai Warrior ran far better than his final Guineas placing suggests and has a good chance to make amends here over this longer trip.
Prince of Wales’s Stakes field
Both Addeybb and Barney Roy have made hay on foreign soil this year. Addeybb has won two Group 1 races in Sydney. Barney Roy, who landed the St James’s Palace Stakes here back in 2017, spent his time in Dubai, winning a Group 2 and a Group 1 at Meydan.
But the hot favourite is Aidan O’Brien’s Japan. He enjoyed a great summer last year. After finishing third in the Derby, he won Royal Ascot’s King Edward VII Stakes, the Grand Prix de Paris and the Juddmonte International before running fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Headman, a dual Group 2 winner in France last year, is among Japan’s main market rivals. Cambridgeshire winner Lord North will strip fit after his short-head win at Haydock in the rerouted Brigadier Gerard Stakes. John Gosden’s Mehdaayih will have Dettori on board, while rank outsider Bangkok rounds out the field.
At around 7/1, Addeybb gets the vote to upset the odds-on Japan.
The Listed Windsor Castle Stakes follows the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.at 4.10. It has 20 once-raced two-year-olds. They include two Wesley Ward-trained raiders in Sheriff Bianco and Sunshine City. Mighty Gurkha can go close, although he drops back in trip after winning a 6f all-weather race at Lingfield by 7½ lengths. However, Chief Little Hawk looked really good when breaking well and making all in a 5f Navan maiden last week and is the choice in an open race.