Day 1. The Queen wore pink on opening day, creating a carryover into Wednesday. Powder blue has some play. Yellow has support. Peach has taken late money. As for the racing, Solow and Gleneagles starred on Royal Ascot’s opening day.
French raider Solow trounced rivals in the Queen Anne. Displaying tactical speed and closing kick, the 5-year-old gelded son of Singspiel ran his winning streak to seven. Trainer Freddie Head loves his horse.
“He is a fantastic horse, a great warrior who can do anything – you can wait, you can lead. I didn’t think the pace was that fast and he got caught for speed for a moment, but you are running against the best; what do you expect?” Head said. “I hope he lasts and we have many more years with him. Maybe we will come back for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. We’ll see – I’m not going to run in everything that comes because I want him to last. I’m not a fan of the Keeneland track – I think it’s a bit tight so we won’t go to America this year. Next year will be the same – he hasn’t got that many races to run, so it’s Dubai, Longchamp and Ascot.”
Bummer about Keeneland but Dubai, Longchamp and Ascot will do.
As for Gleneagles, he could go anywhere. The 3-year-old colt settled and punched, displaying video-game precision yet again. All Ryan Moore has to do is push the button. A matchup somewhere down the line with Solow. That would be sweet.
As for Day 2, it’s another stellar card.
Race 1. 9:30 a.m. The Jersey Stakes. Ivawood is the first horse listed and you don’t have to wander far after that. Three wins from seven starts, the son of Zebedee finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Gleneagles in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas. While Gleneagles chills, Ivawood sprints 7 furlongs for Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon. Ivawood’s form shows four straight losses, that should change. America is represented by Luck Of The Kitten. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, he rides a three-race losing streak but has sparred with the likes of Hootenanny and Divisidero.
Race 2. 10:05. The Queen Mary Stakes. Group 2 for 2-year-old fillies offers 5 furlongs and $156,000. Wesley Ward travels with Acapulco, a surprising third-place finisher at odds-on in her debut in May at Churchill Downs. Ryan Moore takes the call for Coolmore. Ward goes double fisted, sending out Bruised Orange, a winner in April at Keeneland. The Bo Derek 10 Partnership is represented by Secret Tale. 23 runners.
Race 3. 10:40. The Duke of Cambridge Stakes. Integral won it last year, she returns to defend her title. With one race under her belt this year, a tough fourth behind Night Of Thunder and Toormore, she looks tuned for Sir Michael Stoute and Sir Ryan Moore (did you see him ride yesterday…knight him). Team Valor sends out Euro Charline, winner of the Beverly D. last year.
Race 4. 11:20. The Prince of Wales’s Stakes. The Group 1 stakes worth $819,000 lost zest when California Chrome was scratched due to a foot abscess. Whether you liked the idea or not, it was going to be fun to see the Kentucky Derby winner go a mile and a quarter at Ascot. Today’s feature still offers international appeal as Criterion travels from Australia, Spielberg ventures from Japan, Gailo Chop and Ectot fly for France and the rest represent Ireland and England.
Race 5. 12:00. The Royal Hunt Cup. Like puzzles? Thirty runners line up for the mile marble charge. Yes, 30 runners. Dark Emerald makes his first start since a lucrative foray to Dubai, he carries 137 pounds. Koo’s Racing Club, who has three horses with Todd Wyatt in America, launches Balty Boys. John Gosden and Ryan Moore could (we typed will originally) win it with GM Hopkins.
Race 6. 12:35. The Sandringham. As they say on Car Talk, “Well, you’ve wasted another perfectly good hour.” Well, it’s now three hours later and Royal Ascot Day 2 comes to a close with a listed handicap. Far from wasted, no doubt, it’s been three hours of drama and thrill. Always Smile seeks her fourth win in her fourth start for Godolphin while Osaila drops from the Two Thousand Guineas for Al Shaqab. She finished third behind Lady Eli in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last year.