Six will go postward in the Wednesday Royal Ascot feature, the $1,057,826 million Prince of Wales’s Stakes (GI) set at 1 1/4 miles.
The rain hasn’t let up much just outside London and is expected to continue on Wednesday with morning showers giving way to an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms by the afternoon. So any chance of the turf course drying and firming up for the day’s six races has been dashed by Mother Nature.
The horse to beat in the Prince of Wales’s is the Japanese import A Shin Hikari. An absolute beast in his homeland having lost just twice in nine starts before shipping to France and winning the Prix D’Ispahan (GI) at Chantilly by a whopping ten lengths three weeks ago. The five-year-old son of Deep Impact, who is owned by notable Japanese group Eishindo Company LTD and trained by Masanori Sakaguchi, will be ridden by champion jockey Yutaka Take, who has had several stints riding in America over the years but is most recently recognized as the regular pilot for Triple Crown competitor Lani, who was third in the Belmont Stakes (GI).
It’s hard to bet against a horse with a record of ten wins from 12 starts that seems to savor the heavy going, so a win won’t be a surprise.
Top Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien’s will tighten the girth on Found, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI) at Keeneland. The son of Galileo has struggled a bit in four starts this year, but has never finished off the board in five starts at the distance. He’s versatile over any course condition and may be rounding into form at the right time.
The Grey Gatsby doesn’t like to win much, but is always a factor and runs his heart out every time. This will be the son of Mastercraftsman’s first start of the year so he may need a race, but his best gets him a piece.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes has been carded as the fourth race of the day and will leave the gate at 11:20 a.m. EDT.
American runner Miss Temple City returns to England after her fourth-place finish in the Coronation Stakes (GI) in 2015, where she was beaten just two lengths at odds of 50-1. She didn’t get much respect from anyone a year ago, but all that has changed this year and she will go postward in the 14-runner field as the co-third choice at 8-1 in the $257,500 Duke of Cambridge Stakes (GII) at one mile for fillies and mares.
This year a lot has changed for the Graham Motion-trained Kentucky-bred daughter of Temple City. First off, she finally earned a graded stakes win by taking the Makers’ 46 Mile (GI) at Keeneland in her first start of 2016 and second off, she will be carrying champion jockey Ryan Moore for the first time. The rider is best known for setting a record of nine winners during the Royal Ascot meet a year ago.
Miss Temple City also owns a record of 4-1-1-1 at the one-mile distance and though she will face some pretty tough competition here, her best gives her a strong shot to bring home the top prize.
Godolphin’s Usherette is the early 2-1 favorite and rightfully so off three wins this so far this year and while she hasn’t yet tackled the toughest in her division yet, she’s certainly proven to have the talent. She’s only lost once in six starts and is a winner over soft ground, and she has the benefit of being conditioned by Andre Fabre, widely known as one of the best conditioners in the world.
Post time for the Duke of Cambridge has been set at 10:40 a.m. EDT and has been carded as the days’ third race.
The two other group features on the day are the $132,500 Jersey Stakes (GIII) for three-year-olds racing seven furlongs and the $161,500 Queen Mary Stakes (GI) for juvenile fillies who will dash five furlongs.
Godolphin’s Ribchester was third behind Tuesday’s St James’s Palace Stakes (GI) winner Galileo Gold at in the Two Thousand Guineas (GI) at Newmarket last out and figures to improve over the shorter distance in the Jersey Stakes. The son of Iffraaj won the Mill Reef Stakes (GII) at Newbury in September before finishing second in the Prix Dejebel (GIII) at Maisons-Laffitte and subsequently being disqualified and placed fifth for interference last out. The soft Ascot going shouldn’t be an issue and he will again carry jockey William Buick.
Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing Limited’s lightly raced Castle Harbour will carry jockey Frankie Dettori postward in his first career group event. The John Gosden-trained colt was impressive when winning a listed stakes st York last month but will need his best to win in here.
Sir Michael Stoute sends out undefeated Thikriyaat, who most recently defeated fellow Jersey Stakes runner Dragon Mall by a neck in the King Charles Stakes at at Newmarket. His best gives him a shot to reach the winner’s circle.
Light Music, beaten a length on the all-weather at Lingfield, does like the soft ground but is taking on the boys here.
Forge was defeated as the favorite at a mile at Sandown last time out, but the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt had romped to a five-length score in his previous effort at Doncaster.
Post time for the Jersey Stakes, the day’s first race, will be at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
A field of 17 fillies are expected to contest the Queen Mary Stakes, let by the American Wesley Ward-trained Lady Aurelia. Ward has won this event twice before, with Jealous Again in 2009 and Acapulco a year ago.
Lady Aurelia broke her maiden over Keeneland’s main track and will be favored to win her grass debut under Frankie Dettori. The Stonestreet Stables, Bolton and Leidel-owned daughter of Scat Daddy will break from post position 14.
The Keith Dalgleish-trained Clem Fandango broke her maiden in her second start at Catterick before suffering neck defeat in the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley in her last start. Quench Dolly broke her maiden by a nose at first asking at Goodwood last month.
Jule In The Crown was fourth last out in stakes company at Sundown Park.
The Queen Mary is expected to break from the gate at 10:05 a.m. EDT.