A Shin Hikari will seek to become the first Japan-based runner to win at Royal Ascot when he tackles five other foes in the Group I Prince of Wales’s Stakes on Wednesday. Trained by Masanori Sakaguchi, A Shin Hikari will look to build on his impressive resume of 10 wins in 12 lifetime starts including, most recently, a dominating 10-length romp on May 24th Group I Prix d’Ispahan.
Prior to that amazing performance, the five-year-old son of Deep Impact upset the Group I Hong Kong Cup at 37-1 odds. In that performance he not only knocked off the defending Hong Kong Cup champion (Designs on Rome) he was able to upset last year’s winner of the Prince of Wales’s (Free Eagle) as well as last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner (Blazing Speed).
He will also have the good fortune of not having to run against perhaps the best turf horse in training, Postponed. Postponed recently ran in the Coronation Cup on June 4 and defeated A Shin Hikari’s main rival in the Prince of Wales’s, Found, in the 1 1/2 mile event by 4 1/2 lengths.
Found(7-2) is a 4-year-old filly out of Galileo. She has danced every dance and has been knocking heads with Europe’s best horses with every start. Although, not up to the challenge against Postponed, Found has defeated the likes of Fascinating Rock, Success Days, and in last year’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf she defeated the Prix De l’Arc de Triomphe winner Golden Horn.
The Aidan O’Brien trained miss should be up for the challenge if A Shin Hikari does not fire. Ryan Moore has the mount on Found and is looking for some redemption after The Gurkha was upset yesterday in the Group I St James Palace Stakes by Galileo Gold, due to what some are calling “an unfavorable ride.” She will be right there when the real running begins.
The Grey Gatsby (7-1) has been idle since last September when he finished a dull sixth in the Group I Irish Champion Stakes behind Golden Horn, Found and Free Eagle. The grey son of Mastercraftsman has not won a race since 2014. He is a horse who likes to finish in second-place as he has finished there in seven of his 17 starts.
Should something unusual happen to the top two choices, he could be there to pick up the pieces, but his chances are slim to do so. Might need a race for his best but is good enough to get up for a slice. Perhaps the time off will help but he just doesn’t have the look of a horse who likes to win.
Tryster (20-1) is a horse who could be dangerous given a decent pace. The son of Shamardal has one of the best late kicks around and has an upset chance at a big price. His jockey, William Buick, was excited with his performances in Dubai and said he has never been this fast in his whole career.
The problem with his Dubai races is that he did not face much in his attempts. Real Steel was recently embarrassed in the Group I Yasuda Kinen in his last start. Euro Charline is a hard knocking mare but not on the same playing field as the top two in here. It would take a monumental collapse by the top two for him to win, but an in the money finish is not out of the question.
Western Hymn (12-1) has kept good company throughout his career and always gives his best effort. He has finished in the top three in 11 of his 14 races. In April 2015, he defeated Postponed and has finished in the money against some of the best horses Europe has to offer such as Golden Horn and Free Eagle. He has also finished behind The Grey Gatsby on two occasions.
The son of High Chaparral, finished behind My Dream Boat in his seasonal debut three starts back, but clearly needed the race. He is a logical contender to finish behind the top two today.
My Dream Boat (15-1) was an unfortunate victim to A Shin Hikari in his last start, finishing 14 lengths behind that rival. Prior to that start he was a Group III winner over Western Hymn, but not much else to show for it. Respect that his connections show up here to try to claim a piece, but has the looks of a horse that is up against it. Pass.
1-A Shin Hikari