The heat and firm course conditions continue at Royal Ascot for Wednesday’s six-race card, which features four group events and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (GI) as the main event of the day. The 1 ¼-mile affair, named in 1892 for the Prince of Wales and now run in honor of the current titleholder, Charles, boasts a roster of recent winners that includes Dubai Millennium, Bosra Sham, Fantastic Light, Rakti, Ouiji Board, Duke of Marmalade, So You Think and The Fugue.
This year, a field of nine 4-year-olds and up will go postward, including last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI) winner Highland Reel, who is coming off a victory in the Coronation Cup (GI) at Newmarket earlier this month. The 5-year-old son of Galileo, owned by Magnier, Tabor and Smith and trained by Aidan O’Brien, is also likely familiar to American racing fans thanks to his 2015 Secretariat Stakes (GI) score at Arlington Park. The five-time Grade/Group 1 winner again carries champion jockey Ryan Moore.
Jack Hobbs is about $44,000 and change shy of $5 million in career earnings, most of which came winning the Dubai Sheema Classic (GI) at Meydan on March 25. The Godolphin and Partners-owned son of Halling, who is trained by John Gosden, hasn’t won in two starts over the Ascot lawn, but he’s won at five other courses, not to mention placing four other times in his 10-race career.
Multiple Group 3 winner Ulysses, who Americans know best as the fourth-place finisher in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI), had a nice prep for this race in winning the Gordon Richards Stakes (GIII) at Sandown Park in late April. Sir Michael Stoute trains the well-bred son of Galileo for Flaxman Holdings and will leg up legendary Frankie Dettori. He’s lightly raced and has a lot to prove, but there are no more capable hands than Sir Michael.
Another name American racing fans will recognize making a start in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes is last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) heroine Queen’s Trust, who is coming off a fourth and last-place finish in her first start since Racing’s Championship Day in the Middleton Stakes (GI) at York in May. The Cheveley Park homebred daughter of Dansili is also trained by Sir Michael and while this is perhaps the toughest field she’s ever faced, she’d also not be entered if her trainer didn’t believe she had a great chance to post the upset. Top jockey Olivier Peslier will be aboard.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is worth $955,000, making it the richest race of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting. It has been carded as the day’s fourth with a post time of 11:20 a.m. ET.
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law in Kentucky known as the “Borell Law.”Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time.She lives in Robinson, Texas, with her longtime beau, Tony. She is the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit horse rescue, The Bridge Sanctuary.