ROYAL ASCOT DAY 2 (WEDNESDAY)
The forecast good to firm ground poses significant question marks over a few of these, non more so than French raider Le Brivido who represents the masterful Andre Fabre. Nailed right on the line in the French 2000 Guineas last time there is every reason to expect he has plenty of improvement left though he has never encountered ground this lively. Daban drops back in trip having finished a tired looking third in the 1000 Guineas the last day, proven on the ground she has less to prove than most and makes plenty of appeal each way. Dream Castle, Winning Ways and Beat The Bank all have something to be recommended on and are respected.
Wesley Ward has taken the last two renewals of this and is represented by Happy Like A Fool this time around, impressive when making most at Keeneland on her debut she could be a superstar though she is unlikely to offer much value. Heartache bolted up on her debut at Bath and is another who could be anything, drawn high she looks the one most likely to cause an upset and is handed the vote. Chica La Habana makes most appeal of the outsiders and comes from a good yard, this is much tougher than her debut victory however.
Qemah is probably best forgiven her defeat behind Mix And Mingle at Lingfield last time, perhaps in need of the run or an extra furlong it was undeniably disappointing but a reversal looks on the cards today. A winner in Group One company at this venue and in France she probably rates as the best horse in the race, she almost certainly performs better with cut in the ground however and as such she is reluctantly taken on. Usherette won this last season and could go close bidding to follow up but a chance will be taken on Laugh Aloud who arrives here in blistering form and who will relish the ground.
Laugh Aloud (WIN)
This looks one of the races of the meeting and three stand head and shoulders above the rest on recent exploits. Highland Reel is genuinely top class on his day and this ground looks almost perfect for him, something of a road warrior his wins in America have perhaps gone a little unnoticed though his victory at Epsom last time was a reminder of his talent. Ulysses is intriguing and just the type his trainer excels with, perhaps not the most flashy of types he beat a very good field at Goodwood last time and he looks to have more in the tank. Jack Hobbs took advantage of a rare Highland Reel flop at Meydan in the Sheema Classic, always a most promising type he must go close if in the same mood. Decorated Knight could sneak a place if one of the market leaders flops but Highland Reel is taken to run them ragged from the front.
Highland Reel (WIN) – NAP
Yuften burnt the fingers of many when misfiring badly for the Lincoln earlier in the year, promising and impressive when winning a big field handicap here last season he probably deserves another chance and is a serious contender should he decide to consent. Bossy Guest is a law unto himself and usually either misses the break or runs into traffic, available at fancy odds he will surely get it right in one of these races before long and today could be the day. Fastnet Tempest has a course and distance win to his name and arrives here in great heart, he can go well but the handicapper has made things tougher. Banksea, Withernsea and Zhui Feng are others who could go well in a race where anything could happen.
Bossy Guest (E/W)
The curtain closer on day two and another big field to pick apart, Queen Of Time has won her last two and was very impressive when powering clear at Goodwood last month. Much higher in the weights today it will need a career best for her to record the hat-trick but she is clearly going the right way and looks to have a decent draw to work from. On Her Toes might have bumped into one when narrowly failing at York the last day, todays likely strong pace ought to suit but she will need luck in the run. Gymnaste and Prosper look to have further improvement in them and would be very interesting if the money came.
Queen Of Time (E/W)