GROUP 1 QUEEN ANNE STAKES (TUESDAY)
The Main Trends;
- Every winner of this race has been aged 3-5yo (n.b. 3yo's are no longer eligible to run)
- Only 2 females have ever won this race (2010 & 2016)
- All of the last 11 winners were rated 115+, had finished top 6 last time out, had been rested at least 13 days and came from the top 4 in the betting
Analysis of the runners;
AMERICAN PATRIOT - 4yo colt trained in America by Todd Pletcher and all set to be ridden by Frankie Dettori. He's a turf miler back home who was a bit hit and miss throughout his 3yo career but has started out at 4 with two wins from two starts. The second of those wins came in a Grade 1 at Keeneland where he beat a line up of Grade 3 horses, Grade 1 also rans, claimers and handicappers. Every runner behind him that day to have come out again in Graded company has been beaten and it will be a big shock if this US horse is good enough to beat the Europeans.
COUGAR MOUNTAIN - The 6yo has been a reliable servant to connections over the years and he did manage a 3rd in this race as a 4yo but his record in Group 1 company since has been 4578808 leaving him with a lot to find to get competitive here. 6yo's have a terrible record in this race and it's easy to look elsewhere.
DEAUVILLE - The Aiden O'Brien trained 4yo has been supplemented for the race which is a little surprising given he has been campaigned at around 10 furlongs since the start of his 3yo campaign and actually won the Belmont Derby at that distance last July. That's a very similar profile to his runner Cape Blanco who dropped back from 10 furlongs to contest this in 2011 but could only finish 6th of the 7 runners. Deauville has been 2nd then 1st in a couple of 10f Group 3 races in early Spring and was then third in a weak Group 1 at the Curragh last time out. He doesn't strike me as a horse screaming out for a drop in trip and probably isn't quite Group 1 standard. I'll pass.
DUTCH CONNECTION - He won the 7f Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2015 before a decent second in the Group 1 Jean Prat over a mile on his next start. He has struggled in the highest company since then (59560) although his record at Group 2 level is an impressive 2221. He's without a run this Season, he probably isn't quite a Group 1 horse and as a mile stretches him there are three big negatives to overcome and not a lot of positives to recommend his chances.
DUTCH UNCLE - An 88 rated 5yo who was supplemented by Qatar racing in what can only be a tactical move to provide a pacemaker for their Lockinge runner-up Lightning Spear. Will be leading at halfway but has no hope whatsoever of lasting out much further than that.
ENNAADD - Rattled up a four timer on the All Weather between December 2015 and November 2016 rounding off with victory in a Listed contest at Kempton. Turned over at short odds in the AW Mile Championships at Lingfield on Good Friday he was again beaten when favourite for a Listed race over course and distance in early May. Quite what he has done to warrant a rating of 113 is beyond me and he'll need to find at least 10lb of improvement to win here.
JALLOTA - He's a 6yo who's been campaigned mainly over 7f throughout his career although he did run second in an Italian Group 1 last September over a mile (Kaspersky behind in 3rd) and third in the Group 2 Sandown Mile in late April. Back down to 7f last time out in a race full of old-timers he found one too good there and will no doubt find more than that too good here.
KASPERSKY - Group performer in his native Italy he joined his new trainer, Jane Chapple-Hyam in late April. He's had two runs for his new connections; 5th in a Listed course and distance race and second in a handicap off top weight. Err, not exactly the sort of form you associate with Group 1 winners is it?
KOOL KOMPANY - A dual Group 2 winner as a 2yo and won a Group 3 as a 3yo before being shipped off to Australia. That didn't work out so he was back with Richard Hannon for the end of last season where he ran ok in a couple of minor races. He began this year with victory in the Listed Doncaster Mile but hasn't gone on from there having finished behind old timer Sovereign Debt in a couple of mile Group races on his next two starts. Once again, that form doesn't look good enough for a race of this nature.
LIGHTNING SPEAR - Progressed from handicaps to make up into a fair group performer in the Summer of 2015 when with Olly Stevens. He left him at the end of that Season to join David Simcock and began in the best way possible with a third in this race last year. He then ran 6th in the Sussex Stakes (Ribchester 3rd) before finishing 3 1/2 lengths adrift of Ribchester in a Group 1 at Deauville. Dropped down to Group 2 company for his next run he took the Celebration Mile and ended the Season a length behind Ribchester when finishing third in the QEII. First time up this Season he once again chased home Ribchester in the Lockinge Stakes, this time at some distance. As a 6yo who has been behind the favourite on four separate occasions he's got a bit of ground to make up and connections are relying on running a pacemaker to find that necessary improvement.
MUTAKAYYEF - He finished top 3 in his first 14 starts and spent most of his 3 and 4yo career running over 10 furlongs in Group 3 and Listed company. He began last Season with a couple of wins over a mile at York and then in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot before running 3rd to Postponed in the Group 1 International Stakes at York. Next up was a trip to Canada for a run in the Woodbine Mile where he got to within 3/4 length of crack US miler Tepin (won the Queen Anne last year) when finishing third. He began his 6yo career, and his 15th start, with a 5th in Dubai over a 1m1f trip looking like a return to a mile would see him in better light. We know 6yo's have a terrible record in this race but he looks the most likely to chase home the favourite.
OH THIS IS US - Up until two starts ago he was plying his trade in handicaps but after a second in the Lincoln and then a win and a second from topweight in a couple of class 2 contests he was sent into Listed company. He handled the step up in class well and won by a neck from a couple of 7yo's before heading to Epsom for the Group 3 Diomed Stakes. This time it was a couple of 8yo's who filled the placing with Oh This Is Us close up in third. He's obviously improving but this is another major step up in class and it may prove a step too far.
RIBCHESTER - He looks to have an outstanding chance on both the form book and the trends. In 11 runs he's only been out of the top 3 once, that was when the French stewards disqualified him from second place, and was a winner of the Jersey Stakes at last year's Royal meeting. His next 5 starts were all in Group 1 company where he finished 31231 with all defeats being by a length or less. At last year's Ascot Champions Day meeting he was a 1/2 length second to star filly Minding in the QEII (Lightning Spear behind) and his last win came in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury where he made all to come home over three lengths clear of Lightning Spear. That has long been the number pointer to the Queen Anne and was a career best performance With plenty of course experience, Group 1 form and a perfect trends profile he's the one they all have to beat.
TOSCANINI - A competent Group 3 performer who finished 4th to Kool Kompany at Doncaster in early April, ran well down the field at Saint Cloud and then finished last in the Lockinge having missed the break. He had looked like he was supposed to be a pacemaker for his stablemate Ribchester there and is probably set for the same duties here.
MISS TEMPLE CITY - Another US raider but unlike American Patriot this one has been to the last two Royal Ascot meetings and has acquitted herself well in both starts. In 2015 she was 4th in the Coronation Stakes and then again finished 4th last year when contesting the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. She was 5th in the Breeders Cup mile at the end of last year (Dutch Connection, Spectre and Cougar Mountain all behind) and won two Grade 1's either side of that. If the ground is riding on the firm side I can see her outrunning her odds and of all the outsiders she is the one I like the most.
SPECTRE - French 4yo filly who finished a close up 5th in last years French Guineas before running well in Group 1 company without winning last Summer (including a 2 1/4 length 4th to Ribchester). She ran poorly in the Breeders Cup Mile and disappointed on her seasonal debut when finishing second last. She showed a little more last time out in a Group 3 over 7f but will need to have improved a helluva lot from that run to be competitive here.
MY FANCY: RIBCHESTER
EW SHOT: MISS TEMPLE CITY 33/1
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GROUP 1 PRINCE OF WALES (WEDNESDAY) and GROUP 2 RIBBLESDALE STAKES (THURSDAY)
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