It’s been another busy week when it comes to the Royal Ascot markets but don’t worry if you’ve missed anything because we have rounded up all the main movers and shakers in ante-post lists from the last few days.
Bay Storms Into Prince Of Wales’s Stakes Reckoning
It is all-change at the top of ante-post betting lists for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes after Bay Bridge’s quite magnificent performance in Thursday’s Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.
Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old continued his relentless improvement by running out a five-length winner of what looked a hot renewal of the Group 3 contest. It was a performance of such dominance that the son of New Bay earned the highest rating of any Brigadier Gerard Stakes winner of the last decade and betting sites reacted swiftly by slashing him into 3/1 from 10/1 for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on the Wednesday of Royal Ascot.
However, even that price has since disappeared after Charlie Appleby announced on Saturday that Adayar, who had long been ante-post favourite for the Group 1 contest, will now miss the Royal meeting.
That announcement now means that Bay Bridge is now a general 7/4 favourite for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes despite having never even contested a race above Group 3 level.
Last year’s Derby and King George hero Adayar had been due to make his seasonal return in the Coronation Cup at Epsom this week but a minor setback has put those plans on hold and his trainer has confirmed that the four-year-old son of Frankel will now not be ready in time for the Royal meeting.
Connections of Bay Bridge indicated after his Sandown romp that the colt would stick to 10 furlongs but if they were to decide that a step up in trip would help, then the Hardwicke Stakes would look a suitable next port of call and he is a general 7/2 chance (from 10/1) for that Group 2 prize.
Maria Shakes Up Queen Mary Lists
Earlier on Sandown’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes card, Maria Branwell took the notable scalp of Crispy Cat in the big two-year-old sprint of the evening, the Coral National Stakes.
Many expected odds-on favourite Crispy Cat to dominate the five-furlong Listed contest but he was nailed close home by the strong-finishing Maria Branwell (pair drew a long way clear) who will surely relish the stiff finish of Ascot.
The David O’Meara-trained filly was slashed into 7/1 from 14/1 with horse racing betting sites for the Queen Mary although her jockey Danny Tudhope indicated afterwards that a step up to six furlongs can’t be ruled out.
He said: “Maria Branwell was up against the boys today and she’s taken a nice step forward. She gave me a nice feel, has a great attitude, good temperament and she’s a very liable filly.
“The way she did her best work in the last furlong probably shows you she’ll get six furlongs.”
As for the vanquished Crispy Cat, he remains a general 14/1 chance to gain compensation in the Coventry Stakes.
Curve Going The Right Way For O’Brien
Above The Curve let favourite backers down at Chester’s May meeting but her followers got their money back when the light-raced filly won the Group 1 St Mark’s Basilica Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp on Sunday.
Above The Curve, making her debut at the top level, saw the ten-furlong contest out strongly to beat second-favourite Place Du Carrousel by a length and a half and mark herself down as one of the best middle-distance three-year-old fillies this season, especially as there could be a good deal more to come.
Jockey Ryan Moore certainly thinks that is the case. He said: “Above The Curve is a lovely filly who is still learning. A steady pace didn’t really suit and she was a bit idle in front, but she was always doing what she had to. She’s a huge girl and there’s still a lot of potential and improvement to come.”
If trainer Joseph O’Brien fancies taking the daughter of American Pharoah to Royal Ascot, then the Ribblesdale Stakes would be the ideal contest for her and she is now as short as 5/1 for that Group 2 contest having been a top price 14/1 going into the weekend.
Fellow Coolmore-owned filly Emily Dickinson has also attracted support in Ribblesdale betting lists despite not having run since the first week in May.
The daughter of Dubawi was last seen trailing in a disappointing fifth when sent off a hot-favourite for Lingfield’s Oaks Trial, but she must be doing something right at home because she has been clipped into 12/1 from 16/1 with William Hill.
Haggas Pair Being Nibbled On
Two William Haggas-trained horses were also attracting support in their respective Royal Ascot markets on Monday morning.
Sacred, who has been off the track since winning the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last August, has been clipped into 10/1 from 14/1 for the six-furlong Platinum Jubilee Stakes. That looks a much more likely target than her other Royal meeting entry, which is in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (1m).
The other Haggas-trained mover is Maljoom who has been nibbled into as short as 7/1 for the St James’s Palace Stakes on the opening day.
Unbeaten in three starts, Maljoom is already a Classic winner thanks to his emphatic success in the German 2,000 Guineas and there are clearly some Newmarket work watchers that believe the son of Caravaggio can give English 2,000 Guineas winner Coroebus, who remains a very warm ante-post favourite, a run for his money.