14:30 - Royal Ascot Preview & Tips
Raced over the six furlong distance exclusively for fillies, our Group 3 Albany Stakes tips and betting preview can be found below.
IN SUMMARY: There was never any doubt that ALPHA CENTAURI was going to power clear of Actress when she hit the front on her second start at Naas last month, winning the Listed race as she pleased. With any sort of natural improvement this big filly should be very tough to beat for the in form Jessie Harrington yard, with Colm O’Donoghue retaining the ride. Fairyland is of obvious interest for the Wesley Ward team who do so well at this meeting and at a bigger price Madeline wouldn’t be one to rule out.
1 ACTRESS – Trained by Aidan O’Brien. she finished five lengths behind Alpha Centauri in listed company on her latest start, never looking likely to get near that rival as she bounded clear late on. A turnaround with that rival looks impossible and despite improvement being likely from this filly, she has too much to find to be winning this.
2 ALPHA CENTUARI – Recorded back to back victories in Ireland to date for Jessie Harrington yard. She took a clear step forward to win a Listed contest at Naas late last month by 5 lengths and that was a facile success given she was never really asked a question. Having showed herself to be versatile in terms of ground and with plenty of speed for a daughter of Mastercraftsman, she looks very tough to beat with any sort of natural improvement and is the one to side with today.
3 ARMUM – Sold for £250,000 on Monday on the back of a win at Chester in novice company thirteen days ago, with the bare form not enough to see her competitive. Now with top connections, improvement should be forthcoming, but she looks set for a struggle in this with what she’s shown thus far.
4 BLACK SAILS – Beat off a host of rivals with experience when pushed clear to win a Curragh maiden on her debut for GM Lyons, and she was clearly value for more in that promising debut run. She will appreciate conditions and now has the benefit of experience, plus holds two Group 1 entries for later in the season.
5 CLEMMIE – Sister to Churchill who arrives here as he did last year with a third place in a Curragh maiden, showing bundles of promise as she stormed home when getting the idea late on. Churchill won this race in 2016 so this will have been the target for her in the same colours of that stablemate, with the better ground conditions unlikely to be a problem. Ryan Moore takes the ride and she looks a big danger.
6 DIFFERENT LEAGUE – Won both her starts in France for Matthieu Palussiere, though they were on slower ground and the merit of the form can be questioned despite the ease of her victories. Much more needed with fast ground not certain to suit, so she is best watched, with the trainer’s only other runner at Royal Ascot this year finishing 18th of 23 on Wednesday.
7 ELECTRIC LANDLADY – Posted a fair effort when winning on debut on the All Weather at Kempton late last month. That form does little to impress in this field and it’s hard to see her playing a role here in far better company in her maiden turf contest.
8 ERTIYAD – Went down by a nose to Mrs Gallagher here on debut back in May (that rival finished eleventh in the Queen Mary on Wednesday) but she made it second time lucky with an all the way success at Haydock in June, never looking likely to be passed. Potentially a smart horse in time but this is by far the most difficult contest she has faced so far and could well find herself outclassed.
9 FAIRYLAND – She won on racecourse debut at Keeneland by 3 1/4 lengths and she has a classic Wesley Ward profile as a smart, forward-looking 2yo filly. This trip may be about as far as she wants to go but her pedigree suggests she can just about last it home and if she does, she should be hitting the frame under Donnacha O’Brien for powerful connections. Conditions should be no problem and any market support should be noted.
10 JO’S GIRL – She as shown little to no promise in two minor races for Jamie Osbourne and should be one of the first to be struggling unless she takes a huge leap forward from nowhere.
11 MADELINE – She could only manage fifth here on debut when behind Ertiyad but she made it second time lucky with a novice stakes win at Goodwood when last seen, edging to the right but always clear when striking the front. Almost certainlly has more to offer but this is much tougher than that latest run and others bring better form into the race.
12 MISS BAR BEACH – Won a modest small field maiden at Hamilton on her second start but her chances are reflected by her huge price in the market. An exciting runner at Royal Ascot for her syndicate owners but doesn’t look good enough to provide anything more than a good day out.
13 MISTRESS OF VENICE – Trained by James Given, she improved considerably for her debut to finish third in a Listed race at York in May, with the second in the race going on to finish fifth in the Queen Mary on Wednesday. She steps up to Group 3 company here and she was flattered by how close she finished to the front two last time out.
14 NATURAL – The winner of a Doncaster maiden on her debut for Richard Hannon, she made all in comfortable style and her pedigree suggests there is room for further progress. Her trainer won this race two years ago but this daughter of Kodiac does have something to prove, as conditions are very different to her soft ground maiden win and she may need further in time to show her best.
15 PRINCESS PEGGIE – The second Wesley Ward trained runner who was blinkered when winning a sloppy ground maiden at Belmont Park in May, doing so in fine style. She clearly has a huge amount of speed and the six furlong distance should be perfect based on pedigree, though with many of Ward’s unexposed runners, it’s hard to know how good she really is. A close eye on the market should provide more information as to what is expected by connections.
16 SNOWFLAKES – Well beaten on debut at the Curragh in May, she was eased in the final furlong after traffic problems although it’s difficult to say how close she would have finished. Seamie Hefffernan rode Churchill lto victory in this race last year for trainer Aidan O’Brien, but this beautifully bred daughter of Galileo will have to improve significantly to feature.
17 STARLIGHT MYSTERY – Won two minor events in May before finishing second in a stronger Class 2 at Newbury, but with four starts to date she is more exposed than a number of her rivals in the field. It would be a surprise if she could be competitive here given her form so far.
18 SUMMER SAMAL – French raider for F-H Graffard who won on debut before a second in conditions company at Maisons-Laffitte in May, rallying gamely under pressure when headed inside the final furlong. The close third that day was well beaten here on Wednesday and her form is well below the market principes.
19 TAKE ME WITH YOU – This daughter of Scat Daddy cost $800,000 as a yearling and showed promise on debut to finish third at Newmarket thirteen days ago, appearing to improve as the race progressed. She has a very similar profile to the winners that Jeremy Noseda had in this race back in 2005 and 2006 and should improve for her debut, but looks poor value in the market with a number of rivals having shown far better form.
20 TIME FOR WINE – Kept on to finish sixth after a tardy start of debut for David Evans, but that was only four days ago and will struggle from early on here.
21 WHITEFOUNTAINFAIRY – The winner of a six furlong maiden on her second start at Fairyhouse, though the bare form does require marked improvement despite being sold for £300,000 on Monday. The Jessica Harrington yard can do no wrong at present so ruling this daughter of Casamento out would be foolish, but she looks to be vying for places only with this big step up in class.