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The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)
- Royal Ascot
Won in the past two years by Muhaarar and Quiet Reflection, this six furlong contest is for the best of the best in the sprinting division and we’re looking for another star to be born or cemented. Our Commonwealth Cup tips and betting preview are below.
IN SUMMARY: There is likely to be little in it between Harry Angel and Blue Point as they resume their battle on equal terms, but it’s likely to be for second place as they take on the classy CARAVAGGIO. He has won all five of his starts for Aidan O’Brien, and with conditions to suit and Ryan Moore taking the ride, he should make it six from six. At a bigger price, Tis Marvellous could capitalise for a place if one of the big three under perform.
1 BLUE POINT – Following an excellent two year old campaign, he put away any fears that he hadn’t trained on when winning the Pavilion Stakes over course and distance on his latest start. He faces a four pound swing against in him in the weights with Harry Angel, who he beat last time out, but he has two or three lengths to find with Caravaggio on the form they have both shown so far and should have to wait until another day to win his first Group 1.
2 BOUND FOR NOWHERE – American raider for Wesley Ward who has won both his starts, scoring at a race in Keeneland on his second start by a wide margin and he’s a highly interesting contender for a trainer who does so well at this meeting. This looks a tough task on paper though but that said, we have no idea how good this son of The Factor could be and his not one to dismiss with conditions perfect for him. Watching the market is likely to be crucial and he is respected.
3 CARAVAGGIO – Winner of all five of his career starts so far, including the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at this meeting last year, the Group 1 Keeneland Pheonix Stakes at the Curragh and his three year old debut at Naas last month. He won his last start by an eased down four lengths, showing an impressive turn of foot to put the race to bed with ease. His Curragh Group 1 success came on Good to Firm and he is a potential superstar in the making over this trip.
4 HARRY ANGEL – Improved for a narrow defeat to Blue Point to take the Sandy Lane Stakes by a wide margin three weeks ago, setting an excellent time having made all. That was an impressive enough victory to see him purchased by Godolphin, who will be hoping for an instant return on their investment. Fast ground will suit, and he has a four pound weight swing with new stablemate Blue Point. However, he hasn’t shown the same turn of pace as Caravaggio and is vulnerable for that reason.
5 INTELLIGENCE CROSS – Limitations firmly exposed in this sort of company for Aidan O’Brien, unable to get anywhere near the winner when third at Navan in a Listed race in April. Although it’s always hard to rule out any Ballydoyle runner, he is rated 12lb inferior to stable mate Caravaggio and shouldn’t be good enough to place.
6 LEGENDARY LUNCH – Finished second in the Group 2 Flying Childers back in September behind Ardad but he has been well beaten in two runs since, returning this season when well beaten in the Pavilion Stakes behind Blue Point and Harry Angel. Not good enough to win a race of this nature.
7 MR SCARLET – Irish raider who was soundly put in his place by Caravaggio at Naas when beaten by six lengths with that rival barely off the bridle. That was a career best for him and he is easily dismissed.
8 STRAIGHT RIGHT – French raider who won a Listed race three starts ago at Cagnes-sur-Mer when displaying a good attitude and he wasn’t necessarily disgraced on his latest start when third in Group 3 company. Those two runs still leave him with a huge amount to find with the market principles and he’d be a hugely surprising winner.
9 TIS MARVELLOUS – Won a Group 2 out in France on only his third start but he failed to match that run in three subsequent assignments, last seen when two lengths behind Harry Angel over course and distance in the Pavillion Stakes.He should come on for the run and the conditions will suit him perfectly. Interesting runner for Clive Cox with Gerald Mosse taking the ride.
10 VICTORY ANGEL – Won in impressive style on handicap debut at Newmarket in April but he failed to back up that run when well beaten in another handicap at the same venue two weeks later. Roger Varian and Silvestre De Sousa are in good form but they’ll have to perform miracles to get this son of Acclamation to win this, as he looks outclassed in this company.
11 VISIONARY – One of the more exposed runners for Robert Cowell who won a Listed race on his latest start at Newbury, but that was a weak looking affair. His form line through Second Thought suggests he has at least several lengths to find with Harry Angel, and he will deservedly be a big price today.
12 YALTA – Tore the Molecomb Stakes field apart at Goodwood back in July but he has failed to match that form since, with his latest fifth in the Pavilion Skates over course and distance an encouraging sign he was coming back to himself. Likely best at five furlongs and although he’ll be up with the speed early on for Mark Johnston, he should start backing out of things in the final furlong.