Sadly, we won’t see our usual plethora of international runners at Royal Ascot next week. However, the Irish will still be over with a few horses and some in particular have a fantastic chance. Read on to view the emerald isles’ best hopes..
JAPAN – Prince Of Wales Stakes
Last seen running a gallant fourth behind Waldgeist in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe, Aidan O’Brien’s Japan must have a massive chance in this contest.
Extremely well-bred by Galileo, the colt won the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last season and backed that up with wins at Longchamp and York.
The expectation is that more improvement will be unlocked as a maturing four-year-old and he has a great chance to repeat what Highland Reel achieved in 2017.
MOGUL – King Edward VII Stakes
Aidan O’Brien’s main Derby hope Mogul could reappear in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot next week which should be a good prep race for the big one at Epsom.
A well-bred son of Galileo, Mogul was twice a winner as a juvenile and chased home 2000 Guineas winner Kameko when fourth in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity at Newcastle on the All-Weather.
He still has a scary amount of untapped potential with just four runs under his belt and he is going to really appreciate a step up in distance. He is an extremely exciting one this year for Ballydoyle.
SCEPTICAL – King’s Stand Stakes
Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Sceptical in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot for trainer Denis Hogan and this would be some fairytale if he could pull it off.
Purchased from Godolphin for just £2,800 by James McAuley at the sales, he made his debut at Dundalk in October before going on to win three in a row at the venue.
Well-backed having his first turf start at Naas on Monday, he showed a blistering turn of foot to run out a decisive winner of the Woodlands Stakes and is now Ireland’s highest-rated sprinter. He will give Battaash a lot to think about.