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Homeracing

Hanson's Spot Plays for Day 2 at Royal Ascot

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

June 18th, 2019

The richest and most anticipated race of week highlights the Day 2 action at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. The card kicks off with a 28-filly Queen Mary (G2), followed by Queen's Vase (G2) for aspiring St Leger (G1) types. Our primary plays will be in the final two pattern events. FREE Brisnet Past Performances for Royal Ascot are available here. Race 3 -- Prince of Wales's (G1) The eight-horse Prince of Wales's over 1 1/4 miles has attracted the heavyweights #1 CRYSTAL OCEAN (4-1), #7 MAGICAL (3-2), and #8 SEA OF CLASS (2-1), plus the highly-capable-on-his-day #4 WALDGEIST (6-1). Sea of Class fell a diminishing neck short of being acclaimed the best horse in Europe last season after a frustratingly tough beat to Enable in the latter's repeat of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1). There was hope the rematch would occur here, but Enable was not ready in time and will instead reappear in the Eclipse (G1) at Sandown early next month. With jockey James Doyle thankfully staying aboard after it was thought he'd be obliged to pilot the re-routed Masar for Godolphin in this spot, Sea of Class' chances improved a whole lot right there. He's ridden the filly in all of her starts, thus knows what makes her tick. After missing in her career debut by a neck, Sea of Class reeled off four straight in advance of the Arc, with top-level victories coming in Irish Oaks (G1) and Yorkshire Oaks (G1). The Arc was an amazing effort given her bid was delayed by traffic, while Enable was much-better positioned throughout. Sea of Class might very well have won in several more strides. Sea of Class may ultimately prove the best horse in the race by season's end, but might not be today. Ten furlongs perhaps could be a little short of optimum for her (though she's won two minor stakes at the trip), plus all of her main opponents have already had the benefit of a race or two or three already this term. The hope, though, is that talent will trump those disadvantages in a race connections have targeted for months. Read Kellie Reilly's Wednesday analysis here. Race 4 -- Duke of Cambridge (G2) She was a course-and-distance winner at the Royal meeting last year, and should be a bigger price this time stepping up in class. #2 AGROTERA (12-1) stormed home to take the Sandringham Stakes (handicap) by nearly three lengths last season, and enters off a solid one-length win in the Snowdrop Stakes over the all-weather at Kempton against returning rivals #11 PREENING (20-1) and #13 RAWDAA (3-1), the latter the early favorite here. Though her form was mixed following the Sandringham win last summer, the Kempton victory was arguably a sign her game has taken a forward step from ages three to four. Her post-Sandringham form lines on the turf look decent in retrospect. She missed by a neck to Poetic Charm in a Listed stakes at Longchamp, and while that rival didn't run well in the U.S. last fall, she later captured a pair of Group 2s in Dubai. Agrotera was then a sub-par fifth to Beshaayir, recent winner of the Ridgewood Pearl (G2) over #1 I CAN FLY (9-2). With two strong runs over this course and distance Agrotera looms a value play in this field of 17 fillies and mares with Gerald Mosse retaining the mount from Kempton.   Watch and wager on all Royal Ascot races at TwinSpires.com. Daily television coverage is also available on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) or NBC. More analysis is available on the Royal Ascot news and notes page.   (c) Horsephotos.com

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