RACING AHEAD: A look ahead to Royal Ascot

Racing Ahead with Tony McCormick
Racing Ahead with Tony McCormick

Racing pundit Tony McCormick from www.irishbigracetrends.com beforetheoff.com and racing radio station racingfm.com looks at ahead to Royal Ascot, which starts on Tuesday

William Buick has been booked to ride California Chrome in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Connections of last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner have opted for Buick as Frankie Dettori, their first choice, will be aboard Western Hymn for John Gosden in the Group One feature over a-mile-and-a quarter on June 17.

California Chrome’s team are happy to have Buick on their side as he had their horse back in second place when steering Prince Bishop to victory in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March.

The already strong US raiding party to Royal Ascot will have a surprise addition, with unbeaten three-year-old Cyclogenisis, who cost $185,000 at the Keeneland yearling sale, due to be supplemented at a cost of £35,000 for the new six-furlong Group 1 sprint, the Commonwealth Cup.

A lack of suitable opportunities at home have prompted Matt Schera, in only his third year as an owner, and trainer George Weaver, who won the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2005 with Saratoga County, to make Cyclogenisis their first runner in England.

Cyclogenisis, the mount of John Velasquez at Ascot, will be shipped out of New York on Wednesday, arriving via Amsterdam to lodge with Lady Cecil at Warren Place, where the Australian-trained Diamond Jubilee contender Wandjina is already housed.

Outspoken is set to be part of Aidan O’Brien’s formidable squad for Royal Ascot later this month following his impressive debut at Navan. O’Brien said: “He could go to Ascot for the Queen’s Vase or the King Edward and looks the type that could improve a lot.”

William Haggas is keeping his fingers crossed there are no last-minute setbacks for his small but select team of horses set to challenge for honours at Royal Ascot. The trainer told sportinglife.com, “Muthmir is in good form and is obviously one of our main hopes, but when your main hope is running in a King’s Stand, a race which doesn’t take long and a lot can happen, it’s probably not ideal.

In the build-up to Royal Ascot and in recognition of the late Sir Henry Cecil, Channel 4 will broadcast a one-hour documentary entitled The Trainer and the Racehorse: The Legend of Frankel.

Broadcast on Saturday at 7pm, the documentary tells the story of how Frankel became the ultimate champion racehorse and transformed the last years of charismatic trainer Sir Henry Cecil.

UNDER THE RADAR: Tuesday, Coventry Stakes, Burantino 10/1. Wednesday, Prince Of Wales’ Stakes, Western Hymn 12/1. Thursday, Gold Cup, Vent De Force 12/1.

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