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The Mandarin’s Royal Ascot Racecard for Friday 21st June 2024

The Mandarin’s Royal Ascot Racecard for Friday 21st June

Albany Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) 2.30
Mountain Breeze
The opener can go to Charlie Appleby with Mountain Breeze, who wouldn’t have to improve much from her last run at Newmarket to take this. She was a cosy winner of that Novice Stakes to justify favouritism and can serve it up to the Aidan O’Brien pair of Heavens Gate and Fairy Godmother. That said, the Ballydoyle handler is hitting peak form this week, clocking up his 400th Group/Grade 1 win on Wednesday, so his runners have to be noted. Ryan Moore has sided with Fairy Godmother so presumably that’s the stable’s first string, having ridden Heavens Gate when she was last out at The Curragh. For the each-way angle, Ollie Sangster’s Simmering looks a very generous price, and Karl Burke’s in top form so Liberalised makes the shortlist. Plenty of pace from the off with Wesley Ward’s Burning Pine firing out of the stalls, but Mountain Breeze looks a smart prospect, so gets our vote

Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) 3.05
Kevin Ryan’s Inisherin ran well for a long way in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, and brought back in trip to 6 furlongs, made a bold effort from the front in the Sandy Lane at Haydock Park next time out. That impressive run led connections to pay the £46,000 supplementary fee for this Group 1, so there must be plenty of confidence in the Hambleton Lodge yard. Inisherin’s owner, Sheik Mohammed Obaid has a strong grip on this race, with Elite Status lining up for Karl Burke, and he’s well fancied to take Group 1 honours soon enough. There’s place value in John & Thady Gosdens’ Orne, but Inisherin looks the one to follow here

Coronation Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies) 3.45
Porta Fortuna (nap)
What a race in store as the 1,000 Guineas first, second and third lock horns again. Though Roger Varian’s Elmalka got the better of Donnacha O’Brien’s Porta Fortuna by a neck, those placings can be reversed here. Chuck in French raider Ramatuelle, and Aidan O’Brien’s Opera Singer, and this is a red hot renewal. Opera Singer might have only finished third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but that was her belated start to the season, so could well come on for that run, while Ramatuelle, third in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, might be even better on this round course, and has to be high on the shortlist. Porta Fortuna to score, in a race where a tricast on the above four looks an interesting side bet

Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) 4.25
Ethical Diamond
It would be a surprise if Willie Mullins left Royal Ascot empty-handed, and these handicaps are his bread and butter on the flat. Ethical Diamond is probably his best chance this week, and it’s notable that the Bookies aren’t taking any chances judged by his ante-post price, so this looks the one to follow, though at pretty skinny odds. Fellow Irish raider Crystal Black is on a season’s hat-trick, and the brilliant Colin Keane gets the leg-up, so this Teofilo gelding rates as the main danger. Each way value can be found in Andrew Balding’s Fairbanks, especially if Oisin Murphy and the retained visor can keep a lid on him, while Eve Johnson Houghton’s Sheer Rocks goes well fresh and completes the shortlist. Ethical Diamond to score for Willie Mullins with Crystal Black and Fairbanks on the premises

Sandringham Stakes (Fillies’ Handicap) 5.05
Indelible (nb)
It’s hard to rub out the appeal of Ralph Beckett’s Indelible for this Fillies’ Handicap. Her strong finish at Doncaster last time out sent her into plenty of notebooks, and there’s surely more to come with Hector Crouch taking up the reins to add to the appeal. It’s quite likely she’s a Group horse running in handicap company, and this mark could well underrate her. Stablemate Forever Blue has been bought up by the well funded Wathnan Racing, so can make her presence felt over a mile, while Aidan O’Brien’s Everlasting can put her no-show in the Irish 1,000 Guineas behind her, now dropped into a Handicap. This pair are the each-way selections, but Indelible is destined for bigger stages, so gets the nudge

King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) 5.40
Space Legend
If William Haggas’s Space Legend can get a clearer run that he did in the Cocked Hat at Goodwood, this Sea The Stars colt can put some Pattern form into the book. Another one scooped up by Wathnan Racing, he now gets James Doyle in the hot seat, though that’s no bad thing with that jockey riding a crest of a wave now as No. 1 for his owners. French raider Calandagan and John & Thady Gosdens’ Theory Of Tides will give Space Legend most to think about, and these are the three to note

Palace Of Holyrood House Stakes (Handicap) 6.15
Dorney Lake
Charlie Appleby might have the answer to the closer with Dorney Lake, though William Buick has a job on his hands to keep him on a tight rein. Despite being too keen last time out at Lingfield, he won well enough and should come on for that racing experience. After just the three starts, Dorney Lake is unlikely to stay in handicap company for long, and trend analysis in this recent addition to the Royal Ascot timetable suggest that the top end of the weights do not have a great record here. Charlie Appleby to cap off a good day at the Royal meeting with Dorney Lake

The Mandarin

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