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The Mandarin’s Royal Ascot Racecard for Wednesday 19th June 2024

The Mandarin’s Royal Ascot Racecard for Wednesday 19th June

Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) 2.30
The chance is taken on one of the bigger prices in the market for Wednesday’s opener. Richard Hannon’s Earthlight filly won over course and distance on her debut under rules, finding something extra in the final furlong to get her head in front, and should only come on for that run. There’s been plenty of money about for Irish raider Make Haste, who blew away the opposition on her first run at Naas, while the perennial visitor Wesley Ward has a real speedster in Ultima Grace, who will be fired out of the stalls by Joel Rosario. That should put plenty of early pace into this 5 furlong dash, and that could lead Xanthe into the race nicely. Xanthe to be in the mix as a super each-way angle, for a trainer with a cracking record in this

Queen’s Vase (Group 2) 3.05
Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo colt couldn’t stay with Ambiente Friendly in the Lingfield Derby Trial, but should come on in this longer trip. He looks the stable first string with Ryan Moore taking his seat, where the Ballydoyle yard are sending out four for this Group 2 prize. It’s Jessica Harrington’s Free Eagle gelding, Birdman, that will give Illinois most to think about, after showing that he had this trip in range when a comfortable winner over 13 furlongs at Navan last month. That makes Birdman two from two, so Shane Foley will be hoping the hat-trick is on, but Illinois gets the vote and Mina Rashid is an interesting outsider for the each-way punters

Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) 3.45
Rogue Millennium (nb)
Last year’s winner Rogue Millennium gets our vote to defend her crown, and repay some of the eye-watering sum she went for at the end of last year. Now housed in Joseph O’Brien’s yard, she was good enough to mix it with the boys at the highest level here in October, when fifth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. This looks a whole lot easier, and after a creditable third in the Lanwades Stud Stakes, where she had to squeeze through on the rail, she’s ideally placed in Stall 2. John & Thady Gosden send out the highly rated Laurel, but she’s been off for over a year, so Rogue Millennium gets the nudge

Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1) 4.25
Inspiral (nap)
A top-class mare on her day, Inspiral’s a Group 1 winner already at Royal Ascot, having taken the Coronation Stakes in 2022. She finished last season with a hat-trick of Group One’s, at Deauville, the Sun Chariot at Newmarket and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. This daughter of Frankel may have even more to come at five, and should have blown out any cobwebs when fourth in the Lockinge on her seasonal reappearance. Aidan O’Brien’s Auguste Rodin is the obvious danger, but Inspiral to edge it with the fast finishing French raider Horizon Dore also in the mix

Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) 5.05
In a wide open renewal a chance is taken on French import Beshtani. He showed enough on his stable debut at Epsom to be given a chance here, and is ultra consistent having won three, and been runner-up in his other three races from his last six. James Doyle gets the leg up in his new role as retained jockey for Wathnan Racing, and Beshtani can progress to take this. Top Weight Sonny Liston is an obvious threat coming down the stand side rail with the hat-trick seeking Wild Tiger next to him in Stall 20, so Beshtani will either be racing in a centre group, or make his way across to challenge that pair. All these three should be in the thick of things, but Beshtani is unexposed and appeals the most

Kensington Palace Stakes (Fillies’ Handicap) 5.40
Ralph Beckett’s Doha caught the eye when bolting home in a Maiden at Windsor, putting 9 lengths of daylight between her and the field. She’s bred in the purple, by Sea The Stars and out of Treve, and should come on for her seasonal reappearance at Haydock Park, where she was just held by David O’Meara’s Never Ending. Plenty with chances including Summer Of Love and Twirling, but Doha looks one going the right way so gets our vote

Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) 6.15
Treasure Isle
The closer can go to Aidan O’Brien with Treasure Isle, at the expense of stablemate Celtic Chieftain. He went well enough on his debut under rules, finishing a 2 length second behind the useful Midnight Strike, but left that form behind when winning at Naas on better ground that he’ll also find here at Ascot. Treasure Isle found plenty for pressure when Saratoga Special put down her challenge in that last outing, and can continue to progress with a win here

The Mandarin

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