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2019 Prince Of Wales's Stakes tips - O'Brien's 11/4 chance can prove Magical in Wednesday's Group One feature

Brian Healy 13 Jun 2019
Aidan O'Brien's Magical can win the Prince Of Wales's Stakes on day two of Royal Ascot.

Brian Healy takes a look ahead to the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, the first Group Two contest on the second day of the 2019 Royal Ascot festival.

The first of the Group One contests on the second day of Royal Ascot, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes goes to post at 3.40pm as the third race of the day at the famous Festival.

Taking place over a trip of 1m 2f, this classy contest boasts a first prize in excess of £400,000 for the winner, as well as the chance to join the likes of Poet’s Word, Highland Reel, Free Eagle, The Fugue, Al Kazeem and Rewilding as winners of this contest in the past decade.

This year’s renewal could prove to be a white-hot affair, and the contest could turn out to be the race of the meeting with the likes of Masar and Sea Of Class both potentially making their seasonal reappearance in the race where they might lock horns with the likes of Magical, Waldgeist and Crystal Ocean amongst others.

Sea Of Class (3/1, Paddy Power) emerged as a top-class performer last term, building on a promising Newmarket debut second to win her next four starts which included back-to-back Group One successes at the Curragh and York prior to her gallant Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe runner-up finish behind Enable where she was denied only by a head.

William Haggas’ charge was arguably an unlucky loser as she encountered plenty of traffic problems throughout a rough race, and she was closing down John Gosden’s charge with every stride close home although having endured a more troubled passage she gave up perhaps too much ground to the defending champion.

She is sure to play a big part if returning to action fully wound up, and she could feasibly pick up where she left off last term although if the ground were to cut up then it might pose a quandary given the Sea The Stars filly is yet to encounter soft ground in her career to date.

Waldgeist (6/1, William Hill) meanwhile got back on the winning trail when successful over Study Of Man in the Group One Prix Ganay on her return, taking the Galileo entire’s Group One haul to three wins at the top level.

Andre Fabre’s charge is a hugely talented and versatile performer, and he lost no caste in the Arc last term behind Enable and Sea Of Class where he crossed the line in fourth place before contesting both the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Hong Kong Vase, finishing fifth on each occasion.

A four-time winner last term over 1m 4f, he showed the drop to this trip to bear no ill effects when successful in the Ganay, and he has winning form on a range of underfoot conditions so he is clearly dangerous to discount from calculations.

Epsom Derby hero Masar (8/1, William Hill) could make his return to action, but there is a feeling that Charlie Appleb’s charge might well need his first run back after more than a year off following injury.

The New Approach colt proved stamina to be a strong suit when keeping on powerfully at Epsom to win the colts’ Classic from Dee Ex Bee, and he represents a yard with a near-40% strike rate for the season at the time of writing.

He has encountered soft ground in his career when finishing third behind Happily in the 2017 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, but he has posted all his winning form on better ground so may not want too much more rain; while he may also just lack the sharpness on his return to mount a serious challenge.

Crystal Ocean (5/1, Paddy Power) got his season off to the perfect start when winning the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown back in April, and the Sea The Stars entire followed up to strike again with a second successive Al Rayyan Stakes crown at Newbury last month.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge won three times last term, which included a win at the Royal Meeting when beating Red Verdon in the Hardwicke Stakes prior to his titanic tussle up the straight with stablemate Poet’s Word in last season’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes where he was denied by a neck.

However, he proved no match for the returning Enable in the September Stakes at Kempton, and the five-year old was readily brushed aside by Cracksman in the Champion Stakes. There is a suspicion that he may just lack the class needed to win a Group One, but he is clearly a very smart performer who can post a big run nonetheless, and he has winning form on softer ground so conditions ought not to faze him.

Aidan O’Brien meanwhile has won this race three times since 2008, most recently with Highland Reel two seasons ago. His MAGICAL (11/4, Coral) could well be the one to side with here with race-fitness assured, and the Galileo filly can extend her unbeaten sequence to 4-4 this term.

A smart juvenile, winning twice which included the Group Two Debutante Stakes, she progressed well last term, winning again at the Curragh with success in the Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes and contesting against the likes of Laurens and Enable in the Matron Stakes and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe before making her Group One breakthrough with a defeat of Coronet here on Champions Day when winning the Champion Fillies and Mares’ Stakes.

That performance was followed by a near miss behind Enable when contesting the Breeders’ Cup Turf, only denied by three-parts of a length but not quite able to get past the tenacious winner.

A drop back to ten furlongs has worked the oracle this term, and she is 3-3 in her starts with a trio of defeats of Flag Of Honour, latterly romping to a wide margin victory over her stablemate to win the Tattersalls Gold Cup in impressive fashion.

The strength of the form of her three wins this term is open to debate, with none coming against top-class opposition and she was probably entitled to win all three as she did. This will be tougher against proven Group One rivals,, but she looks to have improved further this season and there may still be more to come from here.

This trip has proven a catalyst for big progress, and she has proven form on a range of underfoot conditons, while her form figures from last term put her firmly in the mix. She can post a big effort here, and she looks capable of winning this Group One prize where her proven race-fitness could well prove a big advantage.


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2019 Prince Of Wales's Stakes tips - O'Brien's 11/4 chance can prove Magical in Wednesday's Group One feature

Brian Healy takes a look ahead to the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, the first Group Two contest on the second day of the 2019 Royal Ascot festival.

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