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2019 Royal Ascot recap - Five winners who can follow up in Group Ones this year

Jonathan Vine 25 Jun 2019
Pinatubo (left) bounds clear of Lope Y Fernandez in his record-breaking Chesham Stakes romp.

We take a look back on last week’s action at Royal Ascot and highlight five impressive winners who can follow up in Group Ones races later this year.

Royal Ascot is over for another year and the 2019 edition of this famous meeting will be one that lives long in the memory. Frankie Dettori stole the headlines when he threatened to run through the card on Thursday afternoon, before Hayley Turner thrust female jockey’s into the spotlight the following afternoon, becoming the first lady rider to ride a Royal Ascot winner since Gay Kelleway all those years ago.

On the track, Blue Point was undoubtedly the star, sailing off into stud after completing the famous King’s Stand, Diamond Jubilee Stakes double. Crystal Ocean finally claimed the Group One he thoroughly deserved in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, with Lord Glitters, Watch Me, Advertise and Circus Maximus claiming surprise Group One victories in fantastic fashion.

Away from the top level races, there were plenty of stand-out performers who warrant a significant mention. Here are five of the most impressive champions at Royal Ascot 2019 who could follow up in Group Ones later in the campaign.


Group One Goal - Prix du Moulin de Longchamp & Irish Champion Stakes

Tuesday’s card-closer, the Wolferton Stakes may only hold Listed status, but the quality of this year's field was more akin to a Group Three, or even a Group Two contest. Addeybb was one of those dropping down in class to take part in this excellent race and it was William Haggas’ charge who prevailed, securing a comfortable victory with a powerful surge down the home straight – a move neither Magic Wand nor Elarqam could match.

Addeybb thrived on the soft ground at Ascot and that aspect is vital to this five-year-old’s future success. Races like the Coral Eclipse and the Juddmonte International will come into consideration, should the ground come up in his favour. Haggas could look to France to find soft ground, with the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp a possible objective. The mile-and-a-quarter Irish Champion Stakes, however, is often run on ground with plenty of give, so that would likely be Addeybb’s primary objective. 

Move Swiftly

Group One Goals - Falmouth Stakes, Sun Chariot Stakes

I found the market support for Move Swiftly ahead of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes a little strange, considering Haggas’ filly hadn’t been seen since three successive runner-up finishes back in the autumn. Yet, under an inspired ride by Danny Tudhope, William Haggas’ filly battled her way to the front and held off late charges from Rawdaa and I Can Fly to secure an impressive Group Two triumph.

Given that was her first start for 230-days, you’d be surprised if Move Swiftly didn’t come on significantly for the run. Royal Ascot further emphasised the fact that the mile division – for both colts and fillies – is extremely weak at the moment, so there’s nothing to say Move Swiftly can’t win races like the Falmouth Stakes or the Sun Chariot later in the season.


Group One Goals - Keeneland Phoenix Stakes & Middle Park Stakes

Some said this year’s renewal of the Coventry Stakes was a little weaker than those won by the likes of Caravaggio and Calyx in recent years. Personally, I think it will turn out to be a very good contest. Both Threat and Guildsman had won nicely on their racecourse debuts and have the ability to content at the highest level. Neither, however, were good enough to deny Arizona, who picked up really nicely in the final furlong to secure a narrow victory.

The Ballydoyle money went down on Arizona moments before the off and the son of No Nay Never rewarded his backers handsomely, despite looking green in the early stages. A trip to the Breeders’ Cup could be on the agenda come the end of the year, but before we reach that Stateside carnival, Arizona could be a strong contender in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and the Middle Park Stakes - races Aidan O’Brien boasts a particularly strong recent record in. 


Group One Goals - King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes & Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Looking back on Royal Ascot, punters who didn’t back Japan in the King Edward will be dismayed at the price the winner eventually went off at. Despite sitting head-and-shoulders above his rivals in terms of rating and form, Japan slid out to 6/4 just before the off. On this occasion, the drift was far from telling, as Ryan Moore’s mount put his rivals to the sword with a stunning, five-length victory.

After finishing with a wet-sail in the Derby, I fancied Japan would be Ballydoyle's main St Leger horse this term. However, after his Ascot triumph, the vibes coming from Aidan O’Brien's team were that Japan could be in line to fight for the biggest prizes over a mile-and-a-half instead, with the King George and the Arc likely to be at the forefront of their planning during the second half of the season.


Group One Goals - National Stakes & Dewhurst Stakes

Confidence was clearly high in the Ballydoyle camp as Lope Y Fernandez took to the field ahead of the Chesham Stakes and he was backed into the shortest price any of the other Ballydoyle two-year-olds had carried throughout the week. Charlie Appleby’s Pinatubo wasn't without his supporters, with many hoping he would give the well-backed favourite a real scare. However, it was the Godolphin flag-bearer who proved himself to be the class act in the field, edging ahead of Lope Y Fernandez a furlong from home before striding clear on the run to the line, smashing the two-year-old track record in the process.

For me, Pinatubo’s win in the Chesham was easily the most impressive juvenile performance of the season so far and I expect the form of that Listed contest to work out extremely well. You can see Appleby and the team taking this Shamardal colt down a similar path to that trod by stablemate Quorto last season, with the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes a likely objective, before a tilt at the Dewhurst come the autumn. It's easy to see why Pinatubo is currently the favourite for the 2020 2000 Guineas.

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2019 Royal Ascot recap - Five winners who can follow up in Group Ones this year

We take a look back on last week’s action at Royal Ascot and highlight five impressive winners who can follow up in Group Ones races later this year.

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