Prince Of Wales’s Stakes Preview – Can Japan conquer Royal Ascot 2020

Japan beats Crystal Ocean in a thrilling finish to the 2019 Juddmonte InternationalJapan beats Crystal Ocean in a thrilling finish to the 2019 Juddmonte International

The Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes will be the only Group 1 on the second day of Royal Ascot. One of the most established and high-profile races of the entire meeting, the race has been won by  Highland Reel, Poet’s Word, and Crystal Ocean in recent years. Top trainers Andre Fabre, John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien all feature on the roll of honour in the last decade and Christopher Loader reveals below who he thinks will come out on top this year…

Prince of Wales’s Stakes 2020 favourite

It has been confirmed by trainer Aidan O’Brien that Japan will make his first appearance of this season in this race. The son of Galileo had a big reputation last season and started to deliver as the year progressed. His standout performance arguably came in the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York, where he just got the better of the star Crystal Ocean. After that run. he was kept fresh for the Arc and finished a respectable fourth behind Waldgeist, Enable, and Sottass. He is a clear Royal Ascot 2020 Prince of Wales’ Stakes favourite with the majority of bookmakers but I am keen to oppose him as he just might need the run.

Prince Of Wales’s Stakes 2020 – the main dangers

According to the betting, Barney Roy is the biggest danger but he could potentially go for the Queen Anne Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot, so I wouldn’t be wasting one of my Royal Ascot free bets on him.  The son of Excelebration has had an odd career, winning the St James’ Palace Stakes as a three-year-old before suffering fertility problems at stud. Subsequently returned to training by Godolphin, he has been able to hold his own at the top level winning a Group 1 at Meydan on his latest start. He certainly has to make the shortlist.

It’s possible that Headman might feature in this race for Roger Charlton. The son of Kingman broke through from handicap company to win a Group 2 at Deauville in France. However, he was outclassed when stepping up in grade for the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. If he does run in the Prince of Wales’s, I again expect him to come up short.

The next one to consider in your Royal Ascot betting tips is Sangarius, who won the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes over this course and distance at the Royal meeting last year. Sir Michael Stoute has an excellent record in the Prince of Wales’s and his four-year-old would have to produce a career-best to win, but he is very lightly raced and his trainer is prolific with this type of horse. If all goes to plan on Sangarius’s return, I can see Frankie Dettori receiving the nod to ride if Ryan Moore gets the leg up on Japan.

Prince Of Wales’s Stakes 2020 – live outsider

At bigger prices, Fox Tal has attracted support for Andrew Balding. He won a hot conditions race at Doncaster last season before running behind Magical in the Champion Stakes at Ascot. That day he was unlucky as he suffered major interference against the rail

While Japan is likely to be popular for many punters, I am concerned by the lack of a prep run. Sangarius could progress into a Group 1 horse and with a recent run under his belt, he represents massive value. Barney Roy is a horse to keep on the side if he is declared for this. Remember with  Ascot live streaming you can watch every race at the prestigious meeting live so let’s hope we can strike gold with a few winners