Royal Ascot trainers – Seven solid Stoute chances for Ascot success
We look at the stable of one of the top Royal Ascot trainers and pick out the best prospects of success from Sir Michael Stoute’s Royal Ascot team.
One or the United Kingdom’s top trainers for many years, Sir Michael Stoute is no stranger to success at Royal Ascot. Sure to be heralded as one of the greatest trainers in history, the ten-times Champion Trainer remains the only 20th century trainer to have won an English Classic in five consecutive seasons.
He’s also saddled plenty of Royal Ascot winners through the years and 2020’s festival of top-class racing may well yield further success for the Barbadian-born Stoute who is sure to launch another potent assault on some big prizes throughout the duration of the premier flat fixture.
Like many trainers, Stoute has yet to finalise his Royal Ascot 2020 raiding party and entries for many of the races at the top-class meeting have yet to be received; but we pick out a few potential names to keep an eye on when the fantastic Festival rolls around.
Raced three times last term, competing against the likes of Light Angel on his debut prior to posting a creditable sixth in the Chesham Stakes behind Pinatubo.
The son of Frankel then returned from a three months’ break at Sandown in September to finish fourth to Via De Vega; but he looked the type to progress with age and he could improve plenty this term especially when faced with a stiffer test as he looked tapped for speed in that Sandown event having cut out a lot of the early running.
A target such as the Hampton Court Stakes may be on the agenda, a race Stoute won twelve months ago with Sangarius, and the Frankel colt could make his mark if turning out.
Has progressed with each of his three starts, getting off the mark in impressive style at Kempton in early-June where he ran out a bloodless seven lengths’ winner.
The New Approach colt holds an Epsom Derby entry but may prove suited by a lesser test than the colts’ Classic; a race then like the King Edward VII Stakes or a drop in trip for the Jersey Stakes could prove viable targets or Stoute might be tempted by a crack at a Group One with the St James’s Palace Stakes also a possible destination.
If turning out at Royal Ascot then regardless of his final destination he looked one to keep on the right side of when scoring in good fashion recently.
Won three of five starts and is due to run at Newmarket on Friday where he could well add to his haul.
The Kingman colt can count last season’s Hampton Court Stakes amongst his wins where he took the step up in class and distance in his stride, and he’s likely to have further improvement to come this campaign where he could take high order in the middle-distance division.
He could possibly drop back to one mile and take another step up in class for the Queen Anne Stakes or the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over the ten furlongs which he struck last campaign. Meanwhile a further step up in trip could see a tilt at the Harwicke Stakes if Stoute decides to go down that route.
Another progressive sort from the yard who has got better with every run and the Sea The Moon colt caught the eye with a smooth success at Newcastle at the beginning of June, beating Good Tidings readily.
Also a winner at Kempton, the four-year old can continue to progress and impress and it will be interesting to see if Stoute targets a Royal Ascot prize. The Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap looks a viable option while a step up in trip would bring in the Copper Horse Handicap on the Wednesday.
He could also be tried stepping up in class for the Wolferton Handicap on the Thursday and he’s another potential Stoute improver judging on his latest success.
Has continued to operate at a very good level despite now being a seven-year old, winning a Group One at Newbury last term when taking the Lockinge Stakes enroute to tackling the Queen Anne Stakes at this meeting and also locking horns with Enable in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes.
The Tamayuz gelding was last seen beating Limato to collect the top prize in the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Newmarket and he could be set for another big campaign where another tilt at the Queen Anne Stakes could prove the target unless Stoute is tempted by a step up in trip for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes with one of the elder statesmen of his yard.
Saw her reputation dented in the Coronation Stakes last term when only finishing third to Watch Me having won both her previous starts in decisive fashion and it is perhaps too soon to write off the Shamardal filly just yet from fulfilling her obvious potential.
That Royal Ascot defeat was followed by further reversals at Goodwood and Sandown, shaping as if she were amiss on her final start in the Atalanta Stakes. She’s surely better than that effort and she could yet have more to offer this term.
Possible Royal Ascot targets for Stoute’s charge could include the Queen Anne Stakes, although the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes looks a more viable option for the four-year old.
DREAM OF DREAMS
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes could again be the target for Stoute’s classy speedster who won twice last term before chasing home Blue Point in the race twelve months ago.
Things didn’t go to plan thereafter for the Dream Ahead gelding who suffered defeat on all three subsequent starts following that Royal Ascot run. However, two of those came on soft ground in Group Ones and a better surface would arguably see him in greater light.
Gelded since his last outing when disappointing in the Champions Sprint here last October, he won first time up last term and despite now being a six-year old he could prove a late bloomer who can take another forward step.