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Royal Ascot 2024 day two: Auguste Rodin rules in Prince of Wales’s Stakes – live


Key events

Note this: there were only four days’ racing at Royal Ascot when the great Lester Piggott was riding!

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Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Royal Hunt Cup (5.05pm) preview

The field for one of the most historic Royal Ascot handicaps is down to 29 with Silent Film now a non-runner, but this still looks like an almost impossible puzzle to solve. Just one favourite – Jeremy Noseda’s Forgotten Voice at 5-1 – has obliged the backers in the last 27 runnings, and the horse attempting to defy that stat today looks likely to be Saeed bin Suroor’s Wild Tiger, with Oisin Murphy booked to ride. He was a very ready winner at Goodwood last month and his trainer has a fine record in this race, with two wins since 2010. This will be a very different test, however, and quite frankly, almost anything could win. My personal “long list” ran to 14 horses and the final shortlist had half a dozen, including Dermot Weld’s Coeur D’Or, the Qatar-based Hamad al-Jahani’s Beshtani, touched off in a hot race at Epsom’s Derby meeting, and Perotto, who took the Britannia Handicap over track and trip three years ago. The last horse standing – the final, hopeful stab of the pin, in truth – was Eve Johnson Houghton’s Streets Of Gold, who was an excellent third in last year’s Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs, ran equally well to finish a close sixth in the Victoria Cup, again at Ascot, last time and could well improve for this step up in trip.

SELECTION: STREETS OF GOLD

Studying the form. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP
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Auguste Rodin rules in Prince of Wales’s Stakes (4.25pm)

Result:
1 Auguste Rodin (R L Moore) 13-8 Fav
2 Zarakem (M Guyon) 33-1
3 Horizon Dore (M Barzalona) 7-1
10 ran

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Prince of Wales’s Stakes (4.25pm)

And they’re off … Inspiral out slowly and is last … Snobbish leads from Hans Andersen with Auguste Rodin in a perfect position … they turn for home … Inspiral is going to have to come from last … Auguste Rodin has the lead and holds on to win.

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Prince of Wales’s Stakes (4.25pm) market movers

Inspiral 4/1 (was 7/2)

Royal Rhyme 14/1 (was 20/1)

Full details at Oddspedia

Youngsters … that’s what cash looks like. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters
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Running Lion’s owner David Howden: enthusiasm is an understatement!

Prince of Wales’s Stakes (4.25pm) betting

Cheers! Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP
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Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Prince of Wales’s Stakes (4.25pm) preview

As previously noted, this is a cracking renewal of Tuesday’s feature, and the first time for eight years that the winners of the English, Irish and French 2,000 Guineas have all gone to post. Notable Speech, the Newmarket winner, is currently around 5-4 to confirm the form of his win over Rosallion, who then went on to win the Irish equivalent, while Metropolitan, the winner in France, is now – a little surprisingly, perhaps – the 40-1 outsider of the entire field having been priced up at around 20-1 yesterday. The French form does have a representative near the top of the betting, though, as Aidan O’Brien’s Henry Longfellow, who got no run at all at Longchamp, is the third-favourite at around 5-1. Anyone looking for alternative to the three Classic winners will probably want to give Almaqam, the Heron Stakes winner, a once-over, while Alnayaabi, who finished fifth in the English 2,000 Guineas, is also attracting some interest at around 16-1. This actually feels quite straightforward to me: I think the Newmarket form is the best on offer by some way, and Rosallion’s subsequent success in Ireland backs that up. Notable Speech has a high cruising speed, a sharp turn of foot and plenty of scope for further progress and he looks a very worthy favourite.

SELECTION: NOTABLE SPEECH

Now that’s a Roger Moore impersonation! Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Lion roars in the Duke of Cambridge (3.05pm)

Result:
1 Running Lion (Oisin Murphy) 6-1
2 Laurel (R L Moore) 4-1
3 Doom (T Marquand) 12-1
14 ran

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Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.45pm)

And they’re off … Orchid Bloom is slowly away and Sea The Lady is tailed off already … Running Lion has the lead as they turn for home … and she kicks clear and holds off a fast-finshing Laurel to win.

Princess Eugenie backed it! Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
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“I think we should be confident” Roy Hodgson on England at the Euros

Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.45pm) market movers

Rogue Millennium 7/2 (was 10/3)

Running Lion 13/2 (was 15/2)

Anne, Princess Royal, waits her turn in the queue! Photograph: Benjamin Cremel/AFP/Getty Images
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Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.45pm) betting

Getting a better view! Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP
Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.45pm) preview

A switch in track for this Group Two for fillies and mares, which has been run on the straight course since its introduction in 2004 but will move to the round course for the first time today. The thinking is apparently that it will make for more of a spectacle if numbers are on the low side – a single-figure field can look very lonely coming down the middle of the straight course – but this year’s race has managed to draw its biggest turnout since 2019, with 14 runners declared. That could set a few problems for jockeys ridings from the high draws, including William Buick, on Gregarina, and Jason Hart, whose mount, Breege, generally likes to race up with the pace. Ocean Jewel and Running Lion are also drawn in double-figures, but last year’s winner, Rogue Millennium, is in two and has an obvious chance to follow up. She has switched stables, from Tom Clover to Joseph O’Brien, since winning this race last year, but looked to have retained all her ability when suffering an unlucky run on her first start for O’Brien last time. The lightly-raced five-year-old Laurel may be the biggest danger, and it is certainly interesting that such an impeccably-bred future broodmare has been kept in training at five, but she is returning in a tough race after more than a year on the sidelines.

SELECTION: ROGUE MILLENNIUM

Say cheese! Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

Moore is magic on Illinois in Queen’s Vase (3.05pm)

Result:
1 Illinois (R L Moore) 7-4 Fav
2 Highbury (W M Lordan) 3-1
3 Birdman (S Foley) 13-2
11 ran
Non Runner: 2

Runners and riders in the Queen’s Vase. Photograph: David Davies/PA
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Queen’s Vase (3.05pm)

And they’re off … Mr Hampstead and Illinois are the early leaders … Mina Rashid is at the back of the field … Highbury has a good position with a mile to go … Plenty of horses pulling hard … they turn for home … Illinois goes for home … he’s tiring a little but holds on under a great ride from Ryan Moore.

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Queen’s Vase (3.05pm) market movers

Illinois 2/1 (was 7/4)

Meydaan 7/1 (was 8/1)

A general view of the parade ring. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse

Queen’s Vase (3.05pm) betting

Andrew Lloyd Webber is a regular in the royal procession. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Queen’s Vase (3.05pm) preview

Ascot could easily be accused of being impervious to change, but it could also be argued that it has a canny knack of knowing when the time is right for change. The Queen’s Vase was becoming a bit of a spare part at the meeting as a two-mile race for three-year-olds, but the switch to a mile-and-three-quarters in 2017 has had a transformative effect. Winners since include a subsequent multiple Gold Cup winner in Stradivarius and two Leger winners (Kew Gardens and Eldar Eldarov), with an Irish Derby winner (Santiago) thrown in for good measure. This year’s field includes no fewer than four potential St Leger candidates from the Aidan O’Brien yard in Illinois, Highbury, Grosvenor Square and The Equator, while Jessica Harrington’s unbeaten Birdman is another fascinating contender. Ryan Moore has seemingly opted for Illinois from the picks available, but Highbury strikes me as the best bet at the likely prices, though this is probably more of a race to watch with an eye on the future.

SELECTION: HIGHBURY

Prince William still needs to work on the hand signals! Photograph: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Leovanni wins Windsor Castle (2.30) for big spenders Wathnan

Result:
1 Leovanni (James Doyle) 22-1
2 Mighty Eriu (G F Carroll) 50-1
3 Maw Lam (Hollie Doyle) 50-1
24 ran
Non Runner: 8
Withdrawn: 11

Leovanni. ridden by jockey James Doyle, wins the Queen Mary Stakes. Photograph: David Davies/PA
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Windsor Castle Stakes (2.30pm)

This is going to be over very quick so pardon the brief description … And they’re off … No 11 Kuwaitya was withdrawn at the start … Leovanni stormed through in the middle after taking it up with over a furlong to and was a clear-cut winner for the rising superpower in British racing, Wathnan Racing.

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The royal procession (due 2pm) was out early … 1.53pm to be precise! Wouldn’t have happened in Queen Elizabeth’s day and if it had been an actual race (which have to start no earlier than the time advertised) it would have been voided!

They went too early! Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters
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Queen Mary Stakes (2.30pm) betting

Not so styish! Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

Queen’s Hat Stakes (2pm)

1st Blue 7-1

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Here’s your pre-first race update on the non-runners:

Billy the Kid is back … after young Mr Loughnane’s 80-1 success aboard Rashabar on Tuesday.

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Queen Mary Stakes (2.30pm) preview

A race that is all about potential, with two-thirds of the field having seen a track no more than once or twice so far, and like the Coventry here on Tuesday – in which the eventual first three home were priced at 80-1, 40-1 and 50-1 – it has the feel of a race where anything could happen. Make Haste, Truly Enchanting and Leovanni are all possible favourites, following debut wins at Naas, Tipperary and Nottingham respectively. Make Haste has fared a little better than her main market rivals in the draw, but personally I’d rather take a chance on Wesley Ward’s Ultima Grace at around 12-1. She is bidding to become Ward’s fifth winner of this race and has a predictably similar profile to the other four, having bolted up on debut at Keeneland in April.

SELECTION: ULTIMA GRACE

Betty Bachz … that’s stylish. Photograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse
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Market movers update

Despite drifting in the betting in the last two hours, Auguste Rodin remains the best- backed horse on Oddschecker in the Prince of Wales.

Last 4 hours of data and % of bets placed:

Auguste Rodin 33%

Inspiral 25%

Alfaila 14%

Horizon Dore 9%

Blue Rose Cen 7%

Lord North 6%

Perhaps a bit more interestingly, in the first race, Kassaya (2.30) has been the best backed horse on oddschecker with 21% of bets so far today. Her odds have shortened from 12/1 into 7/1.

Loving this sign on a picnic table at Royal Ascot. Photograph: John Walton/PA

Queen’s Hat Stakes (2pm) preview

There was always a lively betting market on the colour of the Queen’s hat when Queen Elizabeth II was attending the meeting and there are odds available from Ladbrokes on what colour tifter Queen Camilla will be sporting. While we have the smart people at BestofBets.com with their form guide: “Yesterday saw the Queen wearing a beautiful blue hat but with neutral colours being a favourite of Queen Camilla, the bookies have cut the odds on Her Majesty wearing a cream/white hat to 7/2. However, last year, the Queen didn’t hesitate wearing the same colours more than once, and with blue being one of the late Queen’s favourite Royal Ascot colours, it couldn’t be a shock should she wear it again.”

Ladbrokes betting:

  • Cream/White 7/2

  • Pink/Peach 4/1

  • Yellow 5/1

  • Green 6/1

  • Blue/Navy 7/1

  • Orange 8/1

  • Red 8/1

  • Purple 10/1

  • Gold 12/1

  • Silver 14/1

Queen Camilla wore a blue hat and outfit on Tuesday. Photograph: Karwai Tang/WireImage

They have had quite a few go’s in the carriages to be fair

Great to see that Lord Lloyd Webber and Lady Lloyd Webber will be in the second carriage of the Royal Procession today.

I was only wondering yesterday when it would be their turn again.

— Jose (@josew1993) June 19, 2024

Market movers

We have the second of our regular daily market movers bulletin in courtesy of the folks at Oddschecker. These are the horses being supported (and one not) in the betting on Wednesday:

3:05 Queen’s Vase

The perceived O’Brien third-string has been nibbled at in the betting, with most firms trimming The Equator from 14/1 in to a general 11/1.

4.25 Prince Of Wales Stakes

The best backed horse this morning is Blue Rose Cen, one bookmaker is holding 10/1 at time of writing, but the majority go a general 17/2, from a top price of 12/1 first thing this morning. The favourite Auguste Rodin remains solid at 7/4 top price.

5.40 Kensington Palace Stakes

The regally-bred Doha is the one for money so far today, with one bookmaker going 13/2 from 10/1 .. and many others starting to follow suit.

6.15 Windsor Castle

One big drifter today is Celtic Chieftain, who was as short as 4/1 with Paddy Power first thing today, but now as big as 9/1.

Zara Sassoon-Munns … with a brick of a phone! Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

Royal Procession (2pm)

The runners are in for the first event, the one that the bulk of the crowd are perhaps more captivated by than the actual races. And the confirmation is in that the King will be missing from the track on Wednesday. The big news for royal watchers is that the Prince of Wales is there … to see the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes! The trainer Mark Prescott, who I imagine will be great company at the lunch before the carriages make their way down the track, is in carriage three. He had a winner on Tuesday.

1st Carriage
The Queen
The Prince of Wales
The Earl of Halifax
The Countess of Halifax

2nd Carriage
The Duke of Gloucester
The Duchess of Gloucester
The Lord Lloyd Webber
The Lady Lloyd Webber

3rd Carriage
Princess Eugenie
Mr. Jack Brooksbank
The Lady Sarah Keswick
Sir Mark Prescott Bt.

4th Carriage
The Marchioness of Lansdowne
The Earl of Rosslyn
Baron von Westenholz
Baroness von Westenholz

The Prince of Wales, pictured wth the Princess of Wales at the track last year, will be at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. Photograph: John Walton/PA
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It’s almost that time again … the royal procession down the track is back at about 2pm and we can expect the details of who will be in it at 12 noon.

This is also the time when I mention the Serpentine gallery exhibition by artist Mark Wallinger I saw back in 1994 when one of his installations, called ‘Royal Ascot’, consisted of a series of video monitors on top of wheeled flight cases, each isolating the royal carriage’s leisurely progress down the track on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (respectively, as it was then) of the meeting with the added TV commentary.

The point Wallinger was making is that the difference from day to day was barely discernible. The only major difference now is that we have a new monarch, King Charles III, though according to the Telegraph yesterday he’s only going four days this week and is due to miss out today. If that’s correct we’ll soon find out at midday.

Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Camilla wave as they arrive by carriage on Tuesday but according to reports he won’t be at the track on Wednesday. Photograph: Alberto Pezzali/AP

Here’s your line-up for today’s sport, courtesy of a classy Ascot tweet, er X, oh you know what I mean:

Here are the horses you can cross off today as they aren’t turning up

Royal Ascot non-runners

2.30pm Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2)

8 Glorious Kitty (going)

3.05pm Queen’s Vase (Group 2)

2 Grosvenor Square (going)

5.05pm Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap)

19 Silent Film (vet’s cert – respiratory infection)

This chap was first in the queue on Wednesday. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

The going for day two, as outlined in Greg’s preamble, is still Good to Firm.

We’ll be posting the going stick readings every day here at this time but it could be a waste of time given the weather forecast seems to be set fair. At present there still doesn’t seem to be any great advantage on eiother side of the straight track.

GoingStick readings at 8am:
Stands’ side:
8.2
Centre: 7.9
Far side: 8.1

Tamara Holmgren with Barney Battles, readying himself for the Scotland match at the Euros later clearly. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Preamble

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Good morning from Ascot on day two of this year’s royal meeting, when Auguste Rodin, last year’s Derby winner, will be among the star turns as he takes on the mare Inspiral – already the winner of six Group One events – in the feature event, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

Wednesday’s card generally pulls in the lowest crowd of the week, which mainly goes to show that the actual quality of the horses and the racing is not the only consideration for spectators, or even, in some cases, a consideration at all. If you were trying to pick the “best” race of the meeting in terms of the ratings of the horses involved in advance, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes would probably be the percentage call, so perhaps it just feels like less of a day out if you still have two days of work left in the week.

Auguste Rodin is a fascinating favourite for a race like this – he’s currently around 7-4 – because he has a habit of running the occasional, inexplicably bad race. He did it in the King George here last summer and in the Sheema Classic in Dubai in March, but in between, notched up wins in the Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf. Inspiral, meanwhile, may be operating at the limit of her stamina, as her win at last year’s Breeders’ Cup was over a much easier 10 furlongs than Ascot’s, and anyone who thinks the market leaders are both vulnerable has plenty of each-way options to pick from.

The early report from the track regarding the weather and going is that there is nothing much to report, which is generally good news for punters. The going remains good-to-firm, 4mm of water went onto the course overnight to maintain the ground, and the forecast is for another dry day.

The big race is off at 4.25pm, and the card is under way with the Queen Mary Stakes, a five-furlong dash for two-year-old fillies, at 2.30pm. Some picks for the seven races are here, and you can, as always, follow all the action as it happens here on the blog, all the way through to the last race, the Windsor Castle Stakes, at 6.15pm.

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