Prince Of Wales Stakes Preview

By Dave Stevos

Well this 10f Group 1 is all about one horse and A Shin Hikari is a red hot favourite after his demolition job of a quality field at Chantilly (9f heavy). That was his second win at Group 1 level and this 5yo son of Japanese superstar Deep Impact looks to have inherited plenty of Daddy’s ability. Favourites have a decent record in this race, with five jollies obliging in the last ten renewals. Free Eagle rewarded favourite backers when winning it for Dermot Weld last season, but he has no entry this time around.

John Gosden won it in 2014 with his magnificent mare The Fugue and he sends out Western Hymn to try and land the prize this year. This 5yo son of High Chapparal has had a severe dose of seconditis this season, finishing runner up on three occasions. He was beaten favourite on his first two runs, over 10f (gd/sft) on his seasonal return at Sandown and then over 10.5f (gd) at Chester. He ran a cracker behind Time Test last time on good to firm back at Sandown, and he comes here in fine fettle. He is a 16/1 shot with Boylesports and as a dual soft ground winner he will appreciate the return to easy ground at Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien’s Breeders Cup Turf hero Found will take her chance against the boys and Golden Horn was one of her victims at Keeneland. She ran a cracking race at Epsom last time over 12f, finishing second behind Postponed on good to soft ground. She has solid course form in the book, chasing home Ervedya here in the Coronation last season (8f gd/fm). She has won on ground ranging from soft to good to firm and she is a dual Group 1 winner. If any of this lot is going to put it up to the favourite this mare could be the one at 5/1 with William Hill.

My Dream Boat goes for Clive Cox and the Rooneys but he was no match for A Shin Hikari at Chantilly, over 14L behind that rival in fifth. He had previously accounted for Western Hymn in a Group 3 at Sandown (10f gd/sft) and he will handle easy ground. He could run well at odds of 20/1 and it would be no surprise if he upheld that Sandown form with Western Hymn. Of the others The Grey Gatsby is a lovely horse, but he is having his first run back of the season and he wouldn’t want it too soft. Tryster is another that is totally unproven on soft and he has found a hot race in which to try it for the first time.

However, it is impossible to get away from the Japanese raider and odds of 10/11 look more than fair. He is a long way clear in the ratings and he showed that soft ground holds no fears for him when winning at Chantilly. To win a Group 1 by 10L is no mean feat, and the turn of foot he showed to pull clear of a quality field was astonishing. The runner up Dariyan was a Group 1 winner himself on his previous run so there is no doubting the form.

He made virtually all at Chantilly so he will have no qualms about getting on with it at the front of this small field. His trainer has warned that he can be a bit of a hot head in the preliminaries, so if you are considering lumping on it would be advisable to wait until you see him in the parade ring. If he is on his best behaviour he looks an absolute certainty, and he is impossible to oppose at odds of 10/11 with BoyleSports.