There might not be any Australian runners on day two of the Royal Ascot Carnival but the 2013 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes is certainly one to follow with a focus towards the spring carnival.
Due to jump as race three on the program (12:45am Thursday AEST), the Group 1 2000m contest is one the highlights of the week. Last year the race was won by superstar dual Cox Plate winner So You Think and it has again attracted a star-studded field.
A large contingent of the 20 international horses issued invites to the 2013 Cox Plate by the Moonee Valley Racing Club will line up as will some other horses who could feature in Australia this spring.
So just who are the horses to follow with an eye to Melbourne’s spring carnival?
#1 Afsare $26
From the stable of high profile international trainer Luca Cumani, Afsare actually came to Australia for the Cox Plate last year. Injury meant he didn’t take part but he’s reportedly fit and ready for the first-up test. Was last seen running second in the Grade 1 Million Stakes at Arlington in the USA last August.
#2 Al Kazeem $3.30
Issued an invite to the Cox Plate by the MVRC, the five-year-old is a genuine top-liner. Has won his past three starts and is a deserving favourite after defeating Camelot in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland last month.
#3 Camelot $3.70
Another Cox Plate invitee who is part of famous Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien’s strong team. The Epsom and Irish Derby winner hasn’t quite shown the same dominance as a four-year-old but is still a very talented galloper as shown in his Tattersalls Gold Cup second.
#4 Maxios $6
One of the French horses featuring in the MVRC’s Cox Plate invites, he was a Group 1 winner in his home country last month.
#7 Red Cadeaux $17
Not issued a Cox Plate invite but a proven international performer who is familiar to Australian racing fans. Most famous for his narrow Melbourne Cup second to Dunaden in 2011. Was a Group 1 winner in December’s Hong Kong Vase.
#9 Side Glance $34
Invited to the Cox Plate, the six-year-old gelding returns to the UK after running fourth in the Dubai World Cup. That was preceded by a fourth in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta.
#11 The Fugue $6
Another of the Cox Plate invitees lining up at Royal Ascot, the four-year-old mare is a consistent performer. Trained by the high profile John Gosden, she is only lightly raced but placed twice at Group 1 level in the UK last year before travelling to America to run third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup for fillies and mares at Santa Anita.