Sandown’s evening card on Thursday once again provided us with several Royal Ascot pointers ahead of the biggest meeting of the flat racing season. The card featured four superb races with the Group 3 Henry II Stakes and the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes taking centre stage.
Time Test completes preparations for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes in good style
Roger Charlton’s Time Test put the finishing touches to his Royal Ascot preparations with a fine victory in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
The four-year-old was the runaway winner of the Tercentenary Stakes at last season Royal Meeting; the most impressive victory of his career. That victory meant he had to concede 5lbs to the well fancied Western Hymn and Intilaaq, but he proved he had the class to do so and will now head for the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Ryan Moore held his mount up in last place biding his time as the race unfolded, entering the final furlong Moore asked for an effort and Time Test responded well. In the final 150 yards he led from Western Hymn and was driven out to the line to score by a neck.
After the race Charlton said: “The Prince of Wales’s is what I’d be angling for. He looked good at Ascot last year but he he’s going to have to be particularly good this time. Talking to Ryan Moore, a mile and a quarter is his trip.”
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the feature race on day two of Royal Ascot and the market is currently headed by Japanese star A Shin Hikari (9-4) with Time Test (11-2) third favourite.
Pallasator enters Ascot Gold Cup equation; while Global Applause shows his credentials for the Norfolk Stakes
Pallasator took one of the flat season’s best staying races and entered the frame for the Ascot Gold Cup with his win in the Henry II Stakes.
The gigantic seven-year-old faced just four three rivals in the Group 3 event, with Melbourne Cup second Max Dynamite the red-hot favourite at 4-7.
Sir Mark Prescott’s stable star claimed the Group 2 Doncaster Cup in 2015 and showed he has the class to play a part in the season’s big races with a superb performance.
Jockey Oisin Murphy had his mount well positioned throughout and when Max Dynamite tried to take the race, Pallasator continued to gallop relentlessly and take the race by two-and-a-half-lengths.
Now the Gold Cup, the feature race on Royal Ascot Ladies Day will be the aim, with Prescott saying: “He’ll run in the Gold Cup. That’s what they bought him for, but today was about firm enough and he’d handle it as heavy as you like.”
In the Listed National Stakes, Ed Dunlop’s Global Applause produced a superb performance and is now on the path to Royal Ascot, where he is the 6-1 favourite for the Norfolk Stakes on Ladies Day.
In one of the best two-year-old contests of the season so far, Global Applause reversed the form with favourite Mehmas, travelling powerfully throughout and winning by a-length-and-a-quarter.
Royal Ascot is now just a month away. For more information on our remaining packages please follow the link to our Royal Ascot hospitality packages.