The Commonwealth Cup (Friday 3.40) is one of Royal Ascot’s latest initiatives having only been implemented into the fixture last year. It is a 6-furlong Group-1 race that is only open to 3-year-olds, though the inaugural running was won by last year’s all-age champion sprinter Muhaarar.
12 runners look set to go to post for the 2016 Commonwealth Cup.
Last year’s Coventry Stakes winner seemed to fail for stamina in the in the 2000 Guineas, but has 4-lengths to make up on Quiet Reflection on their Sandy Lane Stakes. It may be that he just wants rattling fast ground to be seen at his best, but he won’t get that here.
Beat this year’s Jersey Stakes winner Ribchester in a French Group-3 last time, but isn’t guaranteed to be suited to dropping back to 6-furlongs here. Stamina could be an advantage in this ground though, and not dismissed.
Improved out of all recognition in his last three runs last seas, culminating in his win in the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte. Second to Quiet Reflection in Sandy Lane Stakes next time, but could have improved since with stable in excellent form, and will relish soft conditions.
Second behind Gifted Master in the Pavilion Stakes here in April, but that form doesn’t look good enough now, and disappointed when favourite next time out.
Been performing well at 5-furlongs, and less than 3-lengths behind Profitable at Haydock. Maybe flattered by that though as winner travelled really well, and placed horses haven’t franked the form.
Log Out Island – Richard Hannon
Won Listed race events at 2 and 3, but doesn’t look up to this class even on that form.
Listed winner in France, but that leaves him with lost to find to win this.
Windsor Castle Stakes winner 12 months ago, but has looked less effective on softer ground since despite getting in the winner’s enclosure.
Waterloo Bridge – Aidan O’Brien, Ireland
Norfolk Stakes winner in 2015, but is another who needs to improve, and would probably prefer quicker ground.
Illuminate – Richard Hannon
Won last year’s Group 3 Albany Stakes here, then the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting. Should enjoy the return to sprinting after failing in the 1,000 Guineas, but is another who would prefer quicker ground.
La Rioja – Henry Candy
Looked like she could be very special last season, and she will surely come on for her reappearance behind Quiet Reflection. No surprise if she goes close.
Notched-up four-timer with her impressive victory in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, though stable was in blistering form at the time. Improving all the time though – and looks to have a favourite’s chance.
Commonwealth Cup Summary
I think the finish will be fought out by Quiet Reflection, Donjuan Triumphant and La Rioja, and it could well be worth combining the three horses in forecast and tricast combinations. However, if you just want one tip – I’d play each-way on Donjuan Triumphant.