It’s less than a week to Royal Ascot, and Britain’s premier flat-racing meeting is introducing an exciting new race to its 2015 Agenda in the shape of the Commonwealth Cup. It will be run on the Friday (19th June) over 6-furlongs and is open only to 3-year-olds, who are no longer eligible to run in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the meeting.
Whilst some may argue that the 3-year-olds absence may dilute the big race, it has long been considered that 3-year-olds struggle against their elders in the sprinting division at this time of year. The organisers must therefore be delighted by the big names the new race has attracted, and it’s certainly worth taking a look at the leading protagonists with a view to an ante-post bet.
The apple of Henry Candy’s eye was unbeaten in his first 5 starts but lost that record when beaten a length by Adaay at Haydock. Proven over course and distance he looks sure to have had this as his major target, though the form of the Candy stable is still a bit hit and miss.
A visually stunning winner of last season’s Windsor Castle Stakes over 5-furlongs at the Royal meeting, though that form hasn’t really been franked since. However, he’s proved his stamina over further when winning at the Breeders Cup, and hacked up on his last run in April. A danger to all.
Tiggy Wiggy 5/1
Last season’s champion 2-year-old filly returns to sprinting after a gallant third in the 1,000 Guineas, and should come into her own now. She finished second at last year’s Royal meeting but improved afterwards, and it will be interesting to see how she fares against the colts.
Saw Limato’s backside twice last season, but overturned that form at Haydock last month and could well have improved this season for the very in-form stable of William Haggas.
Anthem Alexander 8/1
Beat Tiggy Wiggy over 5-furlongs at Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary last year, but then twice finished behind her. However, she looked like she’d grown more than her old rival when reappearing at Naas where she was impressive in beating colts on ground softer than ideal. She’s also trained by ace sprinter trainer Eddie Lynam.
Ivawood, Mattmu and Home of the Brave all have claims on their best form.
The principals look a decent bunch for this inaugural running, but I’m definitely siding with Alexander Anthem who looked like she’d made up into a proper 3-year-old – and I’m a big fan of trainer Eddie Lynam, who’s trained Sole Power and Slade Power to multiple group wins.
Alexander Anthem 1 point each-way
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