14:25 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes
The first of two Group races on the card today, this is a Group 2 over six furlongs which includes a couple of horses that feature prominently at the head of next year's 1,000 Guineas betting.
The Mark Johnston-trained Nyaleti flew out the stalls and led for a very long way in the Chesham Stakes (a Listed contest at Royal Ascot) last time out, beaten only by the highly touted September (who is the clear 6/1 favourite in the 1,000 Guineas betting). That was over seven furlongs and I think at this point in her career the drop back down in distance is the smart move. William Buick takes over steering duties, however, I am confident that she will be ridden in the same way and will jump out and try to make all.
Clemmie, trained by Aiden O'Brien, is vying for favouritism with Nyaleti, and he will have the perfect barometer of her chances given he also trains September. She finished seven of twenty in the Albany Stakes (a Group 3) at Royal Ascot (third in her group), before winning a Group 3 at the Curragh in taking style. That was a very nice looking performance, although I'm not sure she beat anything of real quality that day. She sees her races out well, which suggests she will improve further when the distance increases, and as long as she can stay with Nyaleti and not get too outpaced through the first half of the race, then this half sister to Churchill is likely to be one of the strongest in the finish.
Out Of The Flames has only raced her five furlongs so far in her career (three races). She was a very good third in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot (Group 2) after being outpaced through the first part of the race, therefore, the step up to six furlongs appears likely to suit. If it does, she could be a major player as she obviously has the speed and this Showcasing filly looks to have a touch of class about her.
15:35 - Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes
This is the first Group 1 race of the meeting, and it is over a mile for fillies and mares, with just the seven runners going to post.
Roly Poly hasn't won since landing the Cherry Hinton here last year as a two-year-old. However, she has run good races the last twice, finishing second both times behind her stablemate, the superb Winter. Two runs ago it was in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and last time out in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she battled on very well to take second place. She is a worthy favourite on the back of those two runs and having course form, but it will be interesting to see if she can improve again.
The William Haggas trained Sea Of Grace is relatively lightly raced and appeared to be crying out for a step up in distance on her sole start this year, finishing in mid-division in the Nell Gwyn Stakes here at Newmarket. Her only run over a mile resulted in a victory at Curragh, and I think she will probably want at least ten furlongs in time, given her breeding.
Wuheida, trained by Charlie Appleby, is a fascinating contender. She has only had the two runs to date (one in the UK), but has won both of those and looks a potential star in the making. She won a good maiden here at Newmarket last summer (which has produced three other winners) before heading over to France and winning the Prix Marcel Boussac, a Group 1 over a mile. She beat Dabya that day, a horse also beaten by Roly Poly, and I think she has the biggest scope to improve in this race, and am expecting a huge run.
Arabian Hope has won her last three races, including a Listed race at York last time out. This is quite a leap in class though and she will need to have improved a great deal to seriously trouble the top three in the market.
Ascot 14:25 - Nyaleti - 1 point @ 5/2
Ascot 15:35 - Wuheida - 2 points @ 7/2