Tuesday’s Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot 2018 promises to be a cracker and the presence of surprise Irish 2000 Guineas winner Romanised adds extra depth to the contest.
Trainer by Ken Condon and ridden by Shane Foley, Romanised sprang a 25/1 surprise at the Curragh at the end of last month, swooping to comprehensively outpoint the front-running US Navy Flag and his Aidan O’Brien-trained stable companion Gustav Klimt, who both remain possible rivals once again next week. The good to firm ground at the Curragh that day certainly helped Condon’s charge who really bounces off quick ground and seems likely to get similar conditions next week once again.
There was no semblance of a fluke about the victory of the Holy Roman Emperor colt who ended his two-year-old campaign with what transpired to be a great effort in finishing a two-length second to this month’s Investec Derby hero Masar in the Group 3 BetBright Solario Stakes at Sandown.
Romanised is currently ante-post third-favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes at a top priced 6/1 shot with Bet365. John Gosden’s unbeaten Without Parole is the clear 3/1 favourite with Betfred, while the Roger Teal-trained Qipco 2000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win is offered at a best price of 11/2 with Ladbrokes.
“To ride a winner [at Royal Ascot] would be fantastic,” said Foley. “Romanised was very good in the Irish Guineas and all has gone well with him since. There’s not going to be a big field and he should have a good shout – I’m really looking forward to riding him.”
“Romanised came out of the Irish Guineas very well,” added Condon. “He did his last bit of fast work on Tuesday morning and everything went smoothly. We’re very happy with him and with a bit of luck he should deliver another very good performance.”
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.