Race of The Day Wednesday June 20
16:201m2fur (2000m)

Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1)

Ascot

  • Current Favourite  Cracksman
  • Current Odds 8/13
Race Analysis Runners 7 Going Good to Firm (Good in places) Distance 1m2fur (2000m)

Race Overview

A top-class Group 1 event run over a mile-and-a-quarter for four-year-olds and upwards with a massive purse of £750,000 in guaranteed prizemoney, this race has been won over the years by some of the great middle distance performers.

This highlight of Day 2 at Royal Ascot draws together horses from across Europe who have high-class form at anything from a mile to a mile-and-a-half. This intermediate distance requires stamina as well as speed, with the gruelling climb to the line having found out many a talented performer over the years. It also serves as a stepping stone to other great events such as the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Judddmonte International, the Irish and British Champion Stakes’, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, among others.

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Favourite Cracksman

John Gosden’s superb colt has won his last five races, including a brilliant success in last year’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. He is clearly the top rated horse in this field but had to work very hard to score in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom earlier this month.

Horse racing Sir Michael Stoute

Other Contenders

Punters looking for value will home on on the likes of the very classy Sir Michael Stoute-trained Poet’s Voice, Hawkbill, Eminent and Cliffs of Moher as the ones most likely to give the expected odds-on favourite something to think about.

Race Analysis

(Published – 07.40, June 19) – This great race well and truly revolves around one horse,CRACKSMAN. If he is at his best then the others really do have their work cut out. Frankie Dettori’s mount is a special racehorse when at the top of his game, as we saw over this course and distance last October when he slammed Poet’s Word by seven lengths in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes. He looked very good as well on his seasonal return when hacking up in the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp from a high quality field, but was below-par and looked beaten at Epsom earlier this month in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes, only to somehow find enough to reel in the enterprisingly-ridden Salouen, saving punters’ bacon in the process.

Clearly Cracksman was not at his best at Epsom and had a hard race than anticipated – hardly an ideal preparation for this tougher challenge – but, on balance, it is hard to oppose him on the assumption he is back on his ‘A’ game.

Poet’s Word is officially rated 11lb inferior to Cracksman and has plenty of ground to make up on their Champion Stakes form. Sir Michael Stoute’s colt is a very smart performer in his own right though, and after running a fine race to chase home Hawkbill in the Dubai Sheema Classic in Meydan in March, he won with plenty in hand in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown last time out. If the Epsom race has left its mark on Cracksman, James Doyle’s mount may well be the one to take advantage.

Hawkbill was beaten 25 lengths by Cracksman at Epsom last time. He didn’t look himself that day and clearly didn’t run his race, but even in top form he would find this tough, and it’s hard to see the addition of first-time blinkers making enough of a difference. Eminent, a close fourth in last year’s Derby and a brave third in the Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes, ran a shocker at Chester last time. That was too bad to be true, but he needs to take a big step forward to figure.

Aidan O’Brien’s classy Cliffs of Moher, runner-up in last year’s Derby, ran second to stable companion Lancaster Bomber in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last month and has place prospects, while Desert Encounter and French raider Royal Julius appear to fall short of the required standard.

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Betting.net Selection

Cracksman
8/13
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Betting.net Danger

Poet's Word
4/1

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Paul Alster Betting.net

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.