Hootenanny to star for USA in Commonwealth Cup
The Commonwealth Cup at 3.40 on Friday is the first of two Group 1 races on the card at Royal Ascot.
The favourite is the Henry Candy-trained Limato who lost his unbeaten record at Haydock last time out. The gelding had won his first five races and was particularly impressive when cruising to victory in the Redcar Two-year-old Trophy in October.
He reappeared here in April where he defeated Tendu and Adaay by a length and a half and the same. There didn’t appear to be any excuses for the beaten horses that day but Adaay had his revenge at Haydock in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes.
Limato made his run on the opposite side of the track to the winner and stayed on to be beaten a length at the finish. The going was officially good, although it may just have been on the soft side in places. There will almost certainly be a firmer surface at Royal Ascot this week which may just favour Limato.
Adaay has been beaten on both previous visits to Ascot but the son of Kodiac seems to be improving. He is one of a very strong team at the meeting for William Haggas.
Wesley Ward has brought over Hootenanny from America, the winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes here last year. He then chased home The Wow Signal at Deauville before winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He reappeared at Keeneland in April where he easily landed the odds over five and a half furlongs.
Tiggy Wiggy was a brilliant two-year-old for Richard Hannon and she ran a fine race to finish third in the 1000 Guineas. There has always been a doubt about whether or not she would stay a mile and she reverts to sprint distances here. Her run in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury was puzzling because she would not have won at six furlongs that day.
Anthem Alexander returned to her best form when winning a Group 3 at Naas on the first of the month. She was beaten three times by Tiggy Wiggy last season so has something to prove here. Muhaarar won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in the spring but finished in midfield in the French Guineas from a high draw last time. Charles Hills has elected to drop the Oasis Dream colt back to six furlongs here. Home Of The Brave won the European Free Handicap over seven furlongs and is another one to revert to sprinting in the hope of landing a big prize.
Hootenanny – Commonwealth Cup (Royal Ascot 3.40 Friday) @6.0 Sportsbet