Solow to strike for France in Queen Anne Stakes
Royal Ascot is arguably the finest flat racing meeting in the world with eighteen Group races spread across five days of top class entertainment. The meeting will have a true International flavour this year with runners from Australia, America, France and Hong Kong taking on the best from Great Britain and Ireland.
The action begins on Tuesday at 2.30 with the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile. Recent winners include Champion milers Goldikova, Canford Cliffs and Frankel and this year’s race looks up to the highest standard.
John Moore sends over Hong Kong Champion Able Friend where he clashes with the French star Solow. Able Friend has already won over £4million in prize money and has five Group 1 wins to his credit. The son of Shamardal is unbeaten in his last six starts including the Hong Kong Mile and the Champions Mile at Sha Tin.
What is more astonishing is that he has not been extended in any of his recent races. He was odds-on in all six races and coasted home under Joao Moreira. He is now the highest rated horse ever to be trained in Hong Kong and connections are being courted by Moonee Valley in the hope of attracting him to run in the Cox Plate in October.
Market rival Solow is also unbeaten in his last six starts for Freddie Head. The grey stormed to an impressive four and a quarter length victory over The Grey Gatsby at Meydan in March and followed up in the Group 1 prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp last month.
He won over a mile and a half as a three-year-old but has been a revelation since dropping back to a mile last year. He is a straight-forward ride, just as happy in front as when coming from off the pace. He has also won on various types of ground, although connections would not want the going to be too quick.
Richard Hannon saddles the pick of the home team with the first and second in the Lockinge Stakes, Night Of Thunder and Toormore. The former was a shock 40-1 winner of the 2000 Guineas last season but has run consistently at the top level ever since. He was purchased by Godolphin this spring and he immediately recouped some of their investment with his Newbury win.
Toormore has struggled to show his best form since winning last year’s Craven Stakes but battled on well to be beaten only a neck in the Lockinge. The form has been boosted since by the third and fifth horses, Arod and Cable Bay, who are set to re-oppose here.
Solow – Queen Anne Stakes (Royal Ascot 2.30 Tuesday) @2.63 Betfair