Day 2 of the Royal Ascot carnival started once again with the Queen greeting the crowd. She sent a special wave and wink our way, it must have been my Aussie flag shining in the sun that caught her eye.
The Jersey Stakes started the meeting with a bang as the two favourites fought out an epic final furlong. The first half of the race was un-eventful with a small pack forming on the near side while the majority of runners came down the middle of the track. Tawhid and Number13 led up the race with a couple length lead into the final 2 furlongs and it was Gale Force Ten who loomed up at the 1 furlong pole to take the lead on the far side. Monteridge finally got a clear run and passed Gale Force Ten in a number of strides before the jockey reached his whipping limit, grabbing the reigns. Gale Force ten fought back over the final metres of the race to win by a short head. Tawhid stayed on well for third at big odds.
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes saw the runners spread out along the far side of the course and there weren’t any moves to speak of until the final furlongs. Dancewiththedevil was pulling very hard on the way down to the gates and was done at the 2F pole. Coming into the final 2 furlongs, Lady’s First hit the front joined by Dank a nose behind and Duntle a half length behind those 2. Around the 1.5 furlong mark Duntle pushed hard and found a length to hit the lead while Dank stayed on strongly, looking the winner, but it wasn’t to be as Duntle held on by half a length to Lady’s First and Dank with Number1 finishing a close fourth with a late run.
There was a crazy amount of changes in the betting before the Prince of Wales Stakes. Camelot came up favourite on Betfair while the totes had Al Kazeem a clear favourite. The pace looked fair at best throughout the race with Mukhadram positioned out the front with favourites Al Kazeem and Camelot sitting 4th and 6th in the run. Mukhadram put 4 lengths on the field coming around the turn with Al Kazeem the main threat chasing hard. Al Kazeem had closed the gap significantly coming into the final furlong and hit the front with about 50 metres to go to beat Mukhadram. The Fugue ran well in for 3rd infront of Camelot.
A massive field of 28 runners (a number we can’t run in Australia thanks to certain influences) lined up for the 2013 Royal Hunt Cup. They split into two packs early with the large pack on the inside rail and small pack of about 6 on the outside rail. The runners on the outside rail had front runners who wanted to work harder early in what ended up a moderately run race. Coming past the 1.5 Furlong mark, each of the 6 runners on the far rail were either equal with or ahead of the inner rail runners and it was Belgium Bill who burst through to win the most open race of the day from Premio Loco and Arsaadi. The race was certainly won by the front runners setting it up on the outside rail.
The Queen Mary Stakes presented a challenge for punters with another wide-open race, this time with 26 runners going around. The field split into two groups again up until the final 3 furlongs where they were started to stretch across the track. The favourite looked to be struggling after a poor start and never looked in it. Down the outside of the track Sweet Emma Rose hit the lead and put 3 lengths on Our Chance at the 1.5 furlong mark but it was Rizeena who ran past both of them in the final furlong to win comfortably.
The day ended with what was a 3 way photo in the Sandringham Handicap Stakes. They split into two packs again, but it was the inside rail this time that got the win. It was a thrilling finish with Anncedote winning it by a neck over well weighted Auction and Woodland Aria while Nargys hit an in-play low of $1.57 but fell out to 4th late.
Doing it all over again tomorrow and looking forward to it!