Sky Sports Racing Ambassador Hollie Doyle talks about her five rides on the second day of Royal Ascot on her exclusive blog.
Lady bowthorpe she’s going to be a tough mare to beat in Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.40) on the second day of Royal Ascot, but I expect a great race from my filly PRAYER OF THE PARENTS you couldn’t be in better shape.
The rally of the second favorite behind Palace Pier in Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury is truly outstanding and before that it surpassed its closest rival on the market. Queen power in Group 2 Dahlia Stakes.
But Parent’s Prayer, beautifully raised by Archie Watson, is building an impressive resume of her own with a win included in Ireland and the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes in her arsenal.
Archie insisted that Oisin Murphy should compete at Epsom and the champion gave him a brilliant ride. I just hope I can get an easy lead on this straight mile.
Break into my choice at Windsor Castle
Archie (Watson) knows what it takes to win the Windsor Castle Stakes roster (5.35), having claimed glory with the exceptional Soldier’s Call three years ago, and has claims with all three representatives in this season’s renewal.
He runs Biceps, Dark prince other BARGING THRU in sprint 5f and I hope to be correct after opting for the last one. I galloped him the other day and couldn’t have been happier with him.
Despite his inexperience, Barging Thru finished his career strong to make a winning debut for me at Chelmsford City in late April and we expected him to follow him at Redcar a month later.
PJ McDonald rode him that day and was convinced he would have won despite taking a penalty had he not hung under pressure. We’re not sure why he did it, as he doesn’t hang at home, but it was his first grass run so it may have just been green.
I’m not straying too far from imaginary corridors: Wesley Ward’s American assailant Ruthin and Aidan O’Brien’s Amalfi Coast – so that it could be well placed in position seven.
Kieran Shoemark can look forward to a good ride in Biceps, which showed electrifying speed when I beat him over 6f at Lingfield. Got tired late so dropping back to 5f seems ideal. He’s a typical, tough and tough Mehmas, and he’s shown up for that race.
Dark prince complete Archie’s trio and he’s another cute colt. He did light work with his opponents on his Brighton debut, showing a willing attitude towards me, but we didn’t get the best start in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom and we couldn’t get involved.
Rogue Beat has the talent to win the Hunt Cup
BEAT LE BON He’s an absolute rogue, but he’s also very talented, so I hope he does his best at the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00).
I know this gelding well from my time with his trainer Richard Hannon and I can assure you that he has the credentials to win this race if he’s in the mood.
Beat Le Bon proved it when he won the Golden Mile at Glorious Goodwood in 2019 and has been getting in shape lately. Dane O’Neill got a good tune out of him at Doncaster and he’s 2 pounds for that run.
This track will suit him well too, but it remains to be seen whether we are on the right side in position two as those in the middle and high positions have enjoyed a lot of success in this race.
Experience a bonus for the Queen Mary filly
Group 2 Queen Mary (2.30) looks like a deep race this year and I’m a partner with one of the outsiders White jasmine for young Newmarket coach George Boughey, whose record with the youths is outstanding.
This daughter of Dark Angel has shown a good level of skill in two races, so she has a bit more experience than some of her rivals who can make a difference in a race like this.
He was right behind her in third at Archie Jinaan when White Jasmine made her 5f debut around Wolverhampton last month and that race has worked well, with fourth, Sunstrike, winning at Kempton Park.
Her narrow fourth position on fast ground at Haydock Park last week was also encouraging, even though she was sent off as a favorite. The winner, Sadmah, seems potentially quite intelligent, so his form could be quite strong.
I am drawn in the middle which makes me happy as she is a fast filly who is also quite tough. It’s a great question, of course, but I hope it gives a good account of itself for George and his owner Susan Roy.
Happy to go back to all-weather heroin
PHOLAS She was so impressive when I won the Fillies and Mares final with her on the day of the all-weather championships at Lingfield and she deserves to take a chance at the Kensington Palace Stakes (6.10) in the round mile.
It is a testament to George Boughey’s coaching skills that this filly won at the All-Weather in Newcastle in January with a mark of just 58 and is now rated 92.
She has yet to prove that she is that good on the grass, but she has been heavily tested since her success on Good Friday, facing the boys in Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom last time out.
Slipping back into a handicap could help her give her great speed, particularly if they’re at a good canter, and the cheeks from the first time could also give her a vital advantage.
Another real winner, a big surprise.
It was amazing to get Royal Ascot off to a good start with AMTIYAZ in the final race, the Copper Horse Handicap. He had been progressive in all kinds of weather, but the way he came up to the plate in such a big race was a pleasant surprise.
It was only his second grass race so we weren’t sure how he would cope with the fast terrain, but he traveled wonderfully and really appreciated the track at a gallop.
Fortunately, we did a nice even canter and were well positioned as the pace rose about 6 feet. For a horse that stays, it certainly has gears. He’s small but he’s a little terrier and he gave me everything.
I’m excited for my boss Imad Alsagar, who bred the horse and was there to enjoy its success, and it’s a privilege to ride a winner for John and Thady Gosden. Now that the pressure is off, I hope I can ride a few more winners before the week is out.
Hollie Doyle was talking to Sky Sports Racing Simon Mapletoft