Top Sprinters Square off in King's Stand
Twenty-three of the top sprinters in Europe are set to line up in the $542,500 King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-I), a five-furlong turf dash that is the second of three group I races on the opening day at Royal Ascot.
The Royal Ascot meet is being aired on TVG, with daily coverage from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDT.
Prohibit, who won this race last year, is one of six group I winners that will contest the race. The hard-knocking 7-year-old gelding has made 47 starts, winning nine and finishing in the money 21 times. In addition to the 2011 edition of this race, Prohibit also won the Qatar Prix du Petit Couvert (Fr-III) and was narrowly beaten in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I).
So far this season, Prohibit has yet to turn in his best performance and has been out of the money in all four of his starts. Trainer Robert Cowell hasn’t lost faith in his charge, however, and will try running the gelding without blinkers for the first time. Jockey Jim Crowley will be in the saddle.
Veteran Hong Kong-based sprinter Joy And Fun will be making his first start since finishing third in the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-IT). The two runners he finished behind, Ortensia and Sole Power, will also be going to the post in the King’s Stand.
Joy And Fun shows no sign of slowing down at age nine, and has won 12 of 55 lifetime starts and banked $2,853,800 for owners Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Wong Chun Nam, and trainer Derek Cruz. The gelding has run in England before, finishing 13th of 15 in the 2010 Golden Jubilee (Eng-I). He came out of the race with a fractured cannon bone and underwent surgery in Newmarket.
Joy And Fun returned to the races that December, and has since made 11 starts, his most recent victory coming in the prestigious Chairman’s Sprint Prize (HK-I) Feb. 5. Regular rider Brett Doyle will ride.
Ortensia will be making her first start since winning the Al Quoz Sprint on March 31. The Paul Messara-trained mare is riding a three-race winning streak, which also includes a victory in the Burswood-Winterbottom Stakes (Aus-I) last November. Craig Williams will ride.
Johnny Murtagh will be aboard the Edward Lynam-trained Sole Power. The 5-year-old gelding by Kyllachy won the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) during his sophomore season in 2010, but hasn’t won in over a year. He has been close on several occasions, however, and has finished in the runner-up spot in his last three races, one of which being the Al Quoz Sprint.
Tangerine Trees will be trying to regain the form that saw him spring a 14-1 upset in the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (Fr-I) last October. The 7-year-old gelding is a tough competitor, having won 12 of 35 lifetime starts mostly in the handicap ranks.
Margot Did and jockey Hayley Turner will attempt rekindle some of the magic that saw them charge to a convincing victory in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) last July. The Michael Bell trainee has been winless in four starts since.
Trainer Roger Charlton hopes that Bated Breath will finally be able to break through and earn his first group I victory in the King’s Stand. The 5-year-old horse by Dansili has come incredibly close on several occasions, suffering narrow defeats in the Betfred Sprint Cup (Eng-I) and Darley July Cup (Eng-I) last year.
$542,500 King’s Stand Stakes (gr. I, race 2, 10:05 a.m. EDT), 5 furlongs, (turf).
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