Carlton House Carries Royal Hopes for Queen

Carlton House will square off against So You Think in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Carlton House will try to notch his first group I victory and add glory to an already banner year for The Queen when he takes on So You Think and nine others in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 20.

The Royal Ascot meet is being aired on TVG, with daily coverage from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDT.

Carlton House, a 4-year-old colt by Street Cry, has carried great expectations with him since the beginning of his career, which has been carefully managed by Sir Michael Stoute. The bay colt broke his maiden last year going eight furlongs by nine lengths, then won the 10-furlong Dante Stakes (Eng-II), a key Investec Derby (Eng-I) prep, in his next start.

The Queen had high hopes for Carlton House in the 2011 Derby, in which he went off as one of the favorites. A Derby victory wasn’t meant to be, though, as Carlton House had to settle for third after losing a shoe in the final furlong.

The colt made one more start in 2011, finishing a decent fourth to Treasure Beach in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I). He was then on the sidelines for several months with various minor problems, and didn’t return to the races until May 31, when he won the 10-furlong Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Eng-III) at Sandown Park.

Regular rider Ryan Moore will be in the saddle.

Carlton House faces a difficult challenge in beating So You Think, the ultra-tough champion from Aidan O’Brien’s barn. So You Think has nine group I victories on his resume, the last one coming in his most recent start, the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) May 27. So You Think will likely be the heavy favorite to win the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, a race in which he was narrowly defeated by Godolphin’s Rewilding.

Joseph O’Brien will be in the irons.

Godolphin will send out two runners in the Prince of Wales’s, with Frankie Dettori opting to ride the lightly raced Farhh. The 4-year-old colt by Pivotal is undefeated in three starts, but has only averaged one start per year. The Saeed bin Suroor trainee has won his three starts by a combined 14 1/2 lengths, but will be making a big jump from the handicap ranks to group I company.

City Style is the other half of the Godolphin entry, and will be ridden by Mickael Barzalona. The Prince of Wales’s will be City Style’s first start since finishing third in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IT) March 31. It will also be the City Zip gelding’s first start outside of Dubai in almost two years.

Alain de Royer-Dupre will send out Reliable Man, a 4-year-old colt by Dalakhani who will try to return to the winner’s circle for the first time since September. The grey colt has been off form since a poor showing in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). Prior to that, Reliable Man scored a sharp victory in the Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I) last June. Gerald Mosse will ride.

Planteur will be making just his third start for trainer Marco Botti and owner Mohamed Albousi Alghafi. Formerly trained in France by Elie Lellouche for the Wildensteins, Planteur won the 2011 Prix Ganay (Fr-I). Planteur has finished third twice so far this year, most recently in the Prix d’Ispahan (Fr-I). Christophe Soumillon will ride.

Another challenger certain to draw some interest is Big Blue Kitten , a homebred who races for Kentuckian Ken Ramsey. The colt by Kitten's Joy  has a victory in the Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) last year, but is making a big leap into international group I company in this spot. Johnny Murtagh will ride for trainer Chad Brown.

$775,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (gr. I, race 3, 10:45 a.m. EDT), 10 furlongs (turf). All carry 126 pounds.

PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer

1. Planteur (Ire), C. Soumillon, M. Botti
2. Carlton House (KY), R. Moore, M. Stoute
3. Sri Putra (GB), N. Callan, R. Varian
4. Colombian (Ire), W. Buick, J. Gosden
5. Robin Hood (Ire), J.A. Heffernan, A.P. O’Brien
6. Wigmore Hall (Ire), J.P. Spencer, M. Bell
7. So You Think (NZ), J.P. O’Brien, A.P. O’Brien
8. Farhh (GB), L. Dettori, S. bin Suroor
9. Reliable Man (GB), G. Mosse, A. de Royer-Dupre
10. Big Blue Kitten (KY), J.P. Murtagh, C. Brown
11. City Style (KY), M. Barzalona, M. al Zarooni