Racing: Royal Ascot preview Friday, June 12

Irish Rookie,  tipped to win at Royal Ascot. Photo: Stephen Pond/PA Wire.
Irish Rookie, tipped to win at Royal Ascot. Photo: Stephen Pond/PA Wire.

Martyn Meade took the brave decision to bypass a Classic opportunity with Irish Rookie and his decision can pay dividends in the Coronation Stakes on day four of Royal Ascot.

Meade had the option of running his star three-year-old in last week’s Prix de Diane at Chantilly but he opted to supplement for this race rather than tackle the French Classic, which Irish Rookie could well have won on all known form.

Winner of both of her juvenile starts, she claimed the scalp of subsequent Oaks third Lady Of Dubai on the latter of those two outings, while her reappearance effort when sixth in the 1000 Guineas was also an eyecatching effort.

Perhaps the lack of a prep run was the telling factor as turned out again just seven days later, Irish Rookie went down by just three-quarters of a length to Ervedya in the French 1000 Guineas, looking a filly with plenty of improvement still to come.

Ervedya is in opposition once again but on vastly different ground conditions, Irish Rookie is taken to reverse the form and give Meade a landmark success.

Hootenanny is no stranger to Royal Ascot success and having landed the Windsor Castle Stakes last season, he can follow up in the inaugural running of the Commonwealth Cup.

This six-furlong heat is one of the highlights of the meeting with a Group One sprint opportunity limited to three-year-olds being virtual gold dust in the racing calendar.

Trainer Wesley Ward has had his eye on this for a while with the son of Quality Road, who blew away some decent rivals when triumphing by three and a half lengths at the 2014 meeting.

He went on to chase home The Wow Signal in the Prix Morny before swooping with great purpose to lift the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last October, showing that a mile is well within his compass.

However, he switched back to five and a half furlongs to tune up for this run, easily accounting for some lesser rivals at Keeneland while proving that he still has speed to burn.