Sunday, 14th Jun 2020
Newmarket handler Sir Michael Stoute has won the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes a record four times.
He saddles Jubiloso and Queen Power in this year’s renewal of the 1m contest for older fillies and mares run over the straight mile at Royal Ascot on Tuesday (16:10) with slight preference for the former.
This four-year-old looked a top notch prospect at the start of last season, when making an impressive winning debut at Chelmsford, before bolting up by seven lengths at Newbury without having to come out of second gear.
The Prince Khalid Abdullah owned beautifully bred daughter of Shamardal was then pitched into Group 1 company and ran a cracker at this meeting when third of nine to Watch Me in the Coronation Stakes.
After racing in midfield, Jubiloso stayed on well to be beaten just 2 1/2 lengths without ever being able to challenge the winner.
She finished just a length behind the runner-up Hermosa, who had previously landed the English and Irish 1000 Guineas, so it was a terrific effort. The form reads well in relation to the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.
Although then turned over when dropped in grade and sent off the even money favourite for the Group 3 Oak Tree Stakes over 7f at Glorious Goodwood, nothing went to plan.
Jubiloso raced far too keenly in midfield and was making headway when denied a clear run two from home before powering home to finish third.
She also disappointed on her final start of the campaign when a well-beaten seventh of eight to Lavender’s Blue, but appeals as the type to bounce back and do better this season.
Stoute also has his team in good form, so Jubiloso appeals most at the 7/2 on offer with Coral.
The Duke Of Cambridge Stakes betting is headed by Nazeef, a 3/1 shot with William Hill, who has an ultra-progressive profile and hails from the red-hot yard of John Gosden.
Since finishing a highly promising third on debit, this four-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit is unbeaten in four outings.
In the third of those at Newmarket, Nazeef made a total mockery of her opening handicap mark of 93 when stretching impressively clear to win easing down by six lengths.
It was a performance which marked her out as an exciting prospect that needed keeping onside. That view was confirmed on seasonal reappearance when Nazeef landed a 14-runner Listed contest at Kempton.
After travelling strongly in mid-division under regular pilot Jom Crowley, she made stealthy headway on the outside a furlong from home to take up the running in the last 100 yards and beat Billesdon Brook by three-quarters of a length.
Nazeef was well on top at the finish and value for more than the winning margin, so looks well worth a crack at this level.
She is now a perfect three from three under Crowley over the mile trip of this and undoubtedly has more to offer going forward.
A bold bid to land the five-timer looks assured, but on form she is not entitled to be favourite, so Nazeef is therefore opposed on this occasion.
In a wide-open looking renewal of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, the aforementioned Queen Power looks sure to go well following a highly promising effort on seasonal reappearance.
This four-year-old daughter of Shamardal landed a 1m 2f Listed contest at Newbury on her second start last season when finishing off strongly to get up close home and win a shade cosily by a neck from Lavender’s Blue.
That taking success saw handler Stoute pitch her into Group 2 company at this meeting. Queen Power ran very well when fourth of 11 to Star Catcher in the Ribblesdale Stakes over 1m 4f.
After chasing the leaders and pulling too hard, she only weakened inside the last and was baeten four lengths.
Queen Power then failed to shine when fifth in a Group 3 at Windsor, but there was lots to like about her return to action at Newmarket 10 days ago when second to Terebellum in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes over 1m 2f.
She looked ring rusty then, but stuck to the task well after getting outpaced two from home to be beaten just over a length at the line.
With that spin under her belt, Queen Power should now be fully tuned to do herself justice. She was also beaten just a short-head in her sole start over a mile, so the drop back in trip should not be an inconvenience.
At odds of 15/2 with Unibet, Queen Power therefore appeals most from a each-way betting perspective.