Royal Ascot: Gleneagles ready to storm the Palace

Ryan Moore steers Gleneagles to a comfortable victory in The Quipco 2,000 Guineas. Picture: Getty
Ryan Moore steers Gleneagles to a comfortable victory in The Quipco 2,000 Guineas. Picture: Getty
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GLENEAGLES can confirm his position as the champion three-year-old miler in Europe by adding the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot to his victories in the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge blitzed to victory at Newmarket when having his favoured fast ground and then showed he had resolution to match his class when overcoming slower conditions to double up at the Curragh.

His win over Endless Drama on his home soil may not have impressed everyone, but, with the going likely to be in his favour in Berkshire, the real Gleneagles should be seen.

It is likely to be a real test, however, as he is being taken on by Make Believe. Connections of the Andre Fabre-trained colt sportingly stumped up the cash to supplement the French 2,000 Guineas winner for this race.

It will not be a two-horse either, with the unexposed Consort an intriguing contender, but Gleneagles looks a class apart. The cream of the older milers are gathered for what promises to be a vintage renewal of the Queen Anne Stakes.

While having the greatest respect for Hong Kong ace Able Friend and last year’s 2,000 Guineas hero Night Of Thunder, this looks the right opportunity for Solow to continue his rise.

Freddy Head has always held the grey in the highest esteem but just felt he needed plenty of time to reach his potential.

The French trainer’s faith has certainly been rewarded with Solow chalking up six wins in a row. His last two victories have come in Group Ones. His demolition of The Grey Gatsby in the Dubai Turf in Meydan was a sight to behold, while he won the Prix d’Ispahan with the minimum of fuss at Longchamp last month.

Mecca’s Angel can strike a blow for the north by winning the King’s Stand Stakes for County Durham trainer Michael Dods.

The four-year-old filly has made giant strides without being over-raced. She has just had three starts since September, but has won them all.

Her latest performance in the Group Three Prix de Saint-Georges when she ran out a comfortable two-length winner suggested the best is yet to come.

Her first venture into Group One company can be a winning one.

Round Two goes into the Coventry Stakes on the back of two convincing victories and Jim Bolger’s youngster looks like being hard to beat.

He showed his versatility by landing the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh over five furlongs after making a winning debut over this distance of six furlongs at Naas.

Willie Mullins and Ryan Moore teamed up at this meeting last year to take the Queen Alexandra Stakes with Pique Sous and can do the same in the Ascot Handicap with Clondaw Warrior.

A three-time winner on the Flat last term, the eight-year-old has shown smart form over hurdles, being placed at the Fairyhouse and Punchestown Festivals.

Soapy Aitken has shown plenty of speed to win his two starts at Leicester and Windsor and can continue the good work for trainer Clive Cox in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

Paul Midgley’s Another Wise Kid has had seven runs over six furlongs since his last success which was over five, so it is no surprise to see him revert to the minimum trip for the Laurent Perrier Evening Of The Horse Conditions Stakes at Beverley this afternoon.

Taro Tywod, trained by Mark Brisbourne, can repeat last year’s triumph in the Fillies’ Handicap at Brighton off a 3lb lower mark, while Sea The Skies can do the business for Mark Johnston and Franny Norton in the Theakston Best Bitter Handicap at Thirsk.

Thepartysover showed enough when third at Fontwell last month to indicate- he can come out on top in the Jenkinsons Caterers Handicap Chase at Stratford.