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Coventry Stakes preview

The race to the breeding barn starts here, with the earliest stallion-maker race of a colt's career in prime time at Royal Ascot. Recent winners making a mark at stud include Caravaggio, The Wow Signal, Dawn Approach, Canford Cliffs and Henrythenavigator.

Unsurprisingly, a Coolmore colt heads the market but is he the best of their four-card hand?

Coventry Stakes
£150,000. Group 2 for 2yos
6 furlongs.
1505 BST, 0005 AEST

Arizona - the latest boom colt from Coolmore who bolted in by 8L in a Curragh maiden three weeks ago. Not convinced there was anything of note behind him but you have to trust that 'the lads' can sort the wheat from the chaff by now - they've won this race eight times. 

Coase - won very easily on soft at Carlisle when seemed to cash in on being on the best ground. Handy enough but not at the level required to succeed here.

Fort Myers - nosed out at Newbury last time when copped interference just as jockeys were getting serious. Knuckled down well after that which is a great attitude to have as an early 2yo. Finished just ahead of Well of Wisdom on that occasion. Regally bred, by War Front (a breed known to excel at Ascot) out of an Irish Guineas-winning sister to Gleneagles. Like the look of this one despite second-string status from the stable.

Golden Horde - fourth behind Light Angel on debut then won comfortably at Windsor. Experience brought him on that day but doubt he beat much. Last furlong looked pretty slow, he was just less slow than his rivals and was left four lengths clear. No.

Guildsman - very impressive winning a Friday night maiden at Goodwood, slowly away, then camped on the pace and strode away from the field. Archie Watson has had several good juveniles this season, interesting that this one is top of his crop - of the colts anyway.

King of Athens - another regally bred Coolmore colt, who finished second to Arizona on debut, trailing eight lengths behind. Guaranteed to step forward significantly for the run, but every rival is likely to improve as well. Not today.

Kuwait Direction - kept on well for second in a slowly-run race at Doncaster last time. Might go better with a truly-run race but the horses around him aren't here this week, he's aiming too high.

Light Angel - German-owned colt who won on debut at Newbury but ran greenly in the straight and benefited from interference between the placegetters. Not convinced by that  performance against more battle-hardened rivals.

Lord of the Lodge - Ayr maiden winner on debut, trainer's wife (registered owner) shall be enjoying a day out at Royal Ascot, but it won't be in the winners' circle.

Majestic Sands - Leicester novice winner on debut, wobbling about like a drunken sailor, beating one from the same ownership that also raced greenly. Might have more to come but can't mess around like that at this level.

Makyon - beat a subsequent winner impressively at Hamilton a fortnight ago, leading all the way. Looked very professional which will be helpful here but think the Makyowners syndicate is aiming a bit high here. 

Maxi Boy - solid winner on debut at Yarmouth, when ridden by Ryan Moore. Lengthened stride nicely in the final stage to break clear. The runner-up had run third on debut behind Threat (beaten 5.5L), so he has formlines with one of the market leaders.

Monoski - beaten on debut by plunge horse Bomb Proof at York, then bolted in by six at Pontefract. Not the strongest race on bare form but RPRs rate it on a par with rivals here.

Ropey Guest - 66/1 on two starts so far. Entitled to put two zeros on that here. Would need 16 horses to fall for it to win.

Royal Lytham - nice golf course, handy horse. Beat Dark Vader by 3/4L on debut at Navan, after that colt finished over 10L behind Arizona with no excuses. 4/7 stablemate ran unplaced that day as well. Will have more up his sleeve, only got out late and strode clear to win, but it's a big step up to match these.

Threat - aptly-named Cheveley Park colt who won nicely on debut (10/1) against an experienced Godolphin runner that started at 2/5. Ran strongly through the line that day suggesting the step up to six furlongs will only be an advantage.

Well of Wisdom - won on debut, defeating stablemate Electrical Storm (defeated next time by Threat), then also suffered interference in running a close third at Newbury, just behind Fort Myers. Half-brother to Grand Prix de Paris winner Saint Baudolino and multiple Aus Group winner, Avilius. Solid chance.

Arizona obviously sets the 'visual' standard here but on ratings, he's just one of several with a chance. I'm prepared to oppose him as I don't think the form behind him is any good. Stablemate Fort Myers overcame interference to just miss out at his most recent start and won't suffer in the slightest having Donnacha O'Brien instead of Ryan Moore aboard. Each-way at 14/1 is very tempting. Threat looks the obvious 'threat' based on his impressive debut and Well of Wisdom to fill the frame.

Fort Myers e/w
Well of Wisdom


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