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Queen Anne Stakes preview

For the second year running, this is a pretty weak edition of the opening race of the week. The trends nerds will highlight that 6yos (and up) haven't won this race since Boris Johnson last kept his word, but it's a) a small sample size amplified by usually being a target for stud prospects, and b) a weak edition. There are holes in all of these, hence a wide open market.

Queen Anne Stakes
Group 1, One Mile. 4yo+, WFA.
1430 BST 2330 AEST

Accidental Agent - winner last year at 33/1 after being tipped up by the Racing Post's Paul Kealy. Ran better in this year's Lockinge than in 2018 so who's to say he can't win it again? Would be close to favourite if in one of the major stables.

Barney Roy - won the St James's Palace Stakes in 2017 then was a dud at stud and copped the big snip. Two runs back from long spell, both decent runs but still a few lengths short of his best. Will have been primed for this, capable of returning to his best or even exceeding that in time, has only had nine previous starts.

Beat The Bank - under two lengths from Accidental Agent last year when Jim Crowley managed to steer him into roadblocks and has won three Group 2 races since. One of those was the Bet365 Mile first-up but then flopped in the Lockinge as joint fav. Drew 1 that day and was caught on a limb, perhaps offering some excuse for that poor performance. Ordinary record in G1 races but like lat year, this isn't a top tier Group 1 race. Has to be in the mix at a significantly better price than the horses he regularly runs alongside.

Dream Castle - Godolphin gelding who has raced over half his career in Dubai. As a 3yo in Britain, ran second (beaten 2L) to Barney Roy in the Greenham, ran fifth to Churchill (beaten 3.25L) in the 2000 Guineas and ran fifth behind Le Brivido (beaten 3L) in the Jersey. Won three of four in Dubai over the winter, including a G1 over 9f. Started 5/2 against Almond Eye in the Dubai Turf. Beaten under 2L in fifth in the Prix d'Ispahan on first run in Europe for 18 months, tiring late. Can do better than that, and thus be in the mix.

Hazapour - fifth in last year's Derby when he hit the front at the 2f but didn't stay the trip, has hardly run since. Dropped back to a mile, a trip more likely to be suitable for a son of Shamardal, to win a G3 at Leopardstown last month. Master trainer (his only runner of the week) and jockey, double-figure odds sure to appeal to many.

Le Brivido - Jersey Stakes winner two years ago and hasn't won since in three starts, each time with excuses. But he's that kind of horse, missing the start, running into trouble, catching the eye running on late. Couple that with Ryan Moore + Aidan O'Brien and I think he is massive unders. Could turn it all on and piss in, but this is one bookies must be out to lay.

Lord Glitters - runner-up last year, and has since gone on to run placings in the G1 Sussex and Dubai Turf. Also cleaned up Mustashry in the G3 Strensall at York. Ran the worst race of his career at Newbury last start, perhaps needed some give in the ground and didn't settle as he normally would. Has a tremendous record at Ascot: one win, three seconds (to Accidental Agent and Beat The Bank) and a sixth (QEII Stakes). If you can forgive his last run, he's right in the hunt.

Matterhorn - star of the AW season now forced to run in races like this due to his rating. Yet to win on turf but placed all three attempts. Oisin Murphy replaces Joe Fanning in a significant jockey change. Don't think he's quite up to these.

Mustashry - ran a career-best to win the Lockinge at Newbury last time, Has he improved as a 5yo or did everything go right on the day? Sir Michael Stoute is renowned for patience, late developers and winning races during Royal Ascot. Loves the straight, needs it firm, drawn the middle which should be perfect. Deserves to be favourite on his last run, moreso than nearest market rivals who have big question marks against them.

Mythical Magic - won a G2 in Dubai during the winter but did nothing first-up in the Lockinge. Was well supported at 11/1 but stopped quickly after sitting up on the pace. For the stable to have pressed on, there's likely to have been something found to be wrong but not convinced he's quite up to this level.

Olmedo - French visitor who won last year's Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) but hasn't greeted the judge since in four starts. Wildcard chance.

Romanised - ran on late for fourth in the Lockinge, ahead of Le Brivido, and was only just behind him first-up at Naas carrying a 5lb penalty. Won the Irish 2000 Guineas last season in a boilover, hasn't run a place since. Can't see another shock result here.

Sharjah Bridge - won the Balmoral here last October, has always promised plenty but another who ran a shocker in the Lockinge. Trainer & jockey in tremendous form, won't see many of theirs going around at this price anymore.

Stormy Antarctic - hasn't won in Britain since 2016 but has won races in France and Germany to rack up plenty of prizemoney. Common thought is he needs it wet to be successful but has fast ground form as well as heavy. Finished ahead of several of these in the QEII Stakes on Champions Day (soft).

Laurens - has won seven of 12 with only two failures in the Yorkshire Oaks and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The only filly in the race, but second highest-rated on BHA marks. She's up to these.

One Master - did the international tour at the end of last season, taking in Arc day, the Breeders' Cup and International Day in Hong Kong. Claimed a G1 in Paris and wasn't far away in the others so can't be completely out of calculations. Has star French jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot aboard.

Despite last week's heavy rain, the straight track has dried out back to a good rating, so ignore any panic about needing a mudlark. I have to oppose the top few in the market here as there are few results which wouldn't shock.

Hazapour has plenty of scope left for improvement and might have found his correct trip now. Look for a big run from him. Accidental Agent looks set to repeat last year's form while Laurens won't be far away.

Accidental Agent

with several others going into exotics


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