6f Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) (No Geldings) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3yo)
The Commonwealth Cup looks like one of the races of the week, and it’s set to be run on rattling fast-ground. Perfect Power lines up as favourite, dropping back from a mile over the Guineas that was just too far a trip. He was a top juvenile sprinter and this distance should see him in a much better light than when he finished down-the-field at Newmarket. But a draw in stall 1 and the fast ground may not be ideal for him and there are several others who make plenty of appeal at bigger prices that can progress here.
It is a super competitive race, but I have liked the look of EHRAZ for this ever since he ran down the reopposing Tiber Flow in the Listed Sandy Lane Stakes at Newbury last month over a flat 6f. Ehraz was dropped out the back in that race before coming with a devastating finish that would have won him the race in another half-stride.
The son of Showcasing does lack one of the major trends for this race in that he didn’t win a pattern-level race during his juvenile campaign, but he only raced three times at the age of two and that included a visually-impressive success over this course and distance on fast ground which shows that this stiff 6f should play to his strengths. He has plenty of scope to improve and I want him onside as he has the potential to progress into a top class sprinter.
There are so many others you could throw into the mix here with Twilight Jet putting up a career-best last time out alongside the likeable El Caballo who just keeps on getting the job done to win. Go Bears Go also has plenty of quality juvenile form and loves the track, but most of these horses have some collateral formlines against each other and instead I’m going to take a chance on a left-field candidate in SLIPSTREAM who is yet to face any of these rivals and looks hugely underrated at odds of 16/1.
The sole US raider in the race, Slipstream, has a very different running style from the typical US sprinter that comes to Royal Ascot in that he likes to be held-up rather than bursting from the stalls at an unsustainable pace. He is an intriguing runner.
Slipstream’s style of racing looks perfectly suitable to the demands of Royal Ascot for all that this will be a new experience for him, but there is no way he should be trading at his current odds having claimed a Grade 3 as a Juvenile before beating the 2021 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner and last year’s second in the Queen Mary, Twilight Gleaming, in very comfortable fashion on his first start of the season. His trainer has put Slipstream away for this race ever since.
Slipstream has demonstrated his versaility over a trip and his stamina having run in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile, which was ultimately too far for him. But other than that performance he has been very impressive on his last three starts over 5.5f, 6f and 7f, winning all of them on fast ground.
His trainer, Christophe Clement, is a lot less well-known in these parts than Wesley Ward, but he is a very good trainer and I think the market is taking a dangerously dim view of the fact that he is less familiar as his jockey Joel Rosario flies over solely for this mount.
Both selections will need some luck in running, but I expect the pace to be fast, most likely centred up the middle of the track, and therefore both should get the breaks by being drawn on the wings to do some damage late on with their typical fast finishes.
1pt win Ehraz @13/2, 15:05 Royal Ascot, Friday
1pt win Slipstream @16/1, 15:05 Royal Ascot, Friday