1pt win Golden Horde @11/2, 1pt win Royal Crusade @12/1, 15:35 Ascot, Friday

A really exciting-looking renewal of the Commonwealth Cup and I’ve come down on two that look like they are real Group 1 types.

Lope Y Fernandes ran a blinder in the Irish 2000 Guineas to finish third, shaping like the drop back to 6f would suit. He was very well-punted for the Classic, but with it only being seven days since you’d think this was plan B for him.

GOLDEN HORDE mixed it with all of the top juvenile sprinters last year and has the best form on offer over this distance. Clive Cox generally does well with his sprinters and he should improve this son of Lethal Force at the age of three.

He ran Earthlight close in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes and if he can bring that form to the table here he could be hard to beat. The slight concern is the ground being on the slow side, but that feels slightly compensated for at 11/2 and the dam side of the pedigree might help him too.

The other one I think has huge potential stepping down in distance from 7f to 6f is ROYAL CRUSADE for top-sprint trainer Charlie Appleby. This Shamardal colt hacked up on debut last year before putting in a huge run to finish second to Threat in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in the Autumn. That was a big step up on Royal Crusade’s debut run against much more experienced horses.

Royal Crusade finished off his juvenile campaign with a decent second in heavy ground over in France where he shaped like the drop back to a stiff six furlong would really suit. He remains with plenty of potential after three starts and is a nice price at 12/1.

1pt win Golden Horde @11/2, 15:35 Ascot, Friday
1pt win Royal Crusade @12/1, 15:35 Ascot, Friday

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