The Coventry Stakes has long been regarded as the Premier two-year-old race at Royal Ascot and whatever wins, this is normally regarded as the best of the two-year-olds around. All of the top yards are represented so should be a good contest.
We start by talking about favourite Admiral Nelson and this horse looks really impressive in the flesh, winning at the Curragh as he beat his stablemate convincingly. He cost £440,000 as a yearling and that looks money well spent based on what we saw that day.
Qaader is from the all-conquering team of Sheikh Hamdan and Jim Crowley and this lad won smartly at Newbury.
Creative Force bagged the rail at Newmarket and the others could not lay a glove on him, but the soft ground might be a worry.
Lauded has been purchased by Al Shaqab since an impressive debut at Haydock on slowish ground so should be able to cope with conditions. It’s also interesting that Frankie is sticking with Existent after a disappointing first run. He may well be better on this track than he was at Newmarket, though.
Verdict: I think it’s very hard to get away from Admiral Nelson as he looked like there was loads of improvement in him from the Curragh.
There was a huge move in the market for Wichita before the 2000 Guineas and he lived up to that strong support by only getting beaten the neck by Kameko. He encountered soft ground at Newmarket last year in the Dewhurst and he looked like he got a little lost, so that would be a bit of a concern for me.
The weather is supposed to change, supposedly drying out, but I think that will make it even stickier. That won’t suit and that is a concern for me.
Pinatubo arguably put up two of his best performances on slow ground last season. He was impressive in the Dewhurst and at the Curragh in the national stakes – a race that Aidan O’Brien had farmed over the years.
He was so impressive that day. He looks like he stayed in the 2000 Guineas and on this round course I think, with the speed he has, it is going to be very, very hard to beat and he is a confident selection.
Palace Pier is a bit of an unknown against graded opposition as this is his first try, he looked good when winning at Newcastle but this is a big step up.
Threat is one that I feel is a horse to keep onside this season. He was 2nd in the Coventry last year and won the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, his best form is on better ground though.
Positive is another worth mentioning as he beat the guineas winner at Sandown, but again the ground is a concern for him.
Verdict: All over Pinatubo like a rash!
One of the stories here is the favourite Sceptical as owner James Macauley paid £2,300 for this lad at the sales as an unraced horse from Godolphin last year. They have booked Frankie to ride so the very best of luck to Denis Hogan.
Hello Youmzain had his day in the spotlight last year when winning the Sprint Cup at Haydock on soft ground, beating the Tin Man, and I like the way this horse goes about his business. He won a nice race in France at Maisons-Laffitte and the most important thing is his ability to go on soft ground which some of these may struggle with.
One Master is another who will handle the soft ground. She won the Forest at Longchamp on Arc weekend for William Haggas and is a very good Filly, but dropping back in trip is the only concern with her.
The Tin Man is a course and distance winner and handles soft ground so has plenty going for him.
Dream of Dreams is one that is dangerous to discount. He was behind Hello Youmzain at Haydock on soft ground but he had a really bad trip that day. He only narrowly missed out last year behind Blue Point. He has since been gelded and I think this could be a player in here.
Verdict: I really like Hello Youmzain on the ground but will also be having an each way saver on Dream of Dreams. Good luck!
Mick Fitz’s tips for day 5 at Royal Ascot
12.40 Aplomb – Proven on the ground and has had a run
13.15 Campanelle – Rocket from Wesley Ward
13.50 Admiral Nelson
14.25 Quadrilateral – Set to bounce back.
15.35 Hello Youmzain
16.10 Gulliver – Ryan Moore booked to ride
16.40 Fun Mac – will handle conditions and Jim Crowley is flying