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Alabama Whitman spearheads Richard Spencer's team for Royal Ascot

Wed 10 Jun 2020

Newmarket trainer Richard Spencer is out to double his tally of Royal Ascot winners when he sends a small team to the behind-closed-doors fixture next week.

Spencer secured a fairytale win for Phil Cunningham and Rebel Racing in the 2017 Coventry Stakes courtesy of Rajasinghe – just his ninth winner since taking out a license.

This year the master of Sefton Lodge is sending a small team to the behind-closed-doors fixture at the Berkshire track, headed by classy three-year-old Alabama Whitman - fourth in the Albany Stakes at the meeting last year.

“She’s in great form and is going straight for the Sandringham,” Spencer said.

“Her form tailed off last year, she had a hard race in the Albany Stakes, then she won her maiden at Carlisle and after that she wasn’t really the same filly as we’d seen at the start of the season.

Richard Spencer discusses his potential 2020 Royal Ascot team

“She’s had a nice break. She’s done really well over the winter. It is a hard task to go to the Sandringham without having had a run, but a lot of people are going to be in the same boat and she’s fit and well.”

Keyser Soze – rated 8lb lower on the turf than the All Weather – is another on course for the Royal meeting, with the Hunt Cup or this year’s curtain-raiser, the seven-furlong Buckingham Palace Stakes, his possible target.

“He went for a racecourse gallop at Chelmsford last week and worked well. The occasion usually gets to him, so racing behind closed doors could be in our favour this year. He is in good form.”

Spencer’s two-year-olds are again to the fore and two recent Newmarket maiden runners, Wings Of A Dove and Ocean Eyes are being aimed at the meeting.

"Ocean Eyes has been working really well at home. She wasn’t knocked in her race (when finishing third). All being well she could run in the Albany Stakes.

“If Wings Of A Dove could get in at Ascot, she’d show up. She is good and very fast.

“The track probably didn’t suit (when fifth at Newmarket on debut), but she was the last one off the bridle. I like her a lot. She is doing everything well at home.”

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