Royal Ascot 2022: Ten horses who caught the eye in defeat

By Tom Thurgood@tdthurgood
Mon 20 Jun 2022

Tom Thurgood looks back on five days at Royal Ascot and nominates ten names to note for your Racing TV Tracker.

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4th, St James's Palace Stakes

No prizes for originality here but this was a remarkable run given he absolutely flew from off the pace after a luckless passage, beaten just half a length when ridden right out the back for most of the journey and being fully five lengths down on the leader at the furlong marker.

Maljoom posted a final-furlong split half a second quicker than Coroebus, Lusail and My Prospero in front of him and his change of speed is all the more meritorious given the steady pace of the St James's Palace before the field quickened in the late stages - the final two furlongs was run 4.8% quicker than the rest of the race (104.78% finishing speed percentage).

Maljoom will be a short price wherever he heads next, and given the speed he's shown here an easy mile will be no bother to him.


3rd, Copper Horse Stakes

This was a good effort on handicap debut from a wide draw from this very lightly-raced four-year-old, who was ceding significant racecourse experience to the principal protagonists at the finish.

Tucked in behind by Declan McDonogh, the Galileo colt was at the back of this 16-runner field for ,ost of the way and being handy proved an advantagem with the winner, runner-up and the fifth home all prominent throughout in a race with a sterady pace at half-way which quickened late on.

Okito Soushi ran the final three furlongs quicker than anything else and made significant ground from way off the pace and from wide down the straight, beaten just two lengths at the line. There could be more to come after this excellent effort and he's of short-term interest in decent staying handicaps.

Raymond Tusk likes it here, but he is also one to note after a similar run from a disadvantageous position at the back of the field.


7th, Queen's Vase

This was a quick turnaround after the Derby - a race in which hw fared better than the result - and Nahanni once again shaped better than the formbook might suggest.

He just did a bit too much throughout and took a real grip, still doing so four furlongs from home. Nahanni looked around 12 lengths or so off the leader and about six legnths off the leader of the chasing pace around six furlongs from the finish and only had one rival behind turning into the straight.

Nahanni stuck on nicely down the rail and ran on rail, genuinely looking like he could gran fourth or fifth before being eased inside the final half furlong.

His Derby trial form has worked out well and he's had excuses on his last two starts - while the Derby form itself was hardly knocked at Ascot. He could be interesting at a current 33-1 for the St Leger.


2nd, Duke Of Cambridge Stakes

The Night Of Thunder of filly made a very bright start to her career and has plenty of back-class - and on this evidence might be set for another crack at the highest level.

Steadily improving for David O'Meara, Thunder Beauty knocked the eye out with how she travelled here and was the last off the bridle before readily speeding into a gap to challenge.

Saffron Beach is a Group One winner who was in the right place throughout in a race with a quickening pace to the line and Thunder Beauty was faster than the winner in each of the last three furlongs.

O'Meara landed the Falmouth Stakes with Amazing Maria back in 2015 and that Group One contest might be next for Thunder Beauty, who may be seen to best effect over a quick mile.


5th, Royal Hunt Cup

The lightly-raced six-year-old put up a mighty effort in one of the most competitive handicaps of the week.

Drawn in stall 33, Sinjaari hailed from the stands-side group which fared much worse than the far-side group - the larger set of runners which produced the first five home.

Yet Sinjaari was last off the bridle in the 29-runner field and absolutely rocketed home from off the pace while giving weight to most of these, carrying 9st 11lb from a mark of 106.

This was just his second start for Roger and Harry Charlton after a long break and it's perfectly feasible that there is more to come. He's effective at 10 furlongs but this well-run mile on quick ground suited him particularly well.


4th, Windsor Castle Stakes

Winner Little Big Bear prevailed from the small seven-runner group on the far side, but Chateau fared second-best from that side and notably stuck to his task really well.

The field was slowing down inside the final two furlongs but Chateau showed stamina at the minimum trip to stay on nicely - when not being knocked about at all - to grab fourth on the line.

He could have more to offer at six furlongs on this evidence and he wouldn';t be out of place in something like the July Stakes next.


6th, Kensington Palace Stakes

She took the eye with how she finished her race and should hold plenty of options from her revised mark.

Celtic Empress was trowards the rear and always travelling well but just couldn't get out for a run inside the final furlong and a half, being waioted with by Geoirge Rooke and rocketing down the outside to take sixth - just one length behind the third home.

Her final-furlong split of 12.87s was only bettered by State Occasion in fourth and, while she's l;ikely to be raised by the handicapper after this to a mark in the low 80s, Celtic Empress should still hold good options with easier options available to her.


5th, King George V Handicap

This was an eye-catching handicap debut witht he Irish raider proving the only one to figure at the finish here from the back of the field.

The first, second and fourth Secet State, Deauville Legend and Israr were all prominent throughout with the sixth Teumassias Fox not far behind those.

While asked for his effort by Colin Keane, Flkying Dolphin took a while to hit his straps in the straight and wasn't knocked about inside the final half furlong when closing quickly on those in front in the shadows of the post. He was also trying to make ground into a quickening pace.

On a similar theme, Balhambar is one to note after finishing 12th in the race. He was genuinely right out the back here and not knocked about at all in the straight but posted decent sectionals for the final two furlongs (runner-up Deauville Legend and fourth Savvy Knight only faster in the final furlong, and by 0.01s) and this Sir Michael Stoute-trained three-year-old has more to offer.


Race: 4th, Hampton Court Stakes

He never looked like winning from the back of the field after being dropped in from a wide draw but this was a good effort that hinted at his ability.

They sprinted for home here as evidenced by a finishing speed percentage of 108.75% for the final three furlongs and Cresta was at a significant track disadvantage, but he was by far the qwuickest inside the final furlong with a final split of 11.85s.

He's a keen horse and needs a decent pace in front of him, but he's talented and is one to note when he gets such conditions - as well as potentially when his yard is in a richer vein of form.


7th, Sandringham Stakes

She fared among the best on far side when the stands-side group was the place to be and by a considerable margin - the first four home all came down the near-side and under waiting tactics, with those that finished down the field from far-side positions doing a bit too much in the early stages according to the sectionals.

Persist was one of first off bridle but stuck to her task well and looked better the further she went, closing all the way to the line. This very well-bred filly can go on to better things after this encouraging handicap debut.

Also on the far-side, Pink Carnation passed the post in 12th place but this big and strong filly travelled notably powerfully and was one of the last off the bridle. Despite what her pedigree suggests, she could be one to note slightly down in trip for Hollie Doyle, Archie Watson and Clipper Logistics.

The leaders on thre far side group mostly dropped away so Golden Spice merits a mention for sticking around longest from her prominent position. She appeals as better than the form suggests given how this race panned out and, progressive going into this, can pick up that seam again back in calmer waters.

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