Turf Talk: Invincible Army out for revengeover Sands Of Mali at Royal Ascot
Invincible Army can avenge his narrow Haydock defeat at the hands of Sands Of Mali by winning the Commmonwealth Cup, one of the feature events on day four of Royal Ascot.
James Tate’s charge was beaten just a nose in the Sandy Lane Stakes – a race that has proved a pretty decent pointer to this six-furlong race since its inception three years ago.
The duo went toe to toe that day and while Sands Of Mali held sway at the line, Invincible Army looked as though he could have got up in another couple of strides.
Having won over this course and distance, Invincible Army looks to be suited by the inevitable strong pace and appears to still be ekeing out a little improvement with every outing. He will have to find a bit more with the likes of Sioux Nation and his old rival, but James Doyle is sure to have a good gameplan.
Alpha Centauri gave Jessica Harrington a long-awaited first Classic success and she can also step up to the plate to give the trainer an inaugural Royal Ascot winner in the Coronation Stakes.
This filly hit the bar when beaten just a neck in the Albany last year and while her subsequent progress was not exactly linear, she finally came of age when winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Soft ground was likely her undoing when disappointing, but she bounced off quick going at the Curragh as she saw off Could It Be Love in clear-cut fashion. The Ascot ground is all set to be fast which will suit Alpha Centauri and while Clemmie is favourite, she might have a job on her hands to make up the near eight-length Irish deficit.
Wells Farhh Go looked very much in need of the outing when contesting the Dante Stakes on his return at York, but he should feel the benefit of that run in the King Edward VII Stakes. He won each of his two starts as a juvenile and Tim Easterby had been mulling a Derby run, but his York effort convinced connections to take a more patient approach with the St Leger a long-range option.
Stepping up in trip to a mile and a half should be in his favour and Wells Farhh Go can put himself right in the Classic picture.
Fairyland bypassed the Queen Mary on the opening day for the Albany Stakes and the hint should be taken.
Aidan O’Brien does not push his juveniles, so the fact this one already has two runs and two wins under her belt is testament to her precocity.
Dathanna is two from two this year and should ensure Charlie Appleby gets on the scoreboard in the Sandringham Handicap.
She won over the round mile here on her most recent outing and is a thoroughly consistent performer.
Thundering Blue impressed with a cosy victory at York last month and should be able to defy a subsequent 7lb hike in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.
He beat Banditry just over a length, but the pair pulled clear of the rest and Thundering Blue could prove a cut above.
ROYAL ASCOT: 2.30 Fairyland (treble), 3.05 Wells Farhh Go, 3.40 INVINCIBLE ARMY (NAP), 4.20 Alpha Centauri (next best), 5.00 Dathanna, 5.35 Thundering Blue.
AYR: 5.55 Duke Of Yorkshire, 6.30 Universal Gleam, 7.05 In Focus, 7.40 Throckley, 8.10 Summerghand, 8.45 Eternalist, 9.15 Berlios.
MARKET RASEN: 1.40 Ventura Magic, 2.10 Gi Jayne, 2.45 King Vince, 3.20 Raise A Spark, 3.55 Diable De Sivola, 4.35 Just A Feeling, 5.10 Longhouse Sale.
NEWMARKET: 5.50 Pour La Victoire, 6.20 Jack Regan, 6.55 Handmaiden, 7.30 Icart Point, 8.00 Rebel Surge, 8.35 Raymond Tusk, 9.05 Flying Foxy.
REDCAR: 1.50 Go Annie Go, 2.20 Showroom, 2.55 Chantresse, 3.30 Hakeem, 4.05 Thunder Buddy, 4.45 Pepys, 5.20 Persian Prize.
WETHERBY: 5.40 Jungle Juice, 6.10 Lever Du Soleil, 6.45 Freud 7.15 Tight Lines, 7.50 La Isla Bonita, 8.25 Plansina, 8.55 Chizz De Biz.