Dhabab was one of the best-backed horses on the opening day of the meeting, but he hit trouble in running at a crucial point of the Coventry Stakes.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained two-year-old went into plenty of notebooks after his victorious debut at Leicester, with a winning time that suggested he could be at least Group class.

He broke well enough at Ascot and was towards the favoured stand side, but his passage was twice denied – once at the 2f pole and again coming into the final furlong. This halted all momentum but, once clear, he stuck on well and was only narrowly beaten at the end.

He clearly likes fast ground and something like the July Stakes could be a very reasonable target for him at Newmarket next month.


Misty Ayr went off an 80/1 shot in the Queen Mary Stakes but ran much better than her odds suggested she would.

She won’t be that price next time out, but she should be winning a maiden or a novice race as a formality.

She was a huge eye-catcher on debut at Catterick – where she finished third after showing signs of greenness – and stepped up from that effort to finish just over six lengths back in ninth in the Group 2 at Ascot.

Her trainer knows how to excel with smart two-year-olds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she won a small race next time before running well at all the big northern meetings later this summer.


Bugle Major was having just his second start for Richard Hughes in the Royal Hunt Cup and, despite going off 150/1, showed plenty of promise as he travelled through the race well under Pat Dobbs before quickening up as they entered the final two furlongs.

He had to pass almost ever horse, however, and struggled to get a trouble-free passage, which stopped him from finishing closer than 12th.

He would never have won the race, but the Hunt Cup is one of the strongest handicaps in the calendar.

With his sights lowered, he could find a competitive handicap or two this season, especially back at Ascot. 


Qaader could be the next winner in waiting at Glorious Goodwood for his trainer Mark Johnston, who loves having winners at the Sussex course.

The son of Night Of Thunder ran a very creditable race in the Britannia Stakes, finishing four lengths behind Perotto who, like all of the first three home, was running on the stands side.

Qaader was third among those who ran on the far side of the course, which could mark his performance up slightly.

He’s always had plenty of ability and was second in the Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting last year, and had already won a smart conditions race at Goodwood prior to his return this year. A race back at Goodwood on quick ground could well be the plan for this 99-rated colt.


Arturo Toscanini was one of two Ballydoyle horses to catch the eye in the Queen’s Vase along with his stablemate Wordsworth, who finished second and is already prominent in the market for the St Leger at Doncaster in September.

Arturo Toscanini finished five places further back the field and looked as though he’s going to end up as a Cup horse in time, though he’ll be at home at this sort of trip for the rest of this season.

He was patiently ridden at the back of the field and was widest of all down the back straight. Considering it was just his fourth career start, he ought to improve for the experience, too.

He’s currently for the St Leger of which could be good value come the Autumn, especially as he’s already won on heavy ground.

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