There might not be any pomp, pageantry or public at today’s Royal Ascot, taking place behind closed doors, but there will be plenty of stars on the track where Circus Maximus can take top billing.
At last year’s meeting CIRCUS MAXIMUS (1.50, treble) posted a career best when taking the St James’s Palace Stakes with a host of stars behind him that included Too Darn Hot, third, and Skardu, fourth.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt finished the season with a respectable fourth behind Uni in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.
If Accidental Agent, winner of this contest two year ago, consented to put his head down he would be a player. He refused to race in last year’s contest won by Lord Glitters with Mustashry back in seventh place.
John Gosden’s decision to pitch in Terebellum has to be respected. She was an impressive winner at Newmarket earlier in the month but has something to find with the selection.
In the opener Jim Crowley’s decision to partner MOTAKHAYYEL(1.15) has to be respected. Crowley had the option of riding Daarik, the well-backed favourite, for his boss Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
BORN WITH PRIDE (2.25, nb) is worth another chance in the Ribblesdale Stakes. Her recent performance clearly did not show her true colours.
On her previous outing she beat Saturday’s Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Peaceful at Newmarket last year.
The betting should prove to be correct in the King Edward VII Stakes as MOGUL (3.00), the odds shot, has a simple task.
He finished the season with a respectable fourth behind Kameko, the 2,000 Guineas winner, at Newcastle.
BATTAASH (3.35) can also justify his short odds by taking the King’s Stand Stakes. This quirky but talented customer has twice finished second in the contest behind the now retired Blue Point.
On his final outing he failed to perform when down the field behind Glass Slippers at Longchamp.
The progressive Glass Slippers commands respect, especially if there is a downpour.
After her excellent third behind Watch Me at Royal Ascot last year, JUBILOSO (4.10, nap) went down as one of the unluckiest losers on her next outing at Goodwood.
Trapped behind a wall of horses, she arrived too late when third behind Billesdon Brook.
She can repay the many punters who had their fingers burnt.
DUBAWI FIFTY (4.40) can go one better in today’s Ascot Stakes after finishing an excellent second in the race behind Lagostovegas two seasons ago.
He runs off the same mark and recent performances suggest that he retains all of his ability.
1.50 Circus Maximus (treble)
2.25 Born With Pride (nb)
4.10 Jubiloso (nap)
4.40 Dubai Fifty