Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes preview: Fujaira Prince the punt in Friday finale at Royal Ascot

Published on: June 20, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
2019 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes preview from Royal Ascot

Fujaira Prince is a progressive sort who could be a potential patter performer in the making, so looks worth siding with at 13/2 with Ladbrokes to land the spoils in the final race at Royal Ascot on Friday – the 1m 4f Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (17:35).

After shaping with plenty of promise when runner-up on debut at Windsor back in July 2017, this Roger Varian trained five-year-old overcame a lengthy absence to register a runway six length success at Wetherby 12 months ago.​

Fujaira Prince went on to follow-up in facile fashion at Carlisle when quickening clear to score easily by six lengths.

He then made a total mockery of his opening handicap mark of 88 when landing a competitive 14-runner class 3 contest at Doncaster on return to action in April.​

The son of Pivotal travelled ominously well throughout, before taking up the running two from home and stretching clear to beat Mistiroc by three lengths.​

It was a performance which suggested he needed keeping firmly onside and could make up into a pattern performer.​

​That view was confirmed last time out when Fujaira Prince finished a cracking neck second of 15 to First Eleven, who had group race placed form to his name, in the Jorvik Handicap at York.

He looked all over the winner when taking up the running two from home and when headed deep inside the final furlong rallied gamely to go down fighting.

The way in which Fujaira Prince travelled for the vast majority of that contest oozed class.

Although the assessor has nudged him up another 4lb, a revised rating of 99 may still underestimate the ability of the lightly-raced Fujaira Prince.
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Corgi primed for big run

The Richard Hannon trained Corgi finished just over two lengths behind Fujaira Prince in the Jorvik. Given that he is now 3lb better off at the weights with that rival, he looks a big player.

That run was the first of the first of the campaign for the four-year-old following wind surgery and he looks sure to come on a bundle for it.

Corgi also has proven form over course and distance having run a blinder at this meeting 12 months ago when beaten just a neck by Baghdad in the King George V Stakes.

The son of So You Think went down all guns blazing and backed up that fine effort with an excellent second of 10 to Soto Sizzler at Glorious Goodwood.

Corgi also ran very well on his final start last season when a keeping on 2 1/2 lengths sixth of 16 to the smart and progressive Ghostwatch in the valuable Melrose Handicap at York off a mark of 96.

He is able to race in this off just 3lb higher and his current rating of 99 should not be beyond him.

Corgi has also built up a good rapport with Jim Crowley, who is once again in the saddle, and his proven form in bug field handicaps is a big plus.

So, taking everything into account, there is simply nothing not to like about his chance. Corgi looks sure to go well and can be backed at 7/1 with Betway.

Downdraft a lively outsider

Irish raider Downdraft looks nicely treated on the pick of his form and well worth considering from a each-way punting perspective at a tasty 20/1 with BetVictor, who are paying a fifth of outright odds for five places.

This Joseph O’Brien trained four-year-old has won four of his 12 starts and ran well at this meeting 12 months ago when keeping on from the rear to finish a never nearer 7 1/2 lengths sixth of 18 to Baghdad in the aforementioned King George V Stakes off a 96 rating.

He now meets the winner on 11lb better terms, yet can be backed at nearly three times the odds of Mark Johnston’s charge.

Downdraft also ran well when seventh of 19 in a Premier Handicap at The Curragh, before rounding off the campaign with a 1 3/4 lengths success in a 13-runner affair at Naas.

He has had just two runs this season, winning a minor contest at Dundalk off an official rating of 101 before finishing a fair ninth of 18 in another Curragh handicap off the same mark.

Downdraft is now able to race in this off 99 and that should enable him to be competitive over a trip which he is relatively unexposed having won one of just three starts over it.

The son of Camelot has also bagged a good low draw in stall five from which he should be able to get a good position early and stalk the pace before being produced late when it matters most.