Norfolk Stakes preview: Side with Sunday Sovereign in Royal Ascot Group 2 sprint

Published on: June 19, 2019
Author: Jamie Clark
2019 Norfolk Stakes preview for Royal Ascot features course and distance winner Ventura Rebel

Sunday Sovereign looks a worthy 5/2 favourite with 888Sport in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes for two-year-olds over the flying 5f at Royal Ascot on Thursday (2:30).

This Irish raider is trained by Paddy Twomey and improved for his debut when fourth at Naas by landing a Curragh maiden over 6f. The Equiano colt made most and beat Arizona by three lengths easily.

That form has been franked by the runner-up who has won twice since, including when stepped up into group company at this level when landing the Coventry Stakes at this meeting earlier in the week.

As Sunday Sovereign also followed-up when down in trip to the minimum distance at Tipperary and bolted up by seven lengths, he is a strong contender for this.

Any further forecast rain that falls is also to his advantage, as both of his wins so far have come on yielding ground at best.

American trainer Wes Ward has won this race twice before including 12 months ago with Shang Shang Shang, so transatlantic raider Maven commands respect on that basis.

This American Pharoah colt won his sole start by half-a-length when breaking well and making all at Aqueduct. As his handler holds him in high regard, odds of 8/1 with Coral say Maven could well be involved in the finish.

Course winners Expressionist and Ventura Rebel each-way value

There are two course and distance winners in the 15-runner line-up. Expressionist represents Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby after a taking debut success here last month.

The son of Night Of Thunder tracked the leaders and took things up approaching the final furlong. Expressionist only needed pushing out to score with more authority than the winning margin of three-quarters of a length suggests.

At 10/1 with Betway, he is one of many sorts with each-way claims in a race where a case can be made for many.

The other course and distance victor in the line-up is Ventura Rebel for Richard Fahey, who lowered the colours of Maven’s stable companion Lady Pauline on Royal Ascot Trials Day last time out.

This Pastoral Pursuits colt is a dual winner after scoring on debut at Thirsk and then following-up in a conditions contest here last month.

Ventura Rebel appeared to be struggling to stay in touch, but then stayed on approaching the final furlong before closing quickly on the American raider to win going away by a length.

Also a 10/1 chance with Betfair, who also pay out on four places, he is another with each-way potential.