Ascot preview: Summer Romance hot stuff in Princess Margaret

Published on: July 26, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
Ascot preview for July 27 includes Wings Of Time in the Porsche Handicap

The Godolphin owned Summer Romance looks a worthy red-hot favourite at evens with Unibet to further enhance her Classic claims with victory in the 6f Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes for juvenile fillies that gets proceedings underway on King George day at Ascot on Saturday (13:50).

This Charlie Appleby trained daughter of Kingman created a huge impression when making a winning debut in a four-runner affair at Yarmouth last month.

Summer Romance travelled ominously well throughout on the heels of the leaders, before being switched right at the furlong marker and quickening instantly clear when asked to beat Brededbury by two lengths.

She scored with tons in hand and was a performance which suggested Summer Romance had a big future ahead of her.

That view was confirmed when she took the step up into Listed company in her stride to destroy the opposition in the Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.

Summer Romance raced keenly on the heels of the leaders in the early stages, before being produced to take up the running a furlong from home by James Doyle.

She then stretched effortlessly clear to slam Uruslina, who had previously won by four lengths on debut, by six lengths.

It was a breathtaking performance which oozed class and Summer Romance is currently top-price 12/1 favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas on the back of it.

She looks the real deal and is a rangy sort with bags of scope for improvement, so it will be disappointing if she doesn’t take this en route to better things.

Ultra Violet could be anything

If Summer Romance fails to live up to expectations, the Ed Vaughan trained Ultra Violet looks the obvious one to take advantage.

This daughter of Gleneagles was seemingly unfancied when sent off 10/1 on debut at Newmarket, but routed her seven rivals by eight lengths.

Ultra Violet quickly made up lost ground when dwelling at the start and, after taking up the running inside the final furlong, drew clear to win going away from Game And Set.

What she beat is questionable, but it was visually a very impressive display and one which suggested Ultra Violet needed keeping firmly onside.

This demands much more, but she falls into the "could be anything" category and can be backed at 7/1 with Coral.

Wings Of Time ticks all the right boxes at Ascot

Wings Of Time looks worth a wager at 4/1 with Betfair to complete a quick-fire double for Appleby and Doyle in the 1m Porsche Handicap (14:25).

This son of Invincible Spirit, who also carries the famous all-blue colours of Godolphin, shaped with plenty of promise on his sole start as juvenile when a tenderly handled and keeping on seventh of 14 behind Skardu.

He was then gelded ahead of his three-year-old campaign and has shown improved form in each of his three outings this season – winning twice and finishing runner-up on the other occasion.

In the last of those success at Newmarket 16 days ago, Wings Of Time raced up with the pace before keeping on strongly to beat Nkosikazi by a neck off a mark of 90.

He was well on top at the finish and the front two pulled three lengths clear of a 99-rated rival, so that gives the form a solid look. It was a career-best performance from Wings Of Time.

A 6lb rise in the weights looks fair, given that he is clearly going the right way and remains open to further improvement after just four outings.

Ground conditions are also ideal, so there is simply nothing not to like about the profile of Wings Of Time.

Of the rest, the Richard Hannon trained Motakhayyel appeals as the one most likely to give the selection most to think about.

This three-year-old son of Heeraat has won two of his three starts this season and scored with plenty in hand at Newmarket two weeks ago when making all and running on strongly to beat Flashcard by 2 3/4 lengths.

A bold bid to follow-up of 6lb higher looks assured and he can be backed at 100/30 with Bethard.

Al Dabran also fancied for Appleby and Doyle Ascot treble

In the Listed 7f Pat Eddery Stakes (16:15), Al Dabaran looks to hold leading claims of landing the spoils and making it a stellar day for team Godolphin, Appleby and Doyle.

The beautifully bred son of Dubawi could not have been more impressive when making a winning debut in a six-runner novice stakes contest at Newmarket.

After being slowly away, Al Dabran quickly made up the lost ground to press the leader. He then took up the running a furlong from home and forged clear to easily beat Ursa Minor by 2 1/2 lengths.

It was a performance which suggested Al Dabaran had a big future, while the fourth and fifth home have both since come out and run well.

He also looks sure to come on a bundle for that experience and appeals as a potentially Group performer in the making.

If that is to be the case, then this looks a nice stepping stone for Al Dabaran and he is strongly fancied at 3/1 with Betway to maintain his unbeaten record.

Maxi Boy is the highest rated in the line-up and drops in grade, so looks the obvious danger,

After winning on debut at York, this Michael Bell trained son of Oasis Dream was far from disgraced when eight of 17 to Arizona in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He also ran well last time out when third in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, and the form of those races set a clear standard in this lesser test.

Whether Maxi Boy, who can be backed at 7/2 with Paddy Power, has the same scope and potential as Al Dabaran is another matter, so for that reason he is opposed.