Royal Ascot juvenile form put to the test as Ain't Nobody, Electrolyte and Whistlejacket take on three novice winners

Ain't Nobody (noseband) wins the Windsor Castle Stakes under Jamie Spencer at Royal Ascot
Ain't Nobody (noseband) wins the Windsor Castle Stakes under Jamie Spencer at Royal AscotCredit: Bryn Lennon (Getty Images)

A typical July Stakes sees different strands of Royal Ascot form tested against each other. And that is what we have here with Ain’t Nobody (Windsor Castle), Electrolyte (Coventry) and Whistlejacket (Norfolk) among the best-performing juvenile colts at the royal meeting. 

While Ain’t Nobody was the only winner of the three in Berkshire, the other two emerged with significant credit. Electrolyte won his group of 14 in the Coventry and Whistlejacket beat the six in his parish in the Norfolk. That allows us to give Whistlejacket something of a pass for his odds-on defeat.

This will be a different test for these two-year-olds. Small-field races increase the chances of a tactical affair and the ground on the July course is softer than it was throughout Royal Ascot. This surface will be alien to Electrolyte, but Ain’t Nobody and Whistlejacket have winning form with ease underfoot.

Six furlongs opens the door for further improvement from these two colts, and adjusted Racing Post Ratings have them slightly ahead of established 6f performer Electrolyte.

It could be unwise to dismiss the challenge of the other three. Four of the previous ten July Stakes winners were arriving off a maiden or novice victory and missed Royal Ascot. Of that group, Billboard Star stands out despite what the early market tells us.

Once-raced winners Aomori City and Rajeko lack the same experience as Billboard Star, who is sired by 2018 July Stakes winner Advertise. Billboard Star is proven on this track, having powered home from the front last time to notch the highest RPR and Topspeed figure of the three who didn't run at the royal meeting.
Race analysis by Robbie Wilders

Bell out to turn back time

Rajeko is out to turn back the clock for Michael Bell 21 years after the trainer last won this Group 2 with the Kieren Fallon-ridden Nevisian Lad.

The field was stuffed with good horses that day, not least subsequent Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes winner Milk It Mick, but Rajeko comes to the July course fresher than most after skipping Royal Ascot.

The juvenile gave his first-season sire Kameko a third winner as a stallion when scoring at Windsor last month and already looks a bargain having been bought privately by Bell’s son and assistant Nick after the Goffs UK Breeze-Up sales at Doncaster in April for £79.000, having been unsold in the ring for £95,000.

Bell jnr said: “Rajeko won well on his debut at Windsor, where he confirmed the promise of some nice work at home. We’ve had this race in mind for him ever since, but obviously he's up in class. It’s a competitive race with some strong Royal Ascot form on the table, but he goes there fresh."

On the ground he added: “There is a slight question mark about the ground given he won on a fast surface at Windsor, but the July course drains very well and they are racing on the stands’ side course for the first time, so hopefully it’s not too bad." 

What they say

Kevin Ryan, trainer of Ain’t Nobody
He did win on good to soft on his debut so he’ll likely take his chance. He’s come out of Ascot well and we’ve had this race in the back of our minds. His last furlong was his best furlong at Ascot, so it all bodes well.

Charlie Appleby, trainer of Aomori City
It’s a small but punchy race. He won first time out and has definitely come forward for that run. We were keen to come for this race and I can’t give any negatives on what he has done to date, both on the track and at home.

Charlie Appleby: "If you’ve got the right horses it makes sense"
Charlie Appleby: runs Aomori CityCredit: Edward Whitaker

Richard Brown, racing adviser to Wathnan Racing, owner of Electrolyte 
He ran a fantastic race at Ascot and was just beaten by one across the track. He's come out of his race very well and Archie [Watson] said afterwards this was the obvious place to go. He's done more than enough to take his chance and hopefully he can run well.

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Whistlejacket 
He seems in good form since Ascot and I felt I didn't have him sharp enough for the five furlongs in the Norfolk. The winner was kind of away to his right and we were doing our own thing where we were, next thing the winner was gone – the race was over before he clicked into gear. It'll be interesting to see what he does here as he handles soft ground.
Reporting by David Milnes

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