Under the radar: a dark horse to focus on for each day of Royal Ascot this week
David Baxter looks beyond the obvious at the big meeting
Buckingham Palace Handicap
Highly tried when trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld, Shelir has joined David O'Meara this season, a trainer adept at improving horses joining from other yards.
On his debut for new connections over a mile at Newmarket, Shelir was a little keen early but then settled and travelled nicely. With a furlong left he was poised to challenge but then could not go on.
A drop back to 7f for the Buckingham Palace looks a good move and it would not be a surprise if he improves plenty for his first outing.
Windsor Castle Stakes
Trainer George Boughey is only just starting out, but he could have a live contender for a juvenile winner at his first Royal Ascot.
There was money around for this colt ahead of his debut at Newmarket and he showed a lot of pace against the far rail. Although overhauled in the final furlong, he stuck on well to take third.
That run was over six furlongs and dropping back to the minimum trip looks a smart move given the speed he showed.
A five-length debut win at York served notice that Repartee was above average and he built up a solid portfolio of form at two.
That success was followed by a fourth place in a Listed race at Newbury, a third in the Gimcrack and finally a second in a valuable sales race at Doncaster.
He will probably need to have improved again over the winter to be competitive in the Jersey but that is entirely possible.
If conditions are on the slower side at Ascot come Friday, then Morando would come into play for the Hardwicke.
Fourth in the race last year, he signed off his season in style with a six-length success back at Ascot in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge.
Fully effective over the course and distance, Morando is a tough performer and trainer Andrew Balding has been in fantastic form since racing resumed.
St James's Palace Stakes
Unbeaten at two, Kenzai Warrior lost that record when ninth in the 2,000 Guineas, but it is easy to excuse his effort in the Classic.
An awkward start ruined his chances of making an impact at Newmarket and he did well to finish ninth considering how the start of the race began.
If able to break on terms and return to the form he showed at two, Kenzai Warrior could be a different proposition at Ascot.
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