'I expect her to outrun her odds' - key quotes and analysis for the Commonwealth
3.40 Royal Ascot
Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) | 6f | 3yo colts and fillies | ITV/Sky
The Commonwealth Cup had its inaugural year in 2015 and it has quickly become one of the most popular introductions to the Royal Ascot programme. It has generally been dominated by British runners, but this year there is an international feel about the race.
Francois Rohaut saddles the unbeaten Suesa and the French trainer bids for his first Royal Ascot victory. The closest he has come has been a third in the 2007 Queen Anne with Turtle Bowl and a third in the 2016 Diamond Jubilee with Signs Of Blessing. Can he break through?
Both Turtle Bowl and Signs Of Blessing came into their royal engagements having achieved Racing Post Ratings of 117 and Suesa hasn't recorded anything better than 113. The average winner's RPR in this race is 119, so she needs to improve by 6lb to win a normal running.
American trainer Wesley Ward saddles Campanelle and she has a 1lb higher RPR than Suesa. That came against the boys when she won the Prix Morny at Deauville in August and she is a course winner, having landed the Queen Mary against her own sex at this meeting a year ago.
Campanelle was a definite non-stayer when only fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf at Keeneland in November, but this is a tough task on her return from a 224-day break.
Ward is best known for his success with juveniles at Royal Ascot, but it has actually been more profitable to follow his older horses. He is 3-18 with horses aged three or older at the fixture and that’s a 17 per cent strike-rate. A £1 bet on each has yielded a profit of £22.50.
Dragon Symbol has had the sectional gurus purring and he has been clocked recording a sub 11-second furlong according to Racing TV's data. That suggests he is something special.
The heavy ground blunted his speed when he was beaten in the Sandy Lane at Haydock last month, but he still dug deep to lose out by just a nose and connections will be hoping that the monsoon-like forecast doesn't materialise. He acts on easy going, but is suited by quicker.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
'I don't agree with people who say Suesa wants soft ground'
Francois Rohaut has an enviable record with runners at Glorious Goodwood and in Suesa – the winner of two Group 3s and unbeaten in four starts – the Pau-based trainer must have a fine chance of adding a Royal Ascot winner to his honours board.
"She stopped off in Chantilly with Rodolphe Collet and had a little blowout on Tuesday, which went fine," said Rohaut. "She hasn't had to fight really hard yet but you can only beat what's in front of you and I don't doubt her competitive spirit.
"When she won the Prix Sigy it was pretty much good ground and I loved that performance. She really did something special there so I don't agree with people who say Suesa wants soft ground. If it rains we know she handles it and some of the others might not."
What they say
Ado McGuinness, trainer of A Case Of You
There has been a drop of rain, which will help, as he would definitely cope with soft ground better than most.
Clive Cox, trainer of Isabella Giles
Isabella Giles would need easier ground but, as it's such an important race and there's a threat of thunderstorms, we've left her as insurance.
Alastair Donald, racing manager to King Power Racing, owners of Fivethousandtoone
He had a small injury at the beginning of the year which prevented him from running in the trial. We're hoping the rain stays away because he wants good ground.
Eve Johnson Houghton, trainer of Jumby
It's a huge step up from a handicap to a Group 1 but I think he could go really well.
Ken Condon, trainer of Laws Of Indices
Laws Of Indices is drawn on the opposite side and is among the fancied horses so that will help his cause.
Martyn Meade, trainer of Method
This has always been the target but we didn't expect him to have that much competition. In one race his saddle slipped and then we had to run him at Haydock just to get a run in but the ground didn't suit him.
Michael Bell, trainer of The Lir Jet
He's got good form at the track and I'm hoping it's a horses for courses situation with him.
Wesley Ward, trainer of Campanelle
She's had a couple fast works here, both with Frankie. He was really happy with both workouts, especially when he got off the last one. She's the only one of all the horses I brought over I was not concerned with the ground. In fact, it might be a little bit of an advantage if it's a little wet.
Karl Burke, trainer of Dandalla
She showed a lot of pace at Newbury so we dropped her back to six but the ground was bottomless at Haydock. She's come out of it well and all the signs are good at home.
Johnny Murtagh, trainer of Measure Of Magic
Her form looks very good when you see what Logo Hunter has done at home. It's a big step up and she has to run a personal best but she is ready to go.
Jack Davison, trainer of Mooneista
It looks like we are going to get our favoured easy ground, the trip is perfect for her and she couldn't be in better form. I expect her to outrun her odds.
William Haggas, trainer of Sacred
We know all about her and she has to have it firm, so that's unfortunate if the rain comes. She's very well, she's got bags of speed and if Tom [Marquand] can wait a bit, I think she'll come home well.
Reporting Scott Burton
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