Chigun chasing famous victory in Duke of Cambridge Stakes
The second race on day 2 is the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.05), formerly the Windsor Forest Stakes, a group 2 race for fillies and mares.
There are some tough and consistent fillies in this, none more so than Chigun. The four-year-old has won four of her last six races and represents the stable of Lady Cecil. With the sad passing of Sir Henry last week, all of her runners this week will be given special attention.
Chigun is very closely matched with both Dank and Thistle Bird on previous form. In September last year she came out on top by a neck from Thistle Bird at Newmarket with Ladys First in fourth and Dank fifth.
Three of the four met again in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes in May with Sir Michael Stoute’s filly just getting the verdict by a short head from Chigun with Thistle Bird three lengths away in third. All three were having their first run of the season.
Roger Charlton’s Thistle Bird arguably needed that first run most and stepped up to win nicely at Haydock next time out, beating a rapidly improving sort in Gifted Girl.
The early favourite for the race is Duntle, trained in Ireland by David Wachman. The daughter of Danehill Dancer has won her last four starts, most recently the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown. She was controversially disqualified after winning the Group 1 Matron Stakes last season, the race being awarded to Sir Henry Cecil’s Chachamaidee.
When HH The Aga Khan sends over a runner from France it is usually worth taking notice and he is represented by Sarkiyla. The daughter of Oasis Dream is a consistent performer at this level and finished third in the Group 1 Prix Du Moulin last season.
She was six lengths adrift of Moonlight Cloud and Farhh but that was no disgrace and she also finished fourth in the Godolphin Mile this spring. Dancewiththedevil has been racing in South Africa and has her first start for Roger Varian here.
The form is very difficult to assess but she is a multiple winner at Group 1 level so should not be underestimated in a competitive race. Beatrice Aurore showed little on her first outing of the season with Intense Pink and Sweetnessandlight completing the ten-runner field.