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Global gems: Nine international horses to watch at Royal Ascot 2016

Visitors both human and equine will be coming from all corners of the world this week for Royal Ascot.

It is no longer just owners, trainers and jockeys from Britain and Ireland that covet victory in front of the Queen but connections of horses from places such as Australia, Japan and the USA. Here are some of the most exciting international runners set to line up at Royal Ascot and what those closest to them think of their chances.

Acapulco

Acapulco

Country/trainer: USA/Wesley Ward
Race: King’s Stand Stakes/Commonwealth Cup
Price: 7-1/8-1
Prospects: Produced an outstanding performance to win the Queen Mary Stakes last year and swatted aside opposition on her prep runs for Royal Ascot this year. Was defeated by Mecca’s Angel on soft ground in the Nunthorpe and connections are worried about taking her on again. The Commonwealth Cup is weaker but she needs to prove she stays. Ground may be the problem for this US raider as well.
What they say: “She’s training great but we’ll have to see about the ground for her and which race she goes for. Mecca’s Angel looks the overwhelming favourite now the rain has arrived,” Wesley Ward, trainer.

A Shin Hikari

Horseracing - 2015 Longines Hong Kong International Races

Country/trainer: Japan/Masanori Sakaguchi
Race: Prince of Wales’s Stakes
Price: 2-1
Prospects: The more rain that has fallen the bigger the chances appear of Japan securing a first Royal Ascot win with this horse. Takes on just five rivals, albeit the likes of Found is among them, and is coming into the race of the back of a ten-length Group 1 win in France last time. Rated the best horse in the world and would be great to see him prove that.
What they say: “I hope he can improve again for Ascot but you have to remember this is a horse who can be difficult on occasions and it will be important that he adapts to more new surroundings,” Yutaka Take, rider.

Holler

Royal Ascot Global Sprint Challenge

Country/trainer: Australia/John O’Shea
Race: Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Price: 12-1
Prospects: From a nation that produces great sprinters and has proved himself capable of good performances, as seen with his Group 1 Canterbury Stakes win. He is no Chautauqua though and certainly no Black Caviar. Does stay seven furlongs, which is a bonus on this course.
What they say: “He is a horse who likes to control a race. When you watch his wins, he controls the race from the front or outside the lead. Holler is a big, tough, galloping horse and I think he will be okay at Ascot and we look for a good draw. He has great gate speed,” John O’Shea, trainer.

Lady Aurelia

Country/trainer: USA/Wesley Ward
Race: Queen Mary Stakes
Price: 9-4
Prospects: Super impressive when winning her only start by seven lengths and rated by her trainer to be as good as Acapulco. Ward has captured the Queen Mary with Jealous Again and Acapulco so knows what it takes to win. Ground a big concern though.
What they say: “She’s just amazing. She should be really tough to beat and I really like her chances. Ability-wise I’d put her on the same level as Acapulco,” Wesley Ward, trainer

Miss Temple City

Left is ARABIAN QUEEN right is MISS TEMPLE CITY at Royal Ascot 19-6-15.

Country/trainer: USA/Graham Motion
Race: Duke of Cambridge Stakes
Price: 9-1
Prospects: Produced an excellent performance to be fourth in the Coronation Stakes last year and appears to be a better horse this time around. Landed the Grade 1 Maker’s Mile last time out, but is another who have preferred better going.
What they say: “I feel really good about running her although I am not yet familiar with the field she is up against. She is a bigger, stronger filly this year and her win against the boys last time was very impressive. I have also been impressed with her work since then,” Graham Motion, trainer.

Mongolian Saturday

Breeders Cup Horse Racing

Country/trainer: USA/Enebish Ganbat
Race: King’s Stand Stakes/Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Price: 20-1/25-1
Prospects: Mongolian-owned and trainer runner who landed the Turf Sprint at the Breeders’ Cup last year. That was on loose ground but not as testing as it will be here. Has won over a mile but looks all speed and the softer going, along with the uphill straight, may mean this is a step too far for the ambitious connections.
What they say: “We did everything the same with him in Hong Kong as we had done with him before [in his career] but there was one big difference – we had a different jockey. His regular jockey Florent Geroux was unable to ride him as he wanted to stay in the States for the Kentucky Derby so he failed to fire. Mongolian Saturday can be a bit of a nervous horse when he travels but has been okay on this trip,” Enebish Ganbat, trainer.

Tepin

Longines at the 147th Belmont Stakes

Country/trainer: USA/Mark Casse
Race: Queen Anne Stakes
Price: 4-1
Prospects: As good a horse as has been sent over from America in recent years having won nine of her last 11 starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Mile. A winner on soft ground before, there are nevertheless doubts about how well she will handle it and connections have admitted firmer has been better for her. A classy mare but one that might become unstuck.
What they say: “Any time you go into the unknown there is some pressure. Every time she runs I get nervous and I’m the nervous type as well. I’m in a position where I’m bringing across a filly that is being talked about as one of the all-time best turf females in North American racing. She’s been training great and I hope she can show how good she is,” trainer Mark Casse.

Undrafted

Horse Racing - The Royal Ascot Meeting 2015 - Day Five - Ascot Racecourse

Country/trainer: USA/Wesley Ward
Race: Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Price: 9-1
Prospects: Winner of this race last year and everything done with him since has been about getting him back to defend his title. Would have preferred better ground but was fourth in a July Cup on good to soft going. Bigger concern is the talent of the opposition.
What they say: “I’m excited because he’s a special horse. This has been the plan since the Breeders’ Cup and he won his prep in style. He’s trained flawlessly since and shipped in well,” Wesley Ward, trainer.

Usherette

Usherette

Country/trainer: France/Andre Fabre
Race: Duke of Cambridge Stakes
Price: 2-1
Prospects: Beaten just once in six starts and looks like she will handle the ground at the very least. Seems to have a significant class edge on her rivals in this race.
What they say: “Usherette is really exciting for two reasons. From what she has shown she can do but because I just love talking to Andre Fabre about Usherette as he gets the biggest smile on his face and it makes the rest of the conversation very easy. Andre is an extraordinary judge, which comes from years of experience and being a great talent,” John Ferguson, Godolphin racing manager.

Related

You’ll find comprehensive coverage of Royal Ascot 2016 on Coral’s dedicated page.

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