Royal Ascot 2016: Usherette to deliver in Duke of Cambridge Stakes
David Metcalf | June 14, 2016
Usherette can show Duke Of Cambridge Stakes rival the way home
French trainer Andre Fabre has an excellent record with his cross Channel raiders and Usherette can provide him with another big race winner in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes on a cracking second day card at Royal Ascot (15.40).
The filly has won five of her six starts, and comes into the race on the back of a career-best effort when landing the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket.
After being steadied back at the start and being held-up in midfield by jockey Mickael Barzalona, Usherette made good headway when shaken up a furlong from home before showing a smart turn of foot to readily beat Arabian Queen by a length.
The daughter of Shamardal was value for more than the winning margin, and the pair pulled 4 1/2 lengths clear of the third home Amazing Maria who won this contest 12 months ago.
Open to further improvement
That gives the form a solid look and Usherette remains lightly-raced and open to stacks more improvement.
The four-year-old has also won on good-to-soft ground, so the going should not be a problem, and an official rating of 117 gives her 2lb and upwards in hand on all her rivals.
It makes Usherette the one to beat, and with Barzalona once again in the saddle she can take this en route to even better things.
Always Smile not to be underestimated
The Saeed bin Suroor trained filly has won four of her five starts, with her only defeat coming at this meeting 12 months ago in the Sandringham Handicap when beaten a nose by Osaila.
Always Smile would have won has she not hung badly left deep inside the final furlong, and looked better than ever on seasonal reappearance when landing a competitive 19-runner Listed handicap at York.
The four-year-old travelled strongly throughout, and after making smooth headway two from home to take up the running entering the final furlong found plenty when challenged to beat Convey by a neck.
Convey is a well-regarded sort who has since run well to finish runner-up in a Group 3 at Haydock, and the manner of the performance suggested that Always Smile was well worth a crack at this level.
Coral’s top tip: Usherette impressed when scoring last time out and looks worth a wager to follow-up in a competitive renewal of the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. Always Smile is a progressive sort and rates the main threat.