Wigmore Hall seeks home victory in Princess of Wales’s Stakes
Wigmore Hall has been around the globe and earned more than a million pounds in prize money. His first big victory came in the John Smith’s Magnet Cup almost three years ago to the day.
The six-year-olds most recent success came in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine in September. Jamie Spencer rode him on that occasion, holding him up for a late run and beating a top class field.
Spencer will probably adopt the same tactics here and Wigmore Hall’s acceleration could prove decisive. The bookmakers are struggling to find a clear favourite but Mark Johnston’s Universal arguably boasts the best recent form.
In typical Johnston fashion, Universal has not been resting idly in his box this summer and has been on the go since arriving back from Dubai. He reeled off three straight victories including a game victory here in the Jockey Club Stakes in which Wigmore Hall was only third.
The son of Dubawi then went to Royal Ascot for the Hardwicke Stakes, a race marred by the tragic death of the winner Thomas Chippendale. Universal’s cause was not helped by the early exit of Ektihaam but he stuck on gamely for third.
Godolphin’s Cavalryman has been a great servant over the years and won the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March. He may be better for his run in the Henry II stakes when only fifth behind Gloomy Sunday. Godolphin also run the tough and consistent Ahzeemah who chased home Cavalryman in Dubai.
Luca Cumani’s Danadana disappointed behind Mukhadram at Sandown last time but had previously come from off the pace to win at Chester. Ryan Moore takes the ride following a severing of links between the owner and jockey Kieren Fallon.
Lady Cecil’s Wild Coco will be having her first start of the new campaign but that did not stop her winning at Goodwood last season. She followed up in the Park Hill Stakes so has to be respected.
Jeremy Noseda’s Grandeur progressed from handicap company to win a Grade 2 at Santa Anita in February and will also be a threat if fit enough to do himself justice.