Royal Ascot 2015: Commonwealth Cup preview (15.40)
A stellar field go to post for the inaugural running of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, and American raider Hootenanny is fancied to emerge victorious in the 6f contest confined to three-year-olds.
The Wes Ward trained colt had some top class form as a juvenile, landing the Listed 5f Windsor Castle Stakes at this meeting by a runway 3 1/2 lengths before running a blinder to be beaten just a 1/2 a length by The Wow Signal in the Group 1 Prix Mornay over 6f at Longchamp.
Hootenanny went on to round off the campaign with success in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf over 1m at Santa Anita, and looked as good as ever on his seasonal reappearance at Keeneland when quickening clear to register a facile 6 1/4 length success in an extended 5f allowance contest.
The son of Quality Road has now won four of his six starts, and has the combinbation of a high cruising and ability to quicken which are ideal for this contest.
Hootenanny has also won over further, and that is a big plus in a race which looks set to be run at a searching gallop.
Ward also reports Hootenanny to have thrived since his Keeneland success and, with Ryan Moore in the saddle, looks the one they all have to beat.
Limato lost his unbeaten record last time out when runner-up to Adaay on soft ground at Haydock, but had previously looked a very exciting prospect and is a major player now returned to a quicker surface.
The Henry Candy trained gelding showed progressive form when winning four times as a juvenile, and was particularly impressive in the last of those when cruising to success in the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar.
The son of Tagula tanked along on the heels of the leaders before making smooth headway to lead inside the final furlong and beat Mattmu by 1 1/2 lengths on the bridle.
It was a visually stunning performance in what is traditionally a very competitive affair, and one which marked Limato out as a potential superstar sprinter.
That view was confirmed on his seasonal reappearance when Limato landed a Group 3 contest at Ascot in good style despite looking in need of the run. Although beaten a length by Adaay in the Sandy Lane, he lost little in defeat and, with underfoot conditions now in his favour, can turn the tables.
Last year’s Queen Mary winner Anthem Alexander readily landed a Group 3 6f contest at Naas on seasonal appearance and looks sure to go well for Irish trainer Eddie Lynam who has a tremendous record with sprinters, whilst Tiggy Wiggy is a very interesting contender now dropped back in trip.
Tiggy Wiggy won six-times during an outstanding two-year-old campaign, showing blistering early speed on each occasion.
The daughter of Kodiac has been beaten in both starts this season, but ran a blinder over 1m in the 1000 Guineas when third to Legatissimo and will appreciate the drop back down to 6f – a trip over which she is unbeaten in two starts.