Group 1 winners at Royal Ascot for the north of England these days are rare indeed, but Karl Burke’s rapidly progressive filly Quiet Reflection (11/4) looks to have solid claims to victory in what promises to be a great race for the six furlong Group 1 Commonwealth Cup on Friday.
Quiet Reflection (11/4), to Win Commonwealth Cup
The Spigot Lodge-based handler has done very well with his team based on the moor at Middleham in Yorkshire, and Quiet Reflection, a daughter of Showcasing, has won her last four races, including a particularly impressive performance last time out when slamming the useful Donjuan Triumphant by nearly four lengths in the Grade 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last month. The talented Gifted Master was a head back in third closely followed by the smart Buratino.
Her win at Haydock on good ground followed a success earlier in the term on testing ground at Chantilly in the Group 3 Prix Sigy, demonstrating that Burke’s charge is versatile with regard to the ground. She has a fine cruising speed and a serious turn of foot, so might take all the beating if in the same mood at Royal Ascot in this race restricted to three-year-olds only.
Favorite Contenders – Royal Ascot Friday
Donjuan Triumphant (10/1), Gifted Master (12/1), and Buratino (20/1) could all take on the filly once again but would need to step up on their respective Haydock efforts if they are going to give her something to think about.
With star US three-year-old Acapulco reportedly going to run in the five furlong King’s Stand Stakes instead of this event, Richard Hannon’s talented Log Out Island (8/1), Group-placed last season before winning the listed Two-Year-Old Trophy in October, could be a danger to the likely favourite.
Last time out, in the listed Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury, Hannon’s charge stormed well clear from an early stage and was still very much in command at the line as he won easily by over three lengths from Remarkable.
It’s unlikely the Dark Angel colt, who finished a close second in last season’s Group 2 Norfolk Stakes, will be able to dominate at Ascot in the same way at this much higher level, but if he gets into a rhythm he will set a good test for his rivals.
Aidan O’Brien Horses
Aidan O’Brien’s runners at this premier meeting have always to be respected and he may run the decent Washington DC (12/1), winner of the listed Windsor Castle Stakes 12 months ago but yet to show the same sparkle in three outings so far this term. He needs to up his game to have any say in proceedings.
O’Brien has also supplemented Air Force Blue (8/1), the leading juvenile colt of last term, but he’s looked a shadow of his former self so far this campaign, as he was once remembered for the 2000 Guineas. He has plenty to prove as well at this shorter trip
Charles Hills European Free Handicap winner Ibn Malik is interesting dropping back to six furlongs and might appeal as an each-way prospect at 16/1, while possible French raider Cheikeljack (20/1) is an improving son of Myboycharlie and did it very nicely last time out at Maison Laffite in heavy ground where he landed the seven furlong Group 3 Prix Djebel. On a flat surface he might not be quick enough at Ascot, but if the rains continue to impact the ground by the fourth day he would be a lively outsider.
In the News
 liverpoolecho.co.uk, Buratino likely to bypass Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot due to ground concerns, 2016