By Craig Kemp
Last Updated: 18th June 2019
Based on her latest five runs since disappointing in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, it’s completely understandable as to why Magical is favourite to win the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
Four victories have been registered in these five starts, with the only defeat being a perfectly acceptable second to superstar filly Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, in which Magical went down by less than a length.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly has been dropped in trip this term, with all runs being over 1m2f and all ending in victory. She’s 2/1 to make it four on the bounce in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
However, Ryan Moore’s mount is not fancied to win the sole Group 1 on the second day of Royal Ascot.
Crystal Ocean to end wait for a Group 1 success
The main deterrent to backing Magical is that she has predominantly been beating the same horses this term, with stablemate Flag Of Honour the bridesmaid in all three races. This Royal Ascot encounter is far tougher.
Sea Of Class comes next in the betting and was arguably the best of these as a three-year-old, based on her marginal defeat from a supposed coffin draw in the Arc.
The main drawback to backing her is that it’s unlikely she’s been trained to peak in this race, with the Arc her priority target again.
A line is also drawn through Waldgeist on account of him never winning outside of France, leaving Crystal Ocean as the horse to back at 4/1.
Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old has been the model of group-level consistency over the last two years, never finishing out of the first three over various distances and on numerous types of ground.
Interestingly, this includes runner-up finishes on all three starts at Group 1 level, when chasing home Capri, Poet’s Word and Cracksman.
Crystal Ocean’s preparations have been solid this year, with a comfortable pair of Group 3 victories. This is an identical prep to when winning Royal Ascot’s Hardwicke Stakes last year.
Stoute knows what it takes to win this race too, having saddled Poet’s Word to victory 12 months ago.
Giving 3lb to Magical is not ideal, but with Frankie Dettori booked in the saddle for the first time, Crystal Ocean looks a better bet than the favourite at twice the price.