London – Simon Crisford’s patience with Jash can be rewarded with victory on Friday in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
This Kodiac colt looked every inch a top-class prospect in winning his first two starts at Newmarket and Salisbury last season, and there was nothing wrong with his 0.5-length second to Ten Sovereigns on his final juvenile appearance in the Middle Park.
Ten Sovereigns is a hot favourite for the 1200m Group 1 race, which is no surprise given he ran well for a long way in last month’s 2000 Guineas – shaping as though a return to sprint distances would suit.
However, given how close he got to Ten Sovereigns last autumn, Jash looks the value call at far more attractive odds.
While many of his contemporaries were running in Guineas trials and the Guineas itself, Jash was kept off the track during the early spring before making a winning return to action in the King Charles II Stakes at Newmarket.
That form received a boost last weekend when the runner-up Azano won a Group 3 in France.
Crisford’s charge can be expected to have improved significantly for that first outing of the year – and with the drop back in distance not a major concern on a stiff track like Ascot, a bold bid
It is difficult to oppose dual Guineas heroine Hermosa in the other Group 1 on the card – the Coronation Stakes.
This Aidan O’Brien-trained filly was something of a surprise winner of the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, but proved there was no fluke about that performance when dominating from the front in the Irish equivalent at The Curragh.
Given she looks sure to go further in time, the testing nature of Ascot should suit her ideally – and she looks well-placed to complete the same treble as another Ballydoyle star, Winter, managed a couple of seasons ago.
Daahyeh gets the nod in the opening Albany Stakes. This Bated Breath filly looked well above average when making
a winning debut at Newmarket last month, and the form has been well advertised since by the runner-up Rafflle Prize.
Private Secretary can give John Gosden a fourth success in the King Edward VII Stakes. Japan is the clear standard setter after being beaten just 0.5 lengths into third in the Investec Derby at Epsom – but whether he can re-produce that performance less than three weeks later must be open to some question.
Private Secretary has been brought along more steadily, but has won each of his three starts this season.
He was value for a good bit more than the official winning margin on his latest outing in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood. – Press Association