Duke Of Cambridge Stakes Tips: Earth looks on a different planet to Royal Ascot rivals

A classy field line up for the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
A classy field line up for the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes

Eight fillies and mares are set to go to post on Wednesday for the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, which is one of the showpiece races on day two of Royal Ascot, and our man Steve Chambers has picked out his best bet for the 1m event...

Last season's 1000 Guineas first and second will do battle in the 2022 Duke Of Cambridge, and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Mother Earth and the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Saffron Beach currently sit one and two in the betting for this event, and the pair have to be regarded as the ones to beat.

An exquisite winner of the Newmarket Classic last May, MOTHER EARTH landed that Group 1 prize by a length, but she failed to follow up at Royal Ascot a month later as she was third in the Coronation Stakes. A regular on the track in recent times, Mother Earth has added the Group 1 Prix Rothschild to her sparkling CV, so if she can repeat that or her Guineas effort then she will very tough to beat, and the current 3/1 is the way to go. However, those knocking the Ballydoyle raider will argue she can often find one or two too good. No match for Baaeed in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, Mother Earth will find this much easier and on her day she is arguably one of the premier fillies in training.

Saffron Beach ended up in the Oaks last season after her second placed finish in the Guineas, but she could only finish eighth and dropped back in trip following that Epsom outing. A winner of the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown, the daughter of New Bay, who is the 5/2 favourite, then went on to claim victory in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket, where she beat Mother Earth by an emphatic three lengths.

Last seen running well in Dubai, Saffron Beach will relish a return to British shores and she has to be respected here, but an on-song Saffron Beach will struggle to live with an on-song Mother Earth, and it's the Ballydoyle contender that makes most appeal of the top two in the betting.

One filly thriving at the moment is the William Haggas-trained Bashkirova, who warmed up for this event with a taking victory in the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom Downs on Derby day, and she is certainly open to more improvement. Currently available at 5/1, the daughter of Pivotal will need to improve significantly to deal with proven top class performers, but if they fail to reach expectations then you can pretty confident that the Haggas raider will run a decent race and has to be respected.

Andre Fabre's Usherette was the last French-trained winner to land this prize back in 2016, but there are two notable contenders here in the shape of Sibila Spain (15/2) and Kennella (25/1). The former looks the most likely of the pairing as the daughter of Frankel won a Group 2 last time out at Saint-Cloud, but she will need more than that to figure here, while Kennella was fifth in a Listed event last time out, so has to kick on.

Last year's German Guineas winner Novemba adds yet more European intrigue to the race, but she has struggled to get her head in front recently and could be out of her depth. Ed Walker's Primo Bacio ended last season finishing down the field in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket, and disappointed on her comeback run at Goodwood earlier this season, so she has to bounce back to form to stand any chance at 12/1, while Thunder Beauty completes the line-up and she is a 50/1 outsider to land the prize and will find it a tough ask to deal with top class players.

Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
Mother Earth silk

Mother Earth

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