Sir Michael Stoute Ready For Royal Meeting

Sir Michael Stoute Ready For Royal Meeting

Royal Ascot's winning most trainer Sir Michael Stoute is ready to launch his battalion of runners in Berkshire next week, as he looks to add to his tremendous career tally.

Poet's Word made history for the 73-year-old when he lowered Cracksman's colours in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes twelve months ago, notching up a record 76th winner at the prestigious meeting for the Barbadian-British trainer.

It was the start of an emphatic week of success for the Newmarket-based trainer, and it did not take long for him to take his total to a new level.

Later on the Wednesday, Expert Eye landed the Jersey Stakes under Aussie James McDonald, before he took the Group One Commonwealth Cup on the Friday with Eqtidaar and the Hardwicke Stakes on the Saturday with Crystal Ocean.

Sir Evelyn De Rothschild's five-year-old's victory in that race left Stoute with 79 career winners at the summer feature meeting, and he looks to hold plenty of players at this year's upcoming festival to further that success.

Crystal Ocean will be at the head of those flying the yard's flag, as he has the chance to land back-to-back Hardwicke's.

Group One's have certainly evaded the son of Sea The Stars, but he has notched up six career victories in Group Two or Three company, with the 1m4f contest coming under the former's bracket.

Connections may still opt to send him for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes on the Wednesday - a race Stoute has won three times, where he could face last year's Arc runner-up Sea Of Class. 

The main man also has a serious contender for the Queen Anne Stakes - the 'champion mile' which opens the meeting on Day One, in the shape of Mustashry.

The 73-year-old has not won the race since landing three in a row back in 2002 with No Excuse Needed, and that might be the ironic catchphrase for last month's impressive Al Shaqab Lockinge winner.

Stoute is well known for his patient handling of slow maturing horses, and the six-year-old showcased his trainer's finest qualities and undisputed brilliance with a clearcut win at Berkshire's other major track in Newbury.

The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned runner is currently priced as the second favourite with most firms behind the Aidan O'Brien-trained Le Brivido, and could bid to give Stoute a landmark 80th triumph at the earliest possible stage.

Finally, Jubiloso looks a worthy player in the Coronation Stakes, after her two smart victories in the last two couple of months.

Out of Joyeuse, and a half-sister to Frankel, Khalid Abdullah's three-year-old filly could be anything special after hosing up at Newbury on her latest start.

She will clash with dual 1,000 Guineas heroine Hermosa, who has been at the subject of a heavy gamble after she was confirmed not to go to France for the French Oaks by her connections.