Royal Ascot third Swingalong looks to be the ace in Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum’s pack as the owner has assembled a strong hand for the William Hill Summer Stakes at York on Friday.
Karl Burke’s three-year-old won the Lowther Stakes over course and distance as a juvenile and since then has acquitted herself well in a plethora of high-class contests.
She relished the drop back to six furlongs when making the podium in the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal meeting and that Group One performance behind Shaquille and Little Big Bear marks her out as the one to beat here.
“Right from Ascot this has been the target, Karl said straight away the Summer Stakes would be perfect,” said Philip Robinson, assistant racing manager for the owner.
“Hopefully this is her race. Six furlongs seems to be where she is at her best and we hope she will have a really strong hand in the race.”
Joining Swingalong in the owners’ colours is last year’s City Walls Stakes winner Royal Aclaim and William Haggas’ Pink Crystal, who has some smart course form to her name in handicap company.
“It’s a nice, easy six at York and should suit,” continued Robinson on James Tate’s Royal Aclaim, who steps up to the distance for the first time here.
“If she came back to her best, she is a very, very talented filly. She was a little disappointing last time, but they all have off days.
“She was entered up for the July Cup and hasn’t doesn’t a lot wrong. Last year I really thought she would be top, sprinting wise, she just hasn’t gone on from that. But back in this class she has to be somewhere close.”
Robinson added on Pink Crystal: “She was third last time at York and has experience on the track.
“She is going to have a little bit to find, but you never know and William surprised us all at Sandown the other day winning a Listed race with a 78-rated filly.
“His horses seem to be in great form and she will be trying to do the same thing and sneak into a place somewhere and get a bit of black type. You never know, she might excel.”
Michael Dods’ course-and-distance scorer Gale Force Maya was third in this last year, but has a point to prove after two lacklustre displays so far this term, while fellow track-and-trip winner Secret Angel and Richard Fahey’s Ayr Listed runner-up Marine Wave are others bidding to land a winning blow for the north.
Nell Gwyn winner Mammas Girl drops back in both trip and class after finishing well held in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, while Ralph Beckett’s Juliet Sierra was a top two-year-old and is also sent sprinting having started her three-year-old campaign in a hot contest here during the Dante meeting.
“We’re starting back on the road with her and I thought she ran a good race over a mile back in the spring,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.
“She didn’t stay the mile but she was only beaten a touch over five lengths, giving weight to some nice horses.
“Six might be a little short and her optimum is probably seven. We’ll start her back here now and hopefully the second half of the season we can have a good run with her, she’s a nice filly.”
David Evans’ Radio Goo Goo saw her four-race winning run come to an end when fourth in the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes at Ascot last month and she will be aiming to get back to winning ways and also confirm form over Steph Hollinshead’s Al Simmo, who was just a nose behind when they clashed over track and trip not too long ago.