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O'Brien targets another Magical day

 

Classy line-up: Aidan O’Brien is gunning for more success
Classy line-up: Aidan O’Brien is gunning for more success

By Michael Verney

Aidan O'Brien did what he does best when dominating at Royal Ascot yesterday and the Ballydoyle maestro has another strong hand on day two.

O'Brien sends Magical in pursuit of the Group One Prince Of Wales' Stakes (3.40pm) - which is worth a whop­ping €840,000 - but a blanket could be thrown over the top four in the bet­ting on official ratings.

Last year's runner-up Crystal Ocean for Michael Stoute, William Haggas' Sea Of Class and the Andre Fab­re-trained Waldgeist will be formida­ble opposition for O'Brien's charge.

Magical - second to wonder mare Enable in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf - has been in scintillating form this season with a hat-trick of victories, but the daughter of Galileo will have to be at her very best to prevail.

O'Brien has farmed the Group Two Queen's Vase (3.05pm), winning five of the last nine runnings, and is mob-handed with four runners and nothing to separate Norway (Ryan Moore) and Western Australia (Don­nacha O'Brien) on official figures.

Barbados has an each-way shout but Harpo Marx looks outclassed, while his son Joseph saddles Eminent Author­ity, which is not without a chance when stepping up significantly in trip on just his third career start.

The Group Two Queen Mary Stakes (2.30pm) - a 27-runner cavalry charge - opens proceedings with American trainer Wesley Ward hoping to main­tain his love affair with Berkshire track.

Ward sends Kimari and Anna's Fast into a contest he has won three times in the last decade, but a strong Irish challenge is led by Willie McCreery's Ickworth.

Ickworth strolled home in a Listed contest at the Curragh last month and could make the frame, while O'Brien's pair of Tango and Love Bracelet, Kieran Cotter's Daughter In Law, Michael O'Callaghan's Isabeau and Fozzy Stack's American Lady are all available at sizeable odds.

The Group Two Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (4.20pm) sees O'Brien's I Can Fly vying for favouritism, while Joseph O'Brien runs Red Tea and Stack sends over outsider Hand On Heart.

Settle For Bay bids to become the first back-to-back winner of the Royal Hunt Cup (5pm) in over 70 years.

The concluding Listed Windsor Castle Stakes (5.35pm) sees O'Brien's Southern Hills and O'Callaghan's Red Epaulette bid to end the day on a win­ning note for the raiding party.

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