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Jersey Stakes: Ground a crucial factor
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-06-20 04:00:33 (First published: 2007-06-18 17:22:20 )

Royal Ascot Wed: The 7-furlong Jersey Stakes (G2), won in recent years by stars like Proclamation, Mozart and Observatory, has drawn a massive field.

A handful of the 17 runners are without a chance, but another handful can be seen with a serious winning chance.

The ground could be a decisive factor, as leading contenders like Richard Hannon’s Major Cadeaux, Barry Hills’s Thousand Words and Jean Claude Rouget’s US Ranger will all prefer some give in the ground.

If we get rain, these three stick out from the rest. If it stays dry, it becomes more difficult to predict the winner, as others then move up on the ranking.


Royal Ascot 20 June 2007 – 7 furlongs turf

Top ranked horse on 100, with others
Ranked down in pounds (2lbs = 1 length)
Horses presented with sire, best Globeform, rider

100 – MAJOR CADEAUX (Cadeaux Genereux) GF 114+ / R Moore
..97 – STRATEGIC PRINCE (Dansili) GF 113+ / E Ahern
..96 – US RANGER (Danzig) GF 111+ / C-P Lemaire
..94 – THOUSAND WORDS (Dansili) GF 111 / R Hughes
..94 – TARIQ (Kyllachy) GF 108+ / J Fortune
..91 – FERNELEY (Ishiguru) GF 108 / T Durcan
..91 – SILCA CHIAVE (Pivotal) GF 105 / J Bowman
..88 – VITAL STATISTICS (Indian Ridge) GF 102 / K Darley
..87 – CHARIOTS OF FIRE (Galileo) GF 104 / M Kinane
..87 – SONNY RED (Redback) GF 104 / S Drowne
..87 – TRAFFIC GUARD (More Than Ready) GF 104 / J Egan
..86 – THEANN (Rock Of Gibraltar) GF 100 / C Soumillon
..85 – CONFUCHIAS (Cape Cross) GF 102 / M Dwyer
…? – ARABIAN GLEAM (Kyllachy) GF ?++ / L Dettori
..83 – FARES (Mark Of Esteem) GF 100 / S Sanders
..82 – SOLID ROCK (Rock Of Gibraltar) GF 99 / J Murtagh
..73 – SOUTHANDWEST (Titus Livus) GF 90 / L Keniry

MAJOR CADEAUX did not handle the firm ground in the 2000 Guineas, and he could bounce back here. Soft ground would be ideal. He was one of the most impressive maiden winners in England last term, but we only got to see him twice as a juvenile. It is fair to assume that he could have been up with the best of his generation, especially after seeing his win first time out this year, and Major Cadeaux’s light 2yo campaign is a big plus as he is into his sophomore season. He strikes us a likely big improver, and, if he improves by lengths on what we saw at in the Greenham Stakes (G3) at Newbury in April, he will not be easy to beat. He is an uncomplicated ride and he has the best possible draw.

He was deeply impressive when winning the Greenham by 3 ½ lengths from Dutch Art, and Major Cadeaux is very likely to step up again as he matures. He made a most encouraging debut at Newbury last year – winning a hot maiden over 6 furlongs, before running second to Helvellyn in the Coventry Stakes (G2) over the same distance at Royal Ascot. Major Cadeaux was jarred up after that race, and such a ’hold-up’ is no cause for concern now. The ground can be, however, so hold those bets until we know the ground. His sire gets winners over various distances, and his dam stayed 1 ¼ miles (she is out of Capades, a Grade One winner over 8.5 furlongs in USA).

Major Cadeaux made all in the Greenham, setting a moderate pace, and that probably didn’t suit his runner-up, Dutch Art, who was the odds-on favourite. It was still an impressive, and convincing win. Major Cadeaux is a classy colt and he can become a G1 horse in the autumn.

US RANGER, also below form in the Guineas, is another to consider. He is better than he showed at Newmarket. It may have been the ground, but it may also have been lack of stamina, that found him out. He was toying with the opposition in the provinces in France last year, before stepping out on a bigger stage in the 7-furlong Prix Djebel (LR) at Maisons-Laffitte this spring. US Ranger broke little sweat in defeating Prior Warning by an easy 4-length margin. Prior Warning was coming off a win at the all-weather in Deauville, and he went on to win a Lusted race on his next start after chasing US Ranger in the Djebel. Many 3-year-old colts in Europe can beat such a horse by open lengths, but US Ranger did it in the style of a class performer and he looks a Group One performer in the making.

STRATEGIC PRINCE was a solid perfomer and was among our favourite juveniles last year, when he ran third behind Teofilo and Holy Roman Emperor in the Dewhurst Stakes (G1), after having landed a pair of valuable Group races earlier in the season. He ran a respectable race to finish eighth in the 2000 Guineas (G1) – his first start of the year – and he will noted him dowm as a horse who will probably be better over further than a mile. He was beaten just 4 ¾ lengths behind Cockney Rebel at Newmarket, was then next to last in the Derby. Running him here, over 7 furlongs, smells a bit of experimenting. Surely, if he belonged in the Derby field he should also fit into the King Edward VII Stakes. He has a chance on ratings here but does he have much scope for improvement this year? Perhaps not.

THOUSAND WORDS produced his best juvenile performance when winning the Sommerville Tattersall Stakes (G3) over 7 furlongs at Newmarket, where he was a solid 2 ½-length winner over Dijeer on soft ground. He failed to fire in the Craven Stakes (G3), where he was readily beaten by Adagio (and also by Sonny Red) but he ran a respectable race in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (G1) at Longchamp – checking in fifth 3 ¼ lengths behind the winner Astronomer Royal (run in St James’s Palace on Tuesday).



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