After notching up his first Royal Ascot winner last year, trainer Dave Loughnane takes us through some of his leading runners as he bids for more success.
Britannia Stakes - 20/1
Kingmax came to us last year as a three-year-old. He had two runs last year for Roger Varian. Beaitufla animal, really well bred by Kingman. He was very impressive on debut for us in Kempton, he was a six/seven-legnth emphatic winner there and he went on and was a really good fourth in the Craven by Native Trial.
We wanted to know if he was a Guineas horse, so we rolled the dice. I was adamant he was a mile-and-a-quarter horse. We went to the Dante with him, again, he ran a real good race, but he probably just proved to me that day that I got it wrong and he didn’t stay a mile-and-a-quarter.
After coming out of the Dante we felt coming back to a mile was the right way to go, so he’ll take an entry in the Britannia. We’d like to think he’d be a group horse running in a handicap. He’s definitely up to group level and it looks like a nice option for him
Commonwealth Cup - 10/1
He’s been an absolute superstar for us. He was a bit of a flag bearer for us last year and took the yard to new heights. He’s been a star since day one, he’s never put a foot wrong, a pleasure to have in the yard and a pleasure to train.
He’s trained on really nicely from two to three after a phenomenal two-yea-rold campaign. He was very good in the commonwealth cup trial. A bit unfortunate in the sandy lane, he just tried to jump out a bit too quickly. He’s his own worst enemy at times, but he’s come out of the race really well.
I’m adamant he’s a Group 1 sprinter. He’s obviously proved he’s good enough for Group 3 and Group 2 level. I think he’s better this year than he was last and he’d run through a brick wall for you.
Kensington Palace Stakes - 12/1
She won her first two starts for us last year, and went on to be a very good second in Royal Ascot to her stablemate Lola Showgirl. She was very good that day and will head back to the Kensington Palace to hopefully go one better.
Queen Mary Stakes - 10/1
She went to Ascot first time out and was hugely impressive in her maiden. She led pillar to post and made it all look quite easy and did it all within herself. She heads straight to the Queen Mary.
We’re very pleased with her and looking forward to seeing what she can do. She finds her work very easy. She’s not one of those that gives you everything at home, she just does what she has to, she certainly has the right attitude and mind to be a very good horse.
Queen Mary Stakes - 20/1
She’s been very consistent, won very impressively at Yarmouth, the plan was to get a run into her before Chester. The owners are all local lads and wanted to run her in the Lily Agnes. She won very impressively and Richard Kingscote got off her and said you can’t go to Chester, you need to start planning a trip to Royal Ascot.
She then went to the Marygate and was very unlucky, got taken out coming out of the gates, got stuck behind a couple of slow horses and flew home to finish a very good fifth. She went to Carlisle last year and was hugely impressive.
Windsor Castle Stakes - 9/1
He’s very, very quick. He’s all speed, a very big animal. He was out of a very nice Mark Johnston-trained mare called No Lippy who won the Lily Agnes as a two-year-old and obviously Kodiac, his dad needs no introductions.
We went to Ascot first time out and were beaten by a very nice horse of Godolphin’s’ in Noble Style. I felt that day we were going to need the run. He’s very quick but he’s not very streetwise yet. To get him to change lead and quicken you need to lift him over onto the other leg and get him to go again, so I knew he was only going to improve.
He didn’t have a hard race so we went to York. He was within two-and-half, three seconds of last the six Nunthorpe winners, and he did it on dead ground and all on his own, so he’s very exciting coming to Royal Ascot.