Sunday 22 April 2018

Round Two leads Bolger raid on Royal Ascot's opening day

Jim Bolger's Round Two is considered the front-runner for the Coventry Stakes
Jim Bolger's Round Two is considered the front-runner for the Coventry Stakes

Thomas Kelly

Jim Bolger's Round Two heads a strong field of 18 declared for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot tomorrow.

The Godolphin-owned colt has been ante-post favourite on the back of highly-encouraging wins at Naas and in the Listed Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh.

Air Force Blue is Aidan O'Brien's only runner while Johnny Levins' Black Beach, third to Round Two at the Curragh, is the other Irish challenger.

Richard Hannon has taken out Log Out Island but is well represented in the six-furlong Group Two by Age Of Empire and Eltezam. American trainer Wesley Ward is no stranger to success at the Royal meeting and goes for glory with Finnegan, which won by five lengths at Pimlico a month ago.

Mark Johnston's three-pronged attack is spearheaded by Woodcote winner Buratino and supported by Beaverbrook and Ode To Evening.

Meanwhile, dual 2,000 Guineas winner Gleneagles tops the billing in a field of six for the St James's Palace Stakes.

The Ballydoyle colt has looked a cut above his fellow three-year-olds in picking up both Classics at Newmarket and the Curragh.

He appears to have frightened away plenty of opposition but has not scared off Andre Fabre's French 2,000 Guineas hero Make Believe, whose owner Prince Faisal also has an interest in last year's leading juvenile Belardo.

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