Horse Racing
Charyn out to bag Queen Anne glory by reversing Newbury form with Audience

17/06/2024 15:35

The cream of older European milers will charge up the straight for the traditional launch of Royal Ascot in Tuesday’s (18 June) G1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m).

The field is headed by French stars Facteur Cheval (Maxime Guyon) and Big Rock (Christophe Soumillon) and Newmarket-trained pair of Audience (Robert Havlin) and Charyn (Silvestre de Sousa).

The G1 Lockinge Stakes (1600m) has traditionally been the main stepping stone to the Queen Anne and, at Newbury last month, a super front-running ride from Havlin aboard Audience resulted in a victory over Charyn and eight others that few had predicted.

But there is little doubt Audience – racing on far side – was on the quickest part of the track that day as opposed to the grey Charyn whose late surge came from the nearside. And with Ascot being a notably stiffer track than Newbury there must be significant chances of a turnaround this time.

Charyn’s trainer Roger Varian says: “He (Charyn) was very impressive in the Lockinge even though he didn’t win. It was a strange race but he came right away from those he was racing with. This will be very different affair and I don’t think I’d swap him for any of the others.”

Charyn’s task has been simplified by the decision to switch brilliant mare Inspiral to Wednesday’s (19 June) G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1993m) but Facteur Cheval remains a serious obstacle.

The Jerome Reynier-trained gelding had outpointed world-class talent to win his first Group 1 in the Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan in March. He narrowly grabbed the big money from Namur that day, and that mare’s narrow defeat by Hong Kong superstar Romantic Warrior in Tokyo’s G1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) this month adds fresh polish to that victory.

Reflecting on that Dubai experience Reynier says: “He was ignored over there, just an outsider. But he showed the world that he was one of the best on turf.

“When you go racing with him there is never any doubt about him giving his best. Now he’s more mature he’s ready to run even better. We think he will get the strong pace he wants on Tuesday, and Maxime is very confident.”

The G1 St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m) – for three-year-old colts – presents a different challenge as it involves a right-hand bend.

Strong G1 2000 Guineas form has historically resulted in an admirable record of those who have first thrived in the Newmarket Classic over a mile and that same trip in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh later in May.

That profile is clearly represented this year by Charlie Appleby-trained Notable Speech (William Buick) and Rosallion (Sean Levey). This pair finished first and second at Newmarket with Rosallion going on to hype the form further with victory at the Curragh.

Rosallion’s trainer Richard Hannon says: “I can’t hide my enthusiasm for this horse. He’s the best I’ve ever trained. It is a big challenge to try and reverse Newmarket form with Notable Speech but I’m sure there is still more to come from our colt.”