Can Vandeek Win the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot?

Three Legends of Royal Ascot - Photo by Philippe Oursel on Unsplash

There are many races at Royal Ascot that are steeped in history. The Commonwealth Cup is a fairly new addition to the impressive set of races at the Berkshire course in June. This year, it will be held on June 21, and as usual, it’s a very open race.

The Coronation Cup is a Group 1 race that was first held in 2015. It’s run over six furlongs and can be entered by both colts and fillies as long as they are three years old. Initially, geldings were also able to participate, but that stopped after the 2019 race.

In eight runnings of this race, no trainer has won it more than once. Frankie Dettori is the only jockey to win twice and did so in 2019 and 2021.

Royal Ascot grounds where the Can  Commonwealth Cup is held
Royal Ascot grounds

The latter of those wins was a fortunate one for Dettori. Dragon Symbol finished first but bumped Dettori’s mount Campanelle who finished a head behind the winner. The stewards reversed the places, and Dettori had his second winner. There won’t be a third as the popular jockey is now racing in the USA and having a successful time.

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Favourite to win this year is Vandeek, who is trained by Simon and Ed Crisford, according to horse betting offers from this site. The three-year-old won all of his four races last year. That included a Group 2 win at Goodwood in only his second race. A big step up from his winning debut at Nottingham in Class 5.

Next up, Vandeek won a Group 1 race at Deauville on very soft ground. An excellent first-year racing saw the colt win the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

This will be his first race of the year, and he’s 6/1 to win a third successive Group 1 race. What ground the race is run on shouldn’t concern this runner, who has won on both good to firm and very soft ground.

The fact the favourite is 6/1 to win shows how wide-open this race is. Next in the market is Elite Status, who has won four of his seven races. He has a bit to find, with Vandeek having finished behind him at both Deauville and Newmarket and by a combined distance of over 22 lengths.

Before that though the Karl Burke trained runner had won three of his four races, including a Group 3 at Deauville. Last year’s Royal Ascot saw him finish third in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes but over five furlongs.

Elite Status has had one race this season winning a Listed Race held at Newbury. At 7/1 he is a good each-way bet to land the Commonwealth Cup but has a lot to find with the favourite.

Adrian Murray trains Bucanero Fuerte, who has had four wins in his six races. At the Curragh last year he won the Group 2 and then followed that up with another victory the following month on the same course. This time, it was in Group 1, but an attempt to win over a furlong extra didn’t work out in his final race as a two-year-old.

horses racing at Royal Ascot, colts and fillies who will also run in the the Commonwealth Cup

This season has seen the colt make virtually all to win in a Group 3 race run at Naas. He’s available at 8/1 and has won on good and soft to heavy ground.

Fillies can run in this race and receive 3lbs from the colts. Best in the market at present is Charlie Appelby’s Romantic Style at 12/1. The filly won a couple of races as a two-year-old, one on good ground, the other on heavy.

A hat-trick was completed in her first race as a three-year-old. That was in a Group 3 race run at Deauville. There was to be no four-timer though as Romantic Style only finished fourth in a Group 1 race at Longchamp. Only half a length covered the first four home in that race.

It doesn’t pay to rule out any Aidan O’Brien runner. The Irish trainer won this race in 2017 with Carvaggio and this year is likely to be represented by River Tiber. He’s also entered for the King Charles III Stakes which is being run on June 18.

River Tiber won his first three races as a two-year-old. The final one of those wins came in the Coventry Stakes at last year’s Royal Ascot. Three runs since then have seen River Tiber finish in third place, two behind Vandeek. His only run this year was at the Curragh in the Irish 2000 Guineas on May 25 but that was run over a mile. He’s 8/1 to give O’Brien his second Commonwealth Cup winner.

This is an open race, but Vandeek definitely looks the one to beat. Back over six furlongs, River Tiber could be placed at good odds.

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