Royal Ascot: Crystal Ocean Odds Cut As Dettori is Confirmed
Crystal Ocean is a significant market mover in Prince of Wales's Stakes betting lists after his trainer Sir Michael Stoute confirmed that his star colt will be partnered by Frankie Dettori in the 1m2f contest on the second day of Royal Ascot.
Major horse racing bookmakers have reacted by cutting Crystal Ocean into a general 9/2, although there is still some 5/1 available with Betfair, and there is now a chance that Crystal Ocean could challenge for favouritism come the day, given the popularity of Dettori.
Coral's Dave Stevens told Bookies.com: "With Crystal Ocean heading for the Prince of Wales's Stakes rather than the Hardwicke next week, and with Frankie Dettori on board, Sir Michael Stoute's charge is a significant market mover today, and it's not impossible that the colt could even be sent off favourite next Wednesday."
Crystal Ocean is also entered for the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes, a race he ran away with 12 months ago, but connections are now targeting Group 1 glory with the son of Sea The Stars.
Fellow Newmarket raider Zabeel Prince now looks almost certain to line up against Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales's Stakes after being scratched from Tuesday's curtain raiser, Queen Anne Stakes.
The Roger Varian-trained colt has won both starts since being stepped up from a mile, including the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp in May, and looks sure to be much better suited by the ten furlongs of the Prince of Wales's Stakes than the Queen Anne mile.
Royal Hunt Cup Odds
Meanwhile, New Graduate has hardened at the top of the market for another big race on Wednesday, the Royal Hunt Cup.
The James Tate-trained colt is now no bigger than 7/1 at William Hill, the clear market leader after bookmakers reported a flurry of support for the improving colt.
New Graduate was one of the easiest handicap winners of the season at Ripon on return, so much so that the handicapper hit him with a 15lb rise.
However, he looked a Group horse in the making and it looks like there are plenty of people out there who think he can overcome a mark of 105 in what is traditionally one of the most competitive races of the season.
Elsewhere, the Commonwealth Cup has tragically lost one of its main protagonists after Lady Kaya suffered a fatal injury on the gallops earlier in the week.
The 1,000 Guineas runner-up was having her final piece ahead of next week's Group 1 showdown, for which she was one of the market leaders.