Dylan Thomas faces maximum of 10 rivals in classy Prince Of Wales’s field

DYLAN THOMAS will face a maximum of 10 rivals in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

Aidan O’Brien’s three-time Group One winner tasted an unexpected defeat on his last start in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, which was inflicted by Notnowcato.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge, who may reoppose at Ascot, also won the Juddmonte International last year and would no doubt prove to be a formidable opponent if taking his chance.

O’Brien has also left in last year’s 2000 Guineas hero George Washington, but he seems far more likely to reappear in the Queen Anne Stakes after his unsuccessful first spell at stud.

There should be a very strong challenge from France, with both Prix d’Ispahan winner Manduro and 2006 Prix de l’Opera heroine Mandesha possible challengers.

Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Red Rocks is another potential opponent, while Godolphin’s Formal Decree stands his ground despite holding an engagement in France less than a week beforehand.

Last year’s Derby winner Sir Percy will be out to redeem his reputation after a couple of disappointing efforts, while the Clive Brittain-trained pair of Hattan and Kandidate could also run.

Italian recruit Pressing was handed the only supplementary entry.

The Michael Jarvis-trained colt finished second in a Group One event at Capannelle on his last start.

Red Rocks’ trainer Brian Meehan has hit form just in time for the Royal meeting and saddled his first winner for 24 days at Newbury.

Meehan revealed his string had been suffering from a bug, but his Betfred Gordon Richards Stakes winner had been unaffected and is raring to go.

Meehan said: “He is 100%. He did his final piece of work this morning and I was really pleased with him.”

Coral have Red Rocks as their 3-1 second favourite behind 11-4 market-leader Dylan Thomas.

Prince Of Wales’s Stakes

Coral Bet: 11-4 Dylan Thomas, 3-1 Red Rocks, 4-1 Notnowcato, 9-2 Manduro, 5-1 Mandesha, 12-1 Sir Percy, 20-1 Formal Decree, 33-1 Pressing, 50-1 Kandidate, 66-1 Hattan.

Meanwhile Punters are banking on Utmost Respect to provide a local success in the £100,000 William Hill Trophy at York on Saturday.

Trained in Malton by Richard Fahey, the colt is only 3-1 with the sponsors having traded at 10-1 earlier in the week.

He has even shortened from the 7-2 that was available immediately following the 48-hour final declaration stage.

Hills spokesman Tony Kenny said: “All the money has been for Utmost Respect this week.

“We originally chalked him up as a 10-1 shot but punters believed that we got it wrong and the weight of money behind the Fahey horse has forced us to slash his odds to his current offering of 3-1.”

A maximum field of 20 is set to do battle over the six furlongs with the weights headed by Aahayson on 9st 7lb.

The expected withdrawal of David Wachman’s Contest, who runs at Sandown the same day instead, means Aahayson will be giving 2lb and more to the opposition.

The going at York is now soft following 15 millimetres of rain in the last 24 hours and a total of 30 millimetres in 72 hours.

The ground is unlikely to dry out much as further showers are forecast and the storm clouds have left Ralph Beckett cursing his luck.

He was hoping to run the progressive Lipocco, who had been trading around the 10-1 mark, but the wet weather has scuppered his bid.

“He’s not running because of the ground,” said Beckett.

“I ran him once on soft ground at York last year in the Sales race and even though he ran well, I’m not prepared to risk him on it again.”

William Hill Trophy, sponsors bet: 3-1 Utmost Respect, 7-1 Off The Record, 8-1 Genki, 10-1 Longquan, Morinqua, 12-1 Tombi, 14-1 Lovelace, Vitznau, 16-1 Everymanforhimself, Kyle, 20-1 Northern Fling, Para Siempre, Ponty Rossa, 25-1 bar.

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