3:20 – Ascot – TRANSFORMERS & RECTIFIERS SUMMER MILE STAKES (GROUP 2) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) Good To Soft 1m
Carlton House has not run over 1 mile since he was a 2 year old and in fact finished 2nd to So You Think at Royal Ascot in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over 1 mile 2 furlongs on his last run. However, in three runs at trips over 1 mile in Group 1 company he has found horses to good for him. So the decision to drop him down in trip to a Group 2 race over 1 mile is very interesting this afternoon.
Although he has won over today’s trip as a 2 year old he did not beat anything with worthwhile form and of the horses that have come out of the race an won subsequently the highest level they have won at has been a Class 4 Handicap. Looking at his running style would suggest that 1 mile should be well within his compass as he travels strongly and should see out the shorter trip very well. His trainer, Sir Michael Stoute made an interesting comment after he won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on his seasonal reappearance in May when he said: “I´d like to go for the Prince Of Wales´s Stakes next. I wouldn´t want to go further than ten furlongs” and after the Prince of Wales’s Stakes: “He was second best, simple as that. Ryan rode a great race on him and he had every chance, but he found one too good”. Therefore it is not a massive surprise that he is being tried down in trip today.
The going at Ascot will not inconvenience Carlton House as he won in ground which was described as Good to Soft but was probably riding Soft by the time of his race at Newbury in 2010. More importantly he appeared to act in the ground as he did not beat any worthwhile opponents and would have won despite soft going against that class of horse.
Ryan Moore rides him again today and Ryan has ridden Carlton House on all seven of his racecourse starts. One would imagine that Ryan will be looking forward to riding him over a shorter trip as he has always got him into a winning position over longer trips, only for the horse not to see the distance out properly at Group 1 level.
Carlton House was dropped into midfield in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes last time, but I would expect his to be ridden more prominently today, as he was when he won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerald at Sandown. Ryan Moore might even let him run from the front in the expectation that his high cruising speed will draw the finish out of his rivals. There is no doubting that Carlton House is a seriously talented horse, but just comes up short over the longer trips at the very top level. However, in Group 2 company his class really should prevail today and if he is able to win his next assignment will probably be the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Glorious Goodwood.