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Royal Ascot Target for Flying Thistle Bird
06/06/13

Roger Charlton has his string in fine form ahead of the forthcoming Royal Ascot fixture, and the Beckhampton handler will be hoping his good run continues as recent Epsom winner, Thistle Bird, bids for the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

Thistle Bird
© Racehorse Photos

Thistle Bird
Lady Rothschild’s home-bred daughter of Selkirk added to her already impressive strike rate when making it 6 wins from just 13 starts in landing the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes - the opening event of the two-day Epsom Derby fixture - wearing down the gallant Gifted Girl to score by three-quarters-of-a-length in the nine furlong contest.

Beaten just a neck by Premio Loco in last season’s Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood, Thistle Bird, a lively outsider in the Royal Ascot betting, won three listed races last term after graduating from the handicapping ranks. She served notice that she had improved again during the winter when a rock solid third behind Dank in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket last month, prior to her fine success at Epsom.

The Duke of Cambridge Stakes – the race formerly known as the Windsor Forest Stakes – is now very much the target for Charlton’s filly, who will go to the royal meeting with expectations high that she will give a very good account of herself in what is likely to be her final season on the track before retiring to join Lady Rothschild’s high-class group of broodmares.

Charlton’s recent run of form included the Group 1 success of Al Kazeem at the Curragh the previous weekend when the son of Dubawi got the better of last year’s Derby winner, Camelot, in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Royal Ascot’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes could well be the next outing for Al Kazeem, a race in which he may be re-opposed by last season’s dual classic winner amongst a host of other top-class 10-furlong performers. He heads into the race a 10/3 favourite in the Royal Ascot odds.


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