07/09/2013 4:13PM

Newmarket: Grandeur heads into tough Princess of Wales’s Stakes


Grandeur, last seen winning the Hollywood Turf Cup in December, was among the seven final declarations for the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes on Thursday at Newmarket.

A 4-year-old Jeremy Noseda-trained gelding, Grandeur was shipped from England to California last fall for a three-start North American campaign that worked out very well: Before his win in the Turf Cup, Grandeur finished second of 14 in the Hollywood Derby and won the Grade 2 Twilight Derby on Breeders’ Cup weekend at Santa Anita.

Grandeur, though, meets stronger foes in Thursday’s Group 2 than he did in his last-start Grade 1 win at Hollywood Park, and he is no sure thing to adequately see out the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Princess of Wales’s. Among his rivals are the capable Godolphin pair of Cavalryman and Azeemah, respectively the one-two finishers in the Gold Cup on the March 30 Dubai World Cup program. Cavalryman finished a somewhat disappointing sixth in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes on May 30 at Sandown, but has run well in his two previous tries on the Newmarket course. Azeemah, who has been worse than third only twice in a 14-start career, makes his first start since Dubai.

Universal, 4, has form that appears to be on the upswing and was just one length behind the solid horse Dandino last out in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. Wild Coco, 5, a Group 2 winner in his 2012 finale, makes his first start of the season for trainer Lady Jane Cecil. Veteran gelding Wigmore Hall has generally done his best work on the international circuit, but he also can’t be counted out in a contentious race.

The Nemarket card includes another Group 2, the July Stakes for 2-year-olds over six furlongs, for which a field of 11 was declared.