Updated on 06/17/2013 3:50PM

Royal Ascot: Al Kazeem favored in Prince of Wales's Stakes


Al Kazeem was a 9-4 choice when he upset the heavily favored Camelot, the 2012 star 3-year-old, in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland on May 26.

When they meet for a rematch in Wednesday’s Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, it is Al Kazeem who will be the strong favorite.

Trained by Roger Charlton for John Deer, Al Kazeem can win his fourth consecutive group stakes in the $775,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, run over 1 1/4 miles.

Al Kazeem, 5, started once in 2012, winning the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket, and is unbeaten in two starts this year – the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown Park in England on April 27 and the Tattersalls Gold Cup, which he won by 1 1/4 lengths.

“He has shown relentless improvement since winning as a 2-year-old,” Charlton said on his website in late May. “He has the qualities of a top-class racehorse.”

The Tattersalls Gold Cup had only four runners. For Camelot, the Tattersalls Gold Cup was his third loss in his last four starts. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Camelot won his first five races, a span that included the English 2000 Guineas and English and Irish Derbies of 2012.

Camelot was second to Encke in the English St. Leger last September, a loss that kept him from sweeping the English Triple Crown. Camelot was later seventh in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France in his final start of 2012.

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Camelot won his debut this year, in the Mooresbridge Stakes at The Curragh in early May.

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes has drawn a deep field. Maxios won the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp, France, on May 26. The Fugue, the only female of the 11 entrants, won the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, England, last August and was a troubled third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last November in her most recent start.

In the $155,000 Queen Mary Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, trainer Wesley Ward starts Sweet Emma Rose, a maiden race winner at Keeneland in April who was fourth in the Rollicking Stakes at Pimlico on May 18. Owned by Hat Creek Racing, Sweet Emma Rose will be ridden by Joel Rosario.

The Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes is run over a straightaway five furlongs and has 24 entrants.

In the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile, Chigun would be a popular winner in the field of 11. The 4-year-old filly is trained by Lady Jane Cecil, the widow of legendary trainer Henry Cecil who died June 11. Henry Cecil trained a record 75 winners at Royal Ascot.

Chigun won the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Stakes at The Curragh on May 25.

There are six races on Wednesday’s Royal Ascot program. In the $232,500 Royal Hunt Cup, a handicap over a straightaway mile, Stirring Ballad, a 4-year-old filly owned by American George Strawbridge, was the 7-1 favorite as of Monday.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Camelot had won the English 1000 Guineas. The race was the English 2000 Guineas.