Love primed to tear them apart again at Royal Ascot

Aidan O’Brien’s star filly is bidding to make up for lost time in Wednesday’s feature

Love is favourite to take Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photograph: Getty

Love is favourite to take Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photograph: Getty

 

Love mightn’t be higher but she is older and gets to try to make up for lost time when returning to action at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

Aidan O’Brien’s 2020 classic star lines up in the day two feature, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, her first start since August.

That short odds rout at York followed up outstanding victories in the English 1,000 Guineas and Oaks and left her clear favourite to cap off a superb three-year-old season with victory in the Arc.

However testing ground conditions ruled that out and haven’t helped either in terms of a prep’ run for this assignment.

In the meantime, and perhaps to underline how fickle the racing public’s affections can be, the filly once acclaimed as the best in Europe is now regarded by many as not even the best in her own yard.

Love’s nine-length Oaks victory last year was eclipsed earlier this month by Snowfall and her record breaking 16-length demolition in the same classic.

Snowfall even elbowed Love aside as favourite for the Arc in October.

The stage is set however for Love to provoke a wave of new puns and defeat half a dozen opponents that include her own stable companion Armory.

Given Coolmore’s commercial business model it would hardly be a disaster for the colt to break through at Group 1 level.

Fans though have long since given their hearts to a filly who might not have beaten an outstanding opponent in her three victories last year but dismissed them with rare aplomb.

Lord North, who upset the odds in this race a year ago, easily represents the sort of threat to put to the test any suspicion of style over substance.

He also has the benefit of a lucrative victory in Meydan back in March. There’s no necessity to be a romantic though to believe Love can conquer all.

The Johnny Murtagh-Ben Coen team will hope quick ground will facilitate a return to form for their own star filly, Champers Elysees, in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.

However she has to concede a couple of pounds to the in-form Lady Bowthorpe who should have no trouble on a faster surface compared to a fine Lockinge effort last time.

Aidan O’Brien’s runs three in the Queens Vase with Wordsworth the apparent No 1 hope.

Kyprios ran in the Derby Trial at Lingfield that threw up the Epsom hero Adayar and should relish a faster surface here.

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