The 2015 King’s Stand Stakes field has been released and talented mare Shamal Wind will be the sole Australian runner in the Group 1 event at Royal Ascot tomorrow night.
Shamal Wind was set for the King’s Stand Stakes after she stormed home late to win the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28 and she was given two barrier trials before she was sent to England.
The Dubawi mare will face the toughest test of her racing career in the King’s Stand Stakes, but trainer Robert Smerdon is taking confidence from the fact that the five-year-old has recorded five wins from her six first-up starts.
The King’s Stand Stakes is packed full of talent, but the standout horse in the Group 1 event is veteran sprinter Sole Power, who is chasing his third straight victory in the race after beating South African sprinter Shea Shea in 2013 and Stepper Point in 2014.
Sole Power started his season with a disappointing 12th place finish in the Group 3 Meydan Sprint (1000m) on March 7, but he returned to winning form with an impressive victory over Peniaphobia in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) on March 28.
The Kyllachy gelding returned to European racing with a disappointing sixth place finish in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes (1207m) at Curragh on May 23 and there is some genuine concern over how much the trip to Dubai took out of the veteran sprinter.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2015 King’s Stand Stakes field is William Haggas-trained Muthmir, who will be making his Group 1 debut tomorrow night.
Muthmir started his campaign with a tough fifth behind Glass Office in the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (1207m) at York on May 13 before he stamped himself as a leading King’s Stand Stakes contender with a win in the Prix Du Gros-Chene (1000m) at Chantilly on May 31.
The only other horse available at single figure odds is the in-form Mecca’s Angel, who will also be making her debut at the highest level of racing.
Mecca’s Angel stamped himself as a sprinter to watch when she took out both the Listed Scarbrough Stakes (1006m) and the Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy (1037m) last year before she started her 2015 racing season with a win in the Group 3 Prix De Saint-Georges (1000m).
G Force, Goldream, Hot Streak, Jack Dexter, Justice Day, Lancelot Du Lac, Medicean Man, Pearl Secret, Rangali, Robot Boy, Spirit Quartz, Stepper Point, Steps, Take Cover and Wind Fire round out the 2015 King’s Stand Stakes field.