EMINENT can spring a surprise on the second day of Royal Ascot by overturning hot favourite Cracksman in the Prince of Wales's Stakes today.

Cracksman will obviously be tough to top as he arrives unbeaten in his last five starts, most recently landing the Coronation Cup at Epsom, but it is that last run that appears to leave the door slightly ajar.

He was far from impressive in beating Salouen just a head in that Group One and while there were valid excuses in that he hit his head leaving the stalls and Epsom is probably not his favourite track, that race just 24 days ago could well have left a mark.

Step forward Eminent who, while a shadow of himself on his seasonal return at Chester, finished just three-quarters of a length behind Cracksman when fourth in last year's Derby.

He has perhaps not made the progress Martyn Meade would have hoped for since that Epsom run, but he came home three lengths clear of Salouen in a French Group Two last summer before signing off with a fine third in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Eminent's Chester reappearance is best forgotten as it later transpired he had suffered with a fibrillating heart and Meade believes he now has the Frankel colt back on top form.

It may well be that Cracksman simply outclasses them all, but it is worth at least a small interest on Eminent finally making the grade on the big day.

Aljazzi can improve on last year's second place in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

Marco Botti's runner was beaten just under a length by Qemah before going on to Group Three glory and she made a satisfactory return against a couple of race-fit rivals in the Sandown Mile back in April.

Back against her own sex, Botti has had this race in his sights for some time and his patience can pay off.

Wesley Ward has made no secret of the regard in which he holds Queen Mary Stakes runner Chelsea Cloisters.

The American handler's juveniles always merit the utmost respect and this filly made all for an eight-length success on her only start so far at Keeneland. She will certainly know her job.

Southern France can make a smooth transition from Listed company to Group Two glory in the Queen's Vase.

Unraced as a juvenile, he has made rapid strides after finishing second on his racecourse bow, graduating from a Leopardstown maiden win to his Listed triumph at Navan last time out, and this looks a logical step for a St Leger type.

The mile cavalry charge that is the Royal Hunt Cup can sometimes have the feel of a lottery about it, but Archetype is fancied to make his class tell for Simon Crisford.

He does not have many miles on the clock for a four-year-old and his half-length defeat in a French Listed race caught the eye.

James Garfield should be perfectly suited by the seven-furlong trip in the concluding Jersey Stakes.

Winner of the Greenham, it was understandable that trainer George Scott would have a shot at the 2000 Guineas, but the Exceed And Excel colt did not appear to stay while six furlongs was a shade too sharp in the Sandy Lane at Haydock.

Despite having to shoulder a penalty, James Garfield looks all over a Jersey type.


ASCOT: 2.30 Chelsea Cloisters, 3.05 Southern France, 3.40 Aljazzi, 4.20 Eminent, 5.00 Archetype, 5.35 JAMES GARFIELD (NAP).

CHELMSFORD: 6.10 Water Diviner, 6.40 Melting Dew, 7.10 Tropics, 7.40 Domitilla, 8.10 Mountain Bell, 8.40 Private Matter, 9.10 Kodiac Pearl.

HAMILTON: 1.40 Usain Boat, 2.10 Baronial Pride, 2.45 Start Time, 3.20 Havana Star, 3.55 Bowler Hat, 4.35 Moltoir, 5.10 Prediction, 5.45 London Glory.

RIPON: 6.50 Star Of Zaam, 7.20 Stage Play, 7.50 Fabulous Red, 8.20 Roman River, 8.50 X Rated, 9.20 Hula Girl.

UTTOXETER: 2.20 Blue Baton, 2.55 Stay In Touch, 3.30 Old Salt, 4.05 Free Range, 4.45 Ready And Able, 5.20 Riddlestown, 5.50 Big Picture.

WEXFORD: 6.00 Crezic, 6.30 Boston Spray, 7.00 Konig Hall, 7.30 Roconga, 8.00 Fintara, 8.30 Running In Heels, 9.00 Shetland Bus.

DOUBLE: James Garfield and Eminent.