THE action switched to the round course for the final Group 1 of the opening day of Royal Ascot with Coroebus (120+) confirming himself as the best three-year-old miler in Europe with victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Charlie Appleby’s colt clocked a time figure faster than either of the 2000 Guineas as he navigated a tricky inside draw, before finding enough in reserve, after pulling hard, to deliver a closing sectional of 35.80secs.

Lusail (120) put his unlucky run at Newmarket behind him with a career best with a finishing split of 36.04secs as he, along with My Prospero (120), who stopped the clock at 35.89secs, enjoyed the run of the race.

In contrast to the main protagonists, Maljoom (120+), Mighty Ulysses (119) and Berkshire Shadow (117) endured a difficult passage through the race with the first named an extremely unlucky loser on the day. Hostage to fortune

Cieren Fallon chose to take back leaving the stalls and settled the German 2000 Guineas winner at the rear of the field which from his draw was always going to make him a hostage to fortune.

However, what materialised probably made for excruciating viewing for the jockey as the gaps only materialised passing the furlong pole.

The son of Caravaggio picked up sharply when in the clear to post a closing sectional of 35.45secs, with his final furlong of 11.47secs the quickest of the race. In comparison Coroebus completed the final furlong in 11.94secs.

Although their plight bore no resemblance to Maljoom, Mighty Ulysses and Berkshire Shadow were also in the last three turning for home before launching a challenge.

Mighty Ulysses clocked 35.59secs for his closing sectional and it should also be noted his draw in stall 12 was more like stall 14 given the join between the two sets of starting stalls.

I would imagine that Berkshire Shadow would have been ridden more prominently if not dwelling slightly when the stalls opened. His closing effort of 35.74secs suggests to me he will prove more effective round a bend than on a straight track.

Ascot Stakes

Of the supporting races, it could pay to take a closer look at the Ascot Stakes and especially the first six home who all excelled with their finishing effort in a race run at a muddling pace mid race.

Coltrane (110) was best placed with his closing sectional of 35.87secs making him impossible to catch even though Bring On The Night (109) (35.76secs), Arcadian Sunrise (108) (35.51secs), Going Gone (107) (35.75secs) and Reshoun (106) (35.49secs) all finished off quicker.

A word of caution with Coltrane and his Northumberland Plate entry as Andrew Balding’s gelding is winless from six runs on the all-weather. The Cesarewitch on the other hand would look an ideal long-range target.

Dubai Future (115) initiated a double for Danny Tudhope in the Listed Wolferton Stakes which he completed aboard Get Shirty (105) in the concluding Copper Horse Handicap.

For the purposes of comparison, the winners clocked 36.56secs and 36.72secs respectively for their finishing sectional.