Trainer Aidan O’Brien sure his star filly will love Royal Ascot ground

LOVE will finally get the chance to build on her perfect three-year-old season when she reappears in the 10-furlong Prince of Wales’s Stakes on day two of Royal Ascot.

This was Love winning last year's Darley Yorkshire Oaks under Ryan Moore.
This was Love winning last year's Darley Yorkshire Oaks under Ryan Moore.

LOVE will finally get the chance to build on her perfect three-year-old season when she reappears in the 10-furlong Prince of Wales’s Stakes on day two of Royal Ascot

Aidan O’Brien’s filly was favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe until she was ruled out on account of the soft ground.

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Love, a Group One winner at two in the Moyglare Stud Stakes as well, was imperious last summer – winning the 1000 Guineas, Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks by an aggregate of 18 and a quarter lengths.

Jockey ryan Moore with Love after their triumph in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

Several options this season have come and gone, with O’Brien waiting for her preferred quick surface – and she will have that in her favour at the Berkshire track.

“She’s been waiting to start back a while – and while the ground is right, we’re keen to get her started,” said O’Brien.

“Her other option was the Pretty Polly (June 27 at the Curragh), and we could have waited for that against her own sex – but by then the ground could have gone soft again. She’s in good form, she’s ready to start again.”

The Ballydoyle trainer also runs Armory, placed in both the Irish Champion Stakes and the Cox Plate last year. He returned to action with a stylish victory at Chester over the reopposing Sangarius.

This was Love winning the Darley Yorkshire Oaks in front of empty stands at York last August.

John and Thady Gosden’s Lord North was very impressive in winning this race 12 months ago, and returned to that sort of form when successful in the Dubai Turf last time out.

He was found to be bleeding after the race, but Gosden senior has confirmed it was nothing serious.

“He whacked his head on the gate – he’s a lunatic in the gate, which was where the blood came from,” he said. “The reason he was gelded was because he almost destroyed the gate at Newcastle one day. At the Breeders’ Cup last year the gates opened, and he went up into the rafters. I also like Armory a lot. It’s a nice edition – one of those small but select fields.”

William Haggas’ My Oberon and David Simcock’s Desert Encounter complete the field. Haggas did enter multiple Group One winner Addeybb, but the forecast rain is not due until after racing. “We could have done with the race a day later for him,” he said.