Wonderful Tonight ... but will she be great this afternoon at Royal Ascot?

David Menuisier chases glory in today’s Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot with Wonderful Tonight, who makes her eagerly awaited return to action.

Wonderful Tonight (far left of picture) on her way to winning on Champions Day at Ascot last October / Picture: Getty
Wonderful Tonight (far left of picture) on her way to winning on Champions Day at Ascot last October / Picture: Getty

The four-year-old, who is owned by music promoter Christopher Wright recorded her first career success as a two-year-old when scoring on heavy ground at Saint-Cloud in November, 2019. During her three-year-old season, the daughter of Le Havre recorded victory in a Group Three event at Deauville in August, before finishing fifth on her first start in Group One company in the Qatar Prix Vermeille at Longchamp in September.

However, the exciting prospect took her form to another level when recording a first top-level success in the Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp in October. She scored in determined fashion on that occasion by a length and a quarter, with the win coming on heavy ground.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Wonderful Tonight, named after the Eric Clapton song, then took her form up a notch when taking out the Qipco Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day in October. She quickened away in fine style on that occasion under today’s pilot William Buick, again enjoying the soft ground.

Menuisier’s stable star now returns to action and should come on plenty for her seasonal debut. However, she still has to come into the equation of what looks a fascinating Hardwicke Stakes over 12 furlongs.

The 3/1 market leader is Broome who has won three of his four starts this term, the one defeat came when a narrow second in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. 9/2 chance Hukum was a winner over course and distance when landing the King George V Stakes. Owen Burrows’ charge was a smooth scorer at Goodwood in Listed company last time out and is another who will be appreciate soft ground.

Others who warrant a mention include Ilaraab who has won his last six starts and impressed at York last time out, whilst Aidan O’Brien also saddles Japan, Mogul and Tiger Moth who looks interesting based on his second in the Melbourne Cup last term.

Highest Ground returned to winning ways in good style and is another to enter the equation along with the Mark Johnston-trained duo of Sir Ron Priestly and Thunderous in what promises to be a fascinating event.

The other Sussex-trained runner on the card comes in the Wokingham Handicap where Count Otto seeks to improve on two poor efforts at Newmarket and Epsom on his last two starts. He had previously scored at Newmarket in April and would come into the equation if back to that sort of form, but looks to have his work cut out up against the likes of King’s Lynn for Her Majesty The Queen who makes a quick reappearance having finished seventh in Tuesday’s King Stand Stakes. He looks the pick of the field along with Chil Chil, the pair are both trained by Andrew Balding, along the ultra-progressive Rohaan who has won his last two starts.

Check OLBG for the latest Royal Ascot race previews & tips