Royal Ascot 2023 Commonwealth Cup: Little Big Bear to Shine
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Royal Ascot 2023 Commonwealth Cup: Little Big Bear to Shine

Excitement Builds for Thrilling Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot 2023

As the prestigious Royal Ascot event approaches, all eyes are on the highly anticipated Commonwealth Cup, set to take place on Friday. The star attraction of the race is undoubtedly Little Big Bear, the talented colt trained by the legendary Aidan O’Brien.

O’Brien has made no secret of his high regard for Little Big Bear, and the horse has so far lived up to the billing, winning five of his first seven starts. After edging the Windsor Castle Stakes at last year’s Royal Ascot, Little Big Bear delivered a stunning performance in the Phoenix Stakes, cementing his status as the champion European two-year-old.

The colt’s only blemish was a disappointing run in the soft-ground 2000 Guineas, but he bounced back emphatically with a facile victory under Frankie Dettori in last month’s Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock. As he returns to Group One level, Little Big Bear holds a clear 10lb advantage over his rivals, making him the overwhelming favorite to provide O’Brien with his second Commonwealth Cup victory, following Caravaggio’s triumph in 2017.

“Everything has gone well since Haydock. We were keen to give him a race back sprinting before taking him to Ascot, and Haydock fitted in well. We’ve been happy with everything he has done since,” said Trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Providing the stiffest challenge to the hot favorite is the Roger Varian-trained Sakheer. The son of Zoffany was much the best in last season’s Mill Reef at Newbury and, like Little Big Bear, contested the 2000 Guineas, where he finished seventh. Varian is confident that the drop back in distance and the expected decent ground will suit his charge better.

“The stiff six furlongs on what looks like it should be decent ground should suit him. We’re really happy with the horse. He’s been good since the Guineas, and he looks like he is peaking at the right time,” said the Newmarket handler.

Another filly with a similar profile is the Ralph Beckett-trained Lezoo, who won the Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs last season but failed to fire in the 1000 Guineas. Connections are hopeful that she can find her form in this elite company.

The race also features the progressive Shaquille, who has won his last four starts for trainer Julie Camacho and her husband, assistant Steve Brown. Although they acknowledge the need to find another level, they are confident in their charge’s ability to put in a noteworthy performance.

With an impressive lineup and a host of intriguing storylines, the Commonwealth Cup promises to be a thrilling spectacle at the renowned Royal Ascot event. Fans and enthusiasts eagerly await the clash of these talented racehorses as they vie for glory on the prestigious Ascot stage.

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