It’s the greatest Flat meeting of the season as Royal Ascot comes under orders on Tuesday. It’s all about the pageantry and fashion off the course but on the track some of the finest blue bloods in the world go hoof-to-hoof in the most competitive racing – and betting heats – we’ll see this summer.
Speaking of which …
There’s a red-hot favourite in the opening 1m Queen Anne Stakes where Richard Fahey’s Ribchester heads the market. William Haggas’s Mutakayyef tries to lower his colours and you can ignore his last run as the rain came to soften the going. He wants fast ground and will get it on Tuesday. His trainer is a man for the big occasion and will have him ready to roll.
Richard Hannon’s Epsom winner De Bruyne Horse brings some very good form to this contest. The runner-up that day won at Beverly last week. At Epsom, the winner galloped awkwardly and still won despite not handling the track’s undulations. He should be much better suited by Ascot and is still improving.
The King Stands Stakes could be one of the races of the week and Cotai Glory has loads of ability. The rain came at the wrong time for him at Haydock and he will appreciate the much faster ground now. He was second in this contest last year at 33/1, so his double-digit price shouldn’t put you off and he looks the each-way play. Silvestre de Sousa is in the saddle for the first time also and that’s a plus.
The clash of the titans in the Group 1 mile event and Barney Roy can get his revenge over Churchill who beat him in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The Ascot track should suit him better and the tactics will be the main talking point as the Ballydoyle boys have three runners. What Barney Roy needs is a strong gallop and that’s very likely.
It’s a head-to-head contest to savour and can light up the opening day.
Suegioo is a big price for this stayers race over 2m 4f. He’s an old rogue but has a lot of ability. A big field and a rough race should suit him as he is too clever to put himself in any danger. Expect him to be played fast and late at the business end.
They’ll be going quicker than the rush to the champagne bars after racing in this 5f sprint to end day one. Nootka Sound should bolt off in front for the Wesley Ward / Frankie Dettori combo and she won easily on debut over four and a half furlongs at Keeneland in a decent time. The American trainer says he has brought his ‘A’ game to Royal Ascot. That’s advice worth listening too.