The Queen Anne Stakes (14:30) begins Royal Ascot off with a bang, but it’s all been kicking off in the Spanish camp at the World Cup, with leading y-fronts model and not-bad footballer Cristiano Ronaldo adding to the pain of coach Julen Lopetegui’s sacking when scoring his late equaliser against Spain last week.
Recoletos is an area of Madrid, with the Paseo de Recoletos famed for its splendid trees and sculptures, and the horse of the same name was also a breath-taking sight when making his Group 1 breakthrough in his native France last month.
This straight mile should be right up his street, so at the prices he is marginally preferred to Rhododendron, who had several of these behind when landing the Lockinge a month ago. US-raider Yoshida, not to be confused with Southampton and Japan centre back Maya Yoshida, could outrun his large odds.
Calyx looked one of the best seen in the two-year-old division when making a winning debut at Newmarket recently, storming clear to win by five lengths and recording a fast closing sectional in the process.
Admittedly, the Coventry Stakes at 15:05 represents a big step up in class, but John Gosden has a good record with such types.
He shades the vote over Sergei Prokofiev who looked a composed performer when conducting a symphony of a performance at Naas last month and it would be no surprise to see punters ‘Russian’ in to back him.
According to some in-depth research (a quick google), the earliest recorded instance of the phrase “horses for courses” was first used in A.E.T. Watson’s 1891 publication Turf.
It could be very relevant in the King’s Stand at 15:40, as were Lady Aurelia and Battaash to bring their best form to the table this would develop into a classic duel. The former defends an unbeaten C&D record, though, and nearly broke the track record in a scarcely-believable show of speed 12 months ago.
As a result, she is marginally preferred to Battaash, who is as talented but has threatened to boil over pre-race a couple of times, and who is yet to prove himself at the track.
VAR may be dominating the World Cup, however VAV (or Vince Anthony Vaughn) has been grabbing column inches elsewhere after being arrested for drink-driving and resisting arrest.
His photo has recently joined a long list of celebrity mugshots who have not had to worry about a lengthy spell behind bars, however most of the St James’s Palace field (16:20) need to be very concerned about Without Parole who created a deep impression at Yarmouth (backed up by the clock).
He was fancied for the 2000 Guineas after that performance but had to swerve the race because of a setback, and though not as visually impressive at Sandown last time, that run came on soft ground. Tip Two Win is feared most ahead of Irish 2000 Guineas winner Romanised.