Royal Ascot Starts Today And Offers Five Days Of Top Flat Racing
It is one of the most important weeks of the year for Flat Racing fans, some would argue the most important week of the year. While the Guineas meet at Newmarket and the Epson Derby meet may have their own claims, and Glorious Goodwood can be a summer spectacular, for the horse racing purist Royal Ascot is THE meeting of the flat season.
This year’s meeting looks to be very high quality with a total of eight Group 1 races to enjoy across the five days of action, featuring a host of top runners in Flat Racing, some of whom will be aiming to equal or even break records.
A good example of this is one of the most famous names in flat racing, Stradivarius, who will be attempting to win a record-equalling fourth Gold Cup on Thursday in one of the most anticipated races of the meeting.
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Royal Ascot starts today, with the first race getting underway at 2.30pm and it is a fantastic start to the five days of action as a number of the best milers in the world will be competing in the Queen Anne Stakes. We are now going to take a look at some of the big races and some of the top runners and riders that will be competing at Royal Ascot this year.
Royal Ascot – Tuesday June 15th
- Queen Anne Stakes – 2.30pm
The meeting will start with a real treat for horseracing fans as one of the best milers in the world, John Gosden’s Palace Pier, ridden by Frankie Dettori, will start this race as the red hot favourite. Prince Eiji, Bless Him and Real Reality will challenge but this should be Palace Piers race to lose.
- Coventry Stakes – 3.05pm
A field stacked with talent promises a very open race with the likes of Dhabab, Kaugymaker, Gisburn, Masseto, The Acropolis, Tolstoy and Berkshire Shadow all likely to show well in the betting and be in contention for the win here.
- King’s Stand Stakes – 3.40pm
The hugely impressive Battaash will likely start this race as the warm favourite. Extravagant Kid, King’s Lynn, Oxted, Liberty Beach and Winter Power are rated to be the main contenders looking to end Battaash’s three race unbeaten run.
- St James’s Palace Stakes – 4.20pm
The final big race of the day will see Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare probably start the race as the narrow favourite but this does look like being a very open race with the likes of Battleground, Chindit, Highland Avenue, Lucky Vega, Mostahdaf and Thunder Moon all likely contenders.
Royal Ascot – Wednesday June 16th
- Queen Mary Stakes – 2.30pm
This should be a very competitive race featuring a stack of talented two year olds with Twilight Gleaming perhaps being the standout. Artos, Nymphadora and Quick Suzy should run a good race while Get Ahead, Illustrating and Orinoco River cannot be ruled out.
- Queen’s Vase – 3.05pm
With 14 entries in the race, Wordsworth, trained by Aiden O’Brien, will likely start this race as the hot favourite however Kemari, Dancing King, Arturo Toscanini and Taipan could run the favourite very close indeed.
- Duke of Cambridge Stakes – 3.40pm
There seem to be two real contenders for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes this year. Queen Power offers Sir Michael Stoute another chance of a winner, while Lady Bowthorpe is probably going to start the race as the favourite. Double or Bubble is an interesting option after winning its last three races.
- Prince of Wales’s Stakes – 4.20pm
One of the most eagerly anticipated head-to-head battles of the meeting will take place in the Prince of Wales Stakes as Love and Lord North will battle it out, although Armory could well be in contention too.
Royal Ascot – Thursday June 17th
- Hampton Court Stakes – 3.05pm
After winning three from three this year Mohaafeth looks likely to be entered into this race and his likely contenders may well include the likes of Maximal, Visualisation, Yibir and Movin Time.
- Ribblesdale Stakes – 3.40pm
After being forced to pull out of the Oaks earlier this year with a blood disorder, Sir Michael Stout’s Noon Star will be hoping to make amends here but Esaada will be hoping to earn the victory too.
- Gold Cup – 4.15pm
Only Yeats, from 2006 to 2009, has won four Gold Cups, and Stradivarius could repeat that feat with victory this year. The clear favourite should definitely be a real contender here with Subjectivist and Nayef Road likely to be the closest contenders.
Royal Ascot – Friday June 18th
- Albany Stakes – 2.30pm
This should be a very high quality race of 2-year-olds with the likes of Hello You, Flotus and Prettiest rated amongst the top runners. You can’t discount two George Boughey runners either, in the shape of Beautiful Sunshine and Cachet. A number of the 24 remaining runners could declare for other races, so it will be interesting to see who lines up in Friday’s opener.
- King Edward VII Stakes – 3.05pm
Aiden O’Brien could have up to six entries in this race including Baton Rouge, Matchless and Sir Lamorak. Tasman Bay, Yibir and Title are also other ones to watch as is Dancing King, who after four wins in a row this season should offer Mark Johnston a good chance of a winner here.
- Commonwealth Cup – 3.40pm
The unbeaten French sprinter Suesa will probably start amongst the favourites for this race alongside Frankie Dettori’s Campanelle, a winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last year. A field of high quality also includes the likes of Diligent Harry, A Case Of You, William Buick, Measure of Magic, Mooniesta and Dragon Symbol in what should be a cracking race.
- Coronation Stakes – 4.14pm
1,000 Guineas winner, Mother Earth, trained by Aiden O’Brien is one of the standout runners in the Coronation Stakes. O’Brien also has Empress Josephine running in this race with the likes of Fev Rover, Pretty Gorgeous, Prio Bacio, Alcohol Free and Snow Lantern all likely to be in with a chance of the win.
Royal Ascot – Saturday June 19th
- Hardwicke Stakes – 3.40pm
Sir Michael Stoute has trained 11 winners of the Hardwicke Stakes and his best hope here is Highest Ground. However, with the likes of Al Aasy, Broome, Ilaraab, Tiger Moth and Without A Fight also running, this looks like being a very competitive race. Ilaraab will likely start favourite but expect Broome and Al Aasy to be fancied too.
- Diamond Jubilee Stakes – 4.20pm
The last Group 1 race of the meeting should be a cracker with the likes of Starman, Nahaarr, Dream of Dreams, Garrus and Summerghand making this a very competitive race. Kevin Ryan’s Hello Youmzain won this race last year and his entry Emaraaty Ana will likely be one of the outsiders for the race.
With seven races across each of the five days of racing, Royal Ascot is a true feast of horse racing for the purist and with ITV Racing showing many of those races live, it is a great opportunity to tune in and check out how some of the best flat racers in the world are performing and of course, to enjoy a bet on the outcome!