LET’S get ready to ruuummbbllleeee!
Here we go people. 35 races over five days at Royal Ascot with each and every one free to air on terrestrial TV! What’s not to like?
I can’t wait, and I am the lucky person on ITV who gets to speak to the winning riders straight after the finish. It’s a big moment for them and yours truly.
So who is going to win? Well, ITV coverage gets under way as always with the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes over 1m. You won’t get rich here but of course I expect PALACE PIER to hack up for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori.
The Lockinge winner is arguably the best miler in the world and while he would prefer a little juice he should just be too good.
Old boy Lord Glitters might be the each-way choice for those of you wanting to chance a place runner.
Next the Group 2 Coventry Stakes for juveniles over 6f. I’ll back GISBURN each-way here for Pat Dobbs and Richard Hannon. The son of Ribchester has run twice at Newbury and after a decent debut made all and hacked up last time in a biggish field.
The sprinters are on show in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes over 5f. A peak BATTAASH would gobble this lot up like I do a kebab following a night out.
That said, after a layoff and setback I want to back something each-way against him and the horse will the July Cup hero OXTED. He’s dropping back to 5f but should have a strong pace to run at, and his soulmate Cieren Fallon is back on for the first time this season.
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Another Group 1 in the St James’s Palace Stakes over 1m. WEMBLEY has been absolutely hopeless in two runs this season but has the chance to bounce back here.
The Dewhurst runner-up was probably not ready for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and might have bottomless ground as an excuse in the Curragh equivalent.
From a good draw here this is D-Day as far as whether he has trained on or not. At the big odds I’m willing to give him a chance. I also expect Chindit to run well each-way.
Handicap company next with the Ascot Stakes over 2m4f. Not the first time I have tipped COEUR DE LION in this and he gives Thore Hammer Hansen a great chance of another Royal Ascot win.
The selection is an old boy now at the age of eight, but he showed when he was a staying on fourth in the Chester Cup that he still has plenty of ability.
The penultimate is the Listed Wolferton Stakes over 1m2f. I’d hope PATRICK SARSFIELD would be too strong for this field for Joseph O’Brien and Tom Marquand who teamed up with these colours to land the St Leger.
My hope ran well on seasonal debut, is proven at the trip, has a good draw and a high rating.
Day 1 closes with the Copper Horse Stakes, a handicap over 1m6f. SALDIER is a Grade 1 hurdler who has every chance of scoring here off a decent mark.
The odds won’t be big with Willie Mullins teaming up with Ryan Moore, but provided he stays the trip on the Flat he really should take the world of stopping.
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