|ROYAL ASCOT 2017 - DAY 1 - Tuesday 20th June
Race 1 - 2.35pm - Group 2 Coventry Stakes for 2 year-olds
- 6f - www.sportingodds.com
First run in 1890 and the traditional curtain raiser to 5 days
of top class action. A record number of 21 runners are due to
go to post. A low draw was favourable on the old Ascot course,
but this may have changed since the redevelopments. Trainer Aiden
O'Brien has taken this prize back to Ireland in 4 out of the last
10 years and is represented by Holy Roman Emperor (a winner on
his debut at Leopardstown). Baby Strange, a winner over course
and distance in May, will be a popular each-way choice. Richard
Hannon sends out the well regarded Major Cadeaux, who took care
of Jo'Burg at Newbury. Clock watchers will be keen on the chances
of the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained Tariq, who recorded a superb
time when winning on his debut at Newmarket. Frankie Dettori followers
will be hoping that Mubaashir can put a recent poor run behind
Race 2 - 3.10pm - Group 2 King's Stand Stakes - 5f –
This race has a true international feel and for the first time
will be run as the "British Leg" of the "Global
Sprint Challenge". Since Nuclear Debate took the race for
France in 2000, this race has had a number of high class "tourists"
that have taken win and place prize money. Foreign horses have
won this race 9 times since 1975. Last season's Nunthorpe winner
La Cucaracha has been the subject of a sustained gamble in recent
weeks and could start favourite for the Barry Hills team. Three
Australian horses hoping to emulate the achievements of compatriot
Choisir (winner in 2003) are Takeover Target, Glamour Puss and
Falkirk. On the home front - seasoned sprint campaigners like
the Dandy Nicholls trained Fire Up The Band and Milton Bradley's
The Tatling (winner in 2004) will be hoping to turn back the clock.
Race 3 - 3.45pm - Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes for
3 year-olds - 1m – www.sportingodds.com
The feature race on day one of the Royal meeting. Aiden O'Brien
has won this race 3 times in the last 6 years, most recently with
Rock Of Gibraltar in 2002, he is represented today by the trio
Arabian Prince, Ivan Denisovich and Marcus Andronicus. The Jeremy
Noseda trained Araafa should go to post as the favourite and will
be ably assisted by the very capable Alan Munro in the saddle.
The omens look good as the favourite has been successful in this
race 4 times in the last 10 years (with all other winners in that
period returned at single-figure prices). With the lack of a Godolphin
runner in the line-up, Frankie Dettori partners the Mick Channon
trained Royal Power. Some illustrious names have taken the spoils
in this contest including Brigadier Gerard (1971) and Kris (1979).
Race 4 - 4.25pm - Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes - 1m
This race has been billed as a match between Proclamation and
Peeress. Godolphin will be hoping to kick-start what has so far
been a wretched season with the Frankie Dettori ridden Proclamation.
The statistics look good for the Saead Bin Suroor trained runner,
having been successful with 6 winners in the last 10 running's.
Sir Michael Stoute saddles Peeress, the winner of the Lockinge
at Newbury last month. Each-way punters could be rewarded by backing
the Aiden O'Brien trained Ad Valorem who has his favoured ground
for the first time this season. The Lockinge third Court Masterpiece
from the Ed Dunlop stable could also be competing for the place
money and is ridden by Jamie Spencer.
Race 5 - 4.55pm - Ascot Stakes (Handicap) - 2m4f –
Shamayoun from the Charlie Egerton stable will be hoping to complete
an illustrious Cheltenham Festival & Royal Ascot double, partnered
by Nicky Mackay. The Tony Martin trained Irish raider Top The
Charts is likely to go off favourite.
Race 6 - 5.30pm - Listed Windsor Castle Stakes for 2
year-olds - 5f - www.sportingodds.com
Espartano, unbeaten in two starts, will by vying for favouritism
with the Brian Meehan trained Scented Present. The market will
be taking clues from any draw bias uncovered in earlier races
on the card.