2:30 Royal Ascot: Canford Cliffs to gun down Goldikova

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There is nothing better than a classic head-to-head to kick off Royal Ascot and Canford Cliffs can be expected to get the better of Goldikova in the eagerly anticipated Queen Anne Stakes.

Seven horses will go to post for the first of three Group One races on day one of Royal Ascot, but it is virtually impossible to look beyond either of the two market leaders.

Dick Turpin’s removal from the field has had a big bearing on the race because only the first two home will be paid out on each-way bets as there are only seven runners.

This limits betting possibilities, although the big banker looks to be to stick Canford Cliffs and Goldikova in a reverse forecast.

However, punters wanting to identify the winner may be better off siding with Canford Cliffs as his finishing kick should be enough to secure victory.

Canford Cliffs is 5/4 in the Royal Ascot odds to win the Queen Anne Stakes and build on the form that saw him named the best three-year-old miler last season.

Now a year older, Canford Cliffs should have the scope for a small amount of further improvement and can learn from Paco Boy’s run in the Queen Anne Stakes last year.

Paco Boy gave Goldikova a bit of a head start 12 months ago, but despite finishing quickly he was unable to get closer than within half-a-length of the eventual winner.

Not only does Canford Cliffs possess more finishing speed than Paco Boy, but Richard Hughes is liable to position himself closer to Goldikova to ensure that he does not have as much ground to make up.

Another factor that may go against multiple Group One winner Goldikova, who is 6/4 to win the Queen Anne Stakes for the second time, is that she is a six-year-old and the last time a horse aged over five won the Group One contest was in 1976.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.