A winner for the Queen would certainly put the Royal into Royal Ascot this week, and it’s fair to say the monarch has a solid book of charges to represent her colours.
Her majesty has enjoyed 22 winners over the years at the Berkshire showpiece, with the biggest of them undoubtedly coming at the hands of Estimate in the Gold Cup two years ago.
So as the epic week approaches, we take a look at five of the horses set to make the meeting a regal one.
Peacock – Tercentenary Stakes
In getting within 1½l of the subsequent Derby winner, Golden Horn, Richard Hannon’s horse was already a serious Ascot contender.
That was before he put in an equally taking performance to win the Fairway Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago.
The step up in trip seems to have done him good, and like his father Paco Boy, is only likely to improve with age.
With the Queen’s racing manager John Warren describing the Tercentenary Stakes as “absolutely tailor made for him” expect him to go very well.
Fabricate – Queen’s Vase
The Queen took the Queen’s Vase in 2012 with Estimate, and will be delighted if Fabricate could follow a similar career path.
He showed a very willing attitude to land his last two outings, and although rated some way below the last two winners (87), he is 1lb higher than Estimate was when winning three years ago.
The form of his penultimate start looks good with a couple of horses coming out and winning since, and with more improvement could see him there or thereabouts.
Touchline – Sandringham Handicap
Michael Bell’s filly was a good second in a conditions race on Ascot’s round mile at the end of April, so needs to convert that form to the straight course.
She finished 1l behind subsequent Listed winner Sperry that day and nearly 6l ahead of Brian Meehan’s Montalcino who went on to be second to a useful type at Newbury next time out.
The three-year-old will want no rain in the six days between now and the race, with all of her proven form on a solid surface.
Dartmouth – King George V Handicap
Finishing 12l behind the winner of a Sandown handicap may look poor form, but when that winner was Derby second Jack Hobbs, you need to give it a bit of a boost.
Since that run, Stravagante, who was a neck ahead of Dartmouth was an easy winner off a mark of 89, giving Sir Michael Stoute’s horse something to shout about.
Furthermore the Dubawi colt went on to get his head in front over the same course and distance a month later to solidify his claims for this Royal Ascot contest.
Musical Comedy – Diamond Jubilee Stakes
At 66/1 you may think that Musical Comedy has no chance of ending the week on a high for the Queen, but with the nature of these sprints, anything can happen.
Although he finished 10th in the Duke of York Stakes, he was beaten less than 4l, so with a bit of luck can be on the premises in the final Group 1 of the meeting.
Any rain would be welcomed, having finished out of the first two on just one of the seven occasions he has run on ground with the word ‘soft’ in the description.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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