Focus turns to Royal Ascot after a Derby that didn’t disappoint

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In eight days time the eyes of the racing world will be on Ascot as the greatest Flat horses in training compete over five days of incredible racing.

Following a Derby that saw viewing figures rise by 68 per cent, horse racing is riding a golden wave at the moment and Royal Ascot will be preparing to take full advantage with over 300,000 people expected to pass through the gates next week.

While those 300,000 don morning suits and fascinators, there will be around six million people tuning in to the television coverage of Royal Ascot across the five days racing and bookmakers are expecting a betting frenzy.

From the Ascot Gold Cup to the Queen Anne Stakes to the Golden Jubille Stakes, there isn’t a weak day’s racing at Royal Ascot and there are plenty of opportunities to turn a tidy profit.

Royal Ascot odds for most of the Group One races are available already and Canford Cliffs (11/10) and Goldikova (5/4) are battling for favouritism in the Queen Anne Stakes.

The Queen Anne Stakes is the opening race of the Royal Ascot and the meeting is sure to get off to a spectacular start.

Goldikova is the reigning champion and the mare will be fancied by many to retain her Queen Anne title, but in Canford Cliffs she faces a rival who has won all of his last four starts, including last year’s St James’s Palace Stakes.

The Ascot Gold Cup is the highlight of the meeting and takes place on the Thursday and Rite Of Passage will be hoping to defend the title he won last year.

However the seven-year-old is up against Fame And Glory, a horse he lost to at Leopardstown in May and there are many who believe Aiden O’Brien’s five-year-old has the beating of the reigning champion.

The races are just two of the highlights of the 30-race meeting and Royal Ascot is going to be a meeting to remember.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.