Pomp, ceremony and the potential for the seemingly impossible. Yes, another incredible Royal Ascot meeting is upon us. And as is so often the case on the opening day, we’re spoilt for star names.
Ribchester will bid to get favourite backers in clover right from the off in the Queen Anne Stakes and we’re offering a massive enhancement about the Lockinge Stakes hero.
Meanwhile, Lady Aurelia and Churchill could well continue the bookie bashing in the two other Group 1 contests this Tuesday, the King’s Stand Stakes and the feature St. James’s Palace Stakes.
That said, there are plenty of spanners waiting in the works and it’s certainly worth having a go at sinking some of the jollies. The only question is: which ones look most vulnerable?
Here’s our take on the ITV Racing action, with the terrestrial broadcaster set to show each and every contest…
Everyone’s talking about Barney Roy as if he’s nailed-on to turn the tables with dual Guineas winner Churchill. OK, that’s a slight over exaggeration but the Richard Hannon-trained runner is certainly the ‘talking horse’ of this year’s St. James’s Palace Stakes.
Granted, he came within a length of Aidan O’Brien’s star at Newmarket and there’s an argument to say he’ll prefer the sounder surface at Ascot.
However, Churchill has been cleaning-up in ruthlessly efficient style and there could be even more to come at Royal Ascot.
We might not get rich backing this son of Galileo but we’re certainly not about to oppose him.
With regards to the rest, they’re just playing for places.
While our Tuesday’s tip sheet might resemble something of a Ballydoyle love-in we’re prepared to take on the master in the King’s Stand Stakes. And the hotpot Lady Aurelia too, for that matter.
Wesley Ward’s favourite was devastating in last year’s Queen Mary Stakes and made a successful reappearance at Keeneland.
However, we’re willing to take her on with another super-fast filly in the shape of Marsha.
She’s continued to defy the odds, firstly by landing last year’s Prix de l’Abbaye and then most recently the Palace House Stakes.
And the six-year-old looks set to add another big prize to her blooming CV with French raider Signs Of Blessing perhaps the one to throw down the strongest challenge.
You could make a case for a number of these with the Ascot Stakes proving to be a tricky puzzle once again.
Willie Mullins has won two of the previous five runnings and his Thomas Hobson has enough smart form in both codes to justify favouritism.
However, we’re tempted to look down the list and Rainbow Dreamer is one that stands out at a price.
The Alan King-trained four-year-old has been campaigned against some useful types in his relatively fledgling career and returned a tidy winner of a Newbury handicap over 2m2f last time out.
That victory came on quick ground and we fancy he’ll put in another big performance on a surface that won’t tolerate any slouches.
ITV Racing Tips:
14:30 – Ribchester
15:05 – Murillo EW
15:40 – Marsha
16:20 – Churchill
17:00 – Rainbow Dreamer EW
17:35 – Declarationofpeace
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing