Royal Ascot Preview : The main Group 1 feature on each of the five days.
Event Venue: Ascot Racecourse, Tuesday June 19th to Saturday June 23rd. Live on ITV.See Stats
Here are previews and tips for the feature race each day at Royal Ascot.
St James’s Palace Stakes
The richest race of the opening day and the third Group 1 contest looks a superb renewal which Without Parole can win. The field potentially could make it the best race of the season to date. However, the waters are muddied by multiple entries from the Aidan O’Brien stable. Without Parole is being targeted at the race and only a late injury would prevent the horse taking part. The horse is not yet proven at the highest level but the last run was nothing special and this is his biggest test. However, Without Parole is unbeaten and the faster ground will be a positive.
Without Parole acts best on good ground and decent weather leading up to Royal Ascot means the going will not be an issue. The trainer targets his best horses for major races they can win and Without Parole looks a proper horse with the class to win a race of this nature. The horse looked short of fitness on his last run but will have come on since under the watchful eye of the trainer, John Gosden. The ground was not ideal when the horse had his last run at Sandown. The Ascot race is a big step up but WITHOUT PAROLE can prevail.
TIP: Without Parole at 11/4 with Ladbrokes. (18+ t&c's apply)
Prince of Wales’s Stakes
Cracksman was one of the highest rated Flat horses in the world last season. The run in the Coronation Cup at Epsom was unimpressive but the horse hated the ground and the undulations of the track. The John Gosden trained runner got up in the final strides to bet an outsider and punters who took a short price were relieved because the horse looked in trouble. However, Gosden reports that Cracksman came out of Epsom in good condition and on ratings this is a race that he should win even though it could attract a very good field when the final declarations are made.
The race is run over ten furlongs which means the draw will be a factor but Cracksman has won at Ascot five times. The ground is not a worry for Gosden because his animal has the scope to act on any going. A high draw could present more of a problem but that is out of the hands of the trainer. CRACKSMAN was never travelling at Epsom and hitting his head on the stalls did not help. The plan is to run the horse in the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes back at Ascot in July but first he has the ability to take care of business at the Royal meeting.
TIP: Cracksman at 5/4 with Betfair. (18+ t&c's apply)
Order Of St George won the Gold Cup in 2016 but was just beaten by Big Orange in last year’s race. Stamina is the key to the outcome to the most prestigious stayer’s flat race in the world and Order Of St George is proven over the two miles and four furlongs distance of the race. Some racing professionals believe the horse is the banker of the meeting but others think the Aidan O’Brien trained runner is vulnerable in a competitive renewal but it will take a good horse to beat the favourite. Stradivarius is seen as the most likely alternative to the former winner.
However, the horse is ground dependent and if it comes up soft you would have to fancy Order Of St George to win the race again. Stradivarius could go right to the top in the staying division and could give John Gosden his first Gold Cup winner. His horse was impressive in the Yorkshire Cup and a reproduction of that form would see him go close to winning the Gold Cup. Vazirabad is another leading contender but the distance could be an issue. Yeats won the Gold Cup for the trainer fourth times but Order Of St George could come up short in trying to be another multiple and STRADIVARIUS is preferred.
TIP: Stradivarius at 2/1 with BetVictor. (18+ t&c's apply)
This race is the preserve of fillies aged three and some of the best female horses of the Classic generation have won it in the past. Billesdon Brook won the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in may and that is the best mile race for fillies over eight furlongs throughout the season. You never get a poor winner of a Classic but the Coronation Stakes could in time turn out to be a stronger race. Clemmie was the winter favourite for the Newmarket Classic but was unable to run while Alpha Centauri won the Irish version. In time both horse could prove to be better than Billesdon Brook.
Some of the minor players in the 1,000 Guineas could also run but there is nothing to suggest they could reverse the form with the winner. Laurens is a big galloping filly but maybe just below the very highest class. Soliloquy was impressive in a trial for the 1,000 Guineas but was found wanting in that race. Teppal is an intriguing runner who could be anything but on juvenile form CLEMMIE is the horse to beat in the feature race on the Friday of Royal Ascot. The horse could then contest some major all-aged races with all the allowances in her favour.
TIP: Clemmie at with 9/2 with Coral. (18+ t&c's apply)
Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Harry Angel is the best horse in the ante post lists for this Group 1 sprint on the final day of the meeting However, Aidan O’Brien runs a horse called Merchant Navy who raced in Australia where the sprint division is very competitive. The horse ran well on his first start for the trainer and there could be plenty of improvement. In fact despite heading the market and being proven over the distance at the highest level Harry Angel has a tough task to justify favouritism and he may come up short. Redkirk Warrior is another potential winner in a wide open race.
However, on balance it’s difficult to ignore Harry Angel and the horse will have to underperform not to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Even though Merchant Navy has a great deal of class and goes to Ascot with strong claims Harry Angel has more experience in this type of race. The horse is head and shoulders above the British sprinters and can account for any horses that O’Brien brings to Ascot. HARRY ANGEL can prove to be the best sprinter in Europe by winning this race.
TIP: Harry Angel at 3/1 with Paddy Power. (18+ t&c's apply)
- Each day of the five day of the meeting has six races.
- There are eight Group 1 races.
- There are 18 Group races in total.
- Aidan O’Brien is the favourite to be the leading trainer but this could be John Gosden’s year.
- The leading trainer has had three winners or more in every year in the last decade.
- Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori are the most likely leading jockeys.
- The leading jockey has rode at least three winners since 2008.
- Royal Ascot is the most lucrative meeting in Britain and the total prize money is £5.50 million.
- The meeting is broadcast in more than 200 countries.
- Royal Ascot is the best attended meeting in Britain.
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