Royal Ascot: ones to watch on day one of festival

North Devon Gazette

Royal Ascot takes centre-stage this week with the five-day spectacular welcoming 12,000 spectators every day as part of a pilot event scheme.

There are seven races per day for the first time in the meeting’s history and we have previewed day one of the meeting with our race-by-race guide to what promises to be a brilliant day of action at the Berkshire venue.

Tuesday June 15

2.30pm Queen Anne Stakes (1m)

This looks all about Palace Pier. He is a three-time Group One winner and was sensational in the Lockinge Stakes on his most recent start under Frankie Dettori. The four-year-old also boasts winning form at the track having landed the St James’s Palace Stakes last term and looks the likeliest winner with quick ground another positive. Aidan O’Brien’s Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Order Of Australia looks his likeliest challenger.

Selection: Palace Pier 4/9

3.05pm Coventry Stakes (6f)

A wide open event in which American raider Kaufymaker heads the betting following a stylish debut at Keeneland last month. However, there are a stack of dangers, including recent National Stakes hero Ebro River and the unexposed Gisburn who looked sensational at Newbury last time out. However, Aidan O’Brien is represented by The Acropolis, a smooth winner at Listowel last time out, and he makes plenty of appeal. The son of Chruchill quickened in good style on that occasion and looks as if he will learn plenty from that experience. He is a fascinating runner.

Selection: The Acropolis 13/2

3.40pm King’s Stand Stakes (5f)

This is all about Battaash. He was sensational in this event last year, powering clear in fine style and having proved his liking for the track last term, he can score again. He does have to overcome a 298-day lay-off, but the seven-year-old goes well fresh and will relish the lightning fast ground at the track. Winter Power burst into the picture for this event following a victory at York and is respected alongside recent Haydock scorer Liberty Beach who is capable of further improvement.

Selection: Battaash 15/8

4.20pm St James’s Palace Stakes (1m)

A brilliant renewal of this Group One event. Mostahdaf is unbeaten in three starts and warrants a ton of respect, having seen off Highland Avenue last time out, whilst 2000 Guineas hero Poetic Flare is another to enter equations. However, Chindit has already won at Ascot and shaped with promise when fifth in the 2000 Guineas.

Selection: Chindit 10/1

5.00pm Ascot Handicap (2m 4f)

A tricky race to solve, but Rayapour has to be of interest. He was Listed placed on the Flat and looks to have been laid out for this event. Adam Kirby has been booked by Willie Mullins and he looks a leading player along with stablemate M C Muldoon who will be partnered by Ryan Moore.

Selection: Rayapour 13/2

5.35pm Listed Wolferton Stakes (1m 1f)

Sir Michael Stoute is chasing winner number 82 at Royal Ascot and Solid Stone is deeply respected after a good win in Listed company at Windsor last time out. Brigadier Gerard winner Euchen Glen and the unexposed Forest Of Dean are others to enter the equation. However, Patrick Sarsfield looks tough to beat following a good return to action in Listed company on his latest start.

Selection: Solid Stone 9/2

6.10pm Copper Horse Stakes (1m 6f)Â

Saldier looks the pick. He was an easy winner at Listowel last time and is the class angle, having won two Grade Ones over hurdles during his career. Ryan Moore is booked and he looks sure to make a bold bid in the finale.

Selection: Saldier 4/1

Selections from