Day 1 of the best racing carnival in the world is here! Royal Ascot, synonymous with its world-famous five-day carnival and top hats and tails, is a must for all racing and sporting fans. It is the most English event you can attend, showcasing the best horses from around the world. We start the smorgasbord of racing with the Queen Anne Stakes, Kings Stand Stakes, and St James Palace Stakes on what is truly the best week on the racing calendar!
Royal Ascot Race 1
#7 Modern Games
Modern Games is ultra-consistent. The Dubawi gelding was narrowly beaten fresh before claiming the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury at his latest outing. He strips fitter here, and his record at the distance is exceptional. The Appleby and Buick combination will attract further market support, and with even luck in transit, I expect him to figure in the finish. He could blow his rivals away!
Inspiral will start favourite after a breakthrough preparation. The Frankel filly boasts form around some seriously performed gallopers, and her best performance would see her figure in the finish. She usually races well first-up from a spell, and her record at the distance is near faultless. Frankie Dettori has a winning association with the talented four-year-old; she could be something special like her father!
Native Trail was good fresh at Newmarket. His second-up record speaks volumes, and he has been crunched in early betting. He deserves his shot at Group 1 glory, and if he can rise to the occasion, he is talented enough to make his presence felt late. The addition of James Doyle could prove a masterstroke.
Suggested Bet: Modern Games @ $2.90
Royal Ascot RACE 3
#12 Highfield Princess
Highfield Princess is the real deal! The Night Of Thunder mare was rock-solid first-up at York, and her form prior was mouthwatering. She put the picket fence next to her name, and she stamped herself as the next sprinting queen winning the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York. She has been favourite for this event for a long time and is a realistic chance of doing the King’s Stand and Platinum Jubilee Stakes double. She looks hard to toss, dropping back to the 1000m.
Coolangatta will become prominent in the market after stunning spring and autumn campaigns in Australia. Her win at Flemington in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning is still fresh in the memory bank, and the filly by Written Tycoon is near unbeatable fresh over 1000m when sound. James Mcdonald knows how to ride the Ascot 1000m, and she should get the perfect cart into the race from the perfect inside draw.
Cannonball can run a drum at a decent price. The Capitalist colt was good in the Group 1 Galaxy behind Mariamia and Uncommon James, and his recent barrier trial at Randwick turned heads and smashed clocks. His first-up record brings him into all winning conversations, and if he can produce his massive turn of foot in the final furlong, he is a winning chance. This is his acid test.
Suggested Bet: Highfield Princess @ $3.30
Royal Ascot Race 4
#6 Isaac Shelby
Isaac Shelby is racing in great spirit. He won the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury fresh before narrowly tasting defeat second-up at Longchamp in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains. The Night Of Thunder colt is nearing a Group 1 victory, and his recent form reads incredibly well for this event. The mile is ideal at this stage of his preparation, and he will get the chance to produce a peak performance from an ideal inside draw. He looks over the odds!
Chaldean will start favourite after a victory at Newmarket in the Group 1 2000 Guineas. The valuable Frankel colt is building an impressive career record, and he will eat up every inch of the mile. From barrier one, Frankie Dettori can push the big boy forward, and if he can control the tempo throughout, he may emulate his dad’s 2012 demolition job in this event. Hard to toss.
Paddington is flying! The Siyouni colt has won three on the trot this preparation, and his latest win at Curragh in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas was breathtaking. Moore and O’Brien will attract further market support, and I suspect he is ready to produce a peak run for the preparation. The wide barrier is the primary concern.
Suggested Bet: Isaac Shelby @ $9.00
Royal Ascot Race 6
Saga is racing well without winning. He was narrowly defeated fresh at Newmarket over 1800m, and the step out in the distance looks ideal second-up from a spell. Barrier three will allow the Invincible Spirit gelding to run out a strong 2000m, and if Frankie Dettori can get him off the rail at the right time, he will look like the winner inside the final furlong. His winning record is the biggest deterrent.
Cadillac will have supporters after a last-start victory at Epsom Downs. The Lope De Vega gelding is ready to explode third-up from a spell, and his record at a distance brings him into all winning conversations. James Mcdonald can roll forward from barrier four and take luck of the equation, and if he is left to his own devices on top of the speed, he may lead them a merry dance. His best form reads well for this event, and he looks the apparent threat to the favourite. The class rise is the primary concern.
Highland Avenue is a must for all broader multiples and exotics. The Dubawi gelding is knocking on the door, and he is ready to produce a peak run for the preparation. His run at Newmarket was good, and his performance at Epsom Downs was ominous. His record at the distance doesn’t read well.
Suggested Bet: Saga @ $4.80