The five-day Royal Ascot meeting gets underway with three Group One races on Tuesday’s schedule.
The week might start off with a Royal winner, which would be fitting (of sorts). After triumphs at Sandown and Newbury this season, Palace Pier is the hot favourite for the first race, the Queen Anne Stakes (2.30).
Wesley Ward’s team of American raiders is led by Kaufymaker, who will compete in the Coventry Stakes against the finest of the UK and Ireland’s thrilling two-year-old sprinters (3.05).
Battaash returns to defend his King’s Stand Stakes (3.40) crown, which he finally won last year after two second-place finishes in 2018 and 2019. Winter Power and Oxted, two younger adversaries, are among those challenging him.
- 2:30: The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)
- 3:05: The Coventry Stakes (Group 2)
- 3:40: The King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1)
- 4:20: The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1)
- 5:00: The Ascot Stakes (Handicap)
- 5:35: The Wolferton Stakes (Listed)
- 6:10: The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap)
Alex Hammond Presenter
Last time out, the well-bred Highland Avenue (4.20) finished second in the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown behind Mostahdaf despite carrying a three-pound penalty.
This Feilden Stakes champion, trained by Charlie Appleby, is in good hands to advance once more now that the class has been raised.
M C Muldoon (5.00), for Irish trainer Willie Mullins, faces a major step up in travel now that he’s transferred to the flat, but his dam is a half-sister to Group One Prix du Cadran winner Alandi over two-and-a-half miles.
Analyst Jamie Lynch
Some Coventry Stakes (3.05) winners rely on their form in the book, while others depend on their promise, but Masseto combines both.
He is one of the race’s best performers, having finished second in the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh, and he may have won had he been a bit more aware or lucky in the run. He should be ready for Royal Ascot now.
Former jockey Freddy Tylicki
Palace Pier (2.30) is a horse’s best friend. It appears to me to be a one-horse race.
Last year, he won the St James’s Palace Stakes at 4-1 after winning a class 2 handicap at Newcastle. He is now ranked 125 and is by the outstanding sire Kingman.
Having played with the opposition in the Lockinge at Newbury on his reappearance, he faces three Group One winners in this and is the one they all have to get by.
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