Home Horse Racing Phoenix to rise and Stradivarius to hit right notes
Phoenix to rise and Stradivarius to hit right notes

Phoenix to rise and Stradivarius to hit right notes


The great and the good of the Flat racing world head to Ascot this week for the Royal Meeting and here is our look at the feature races.

Tuesday 18th – St James’s Palace Stakes (16:20)

Royal Ascot’s opening day always sees plenty of excitement, with the Queen Anne and King’s Stand also on the agenda, but the St James’s Palace Stakes takes the focus.

The recent Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain leads the betting at 7/4 but John Gosden has appeared confident over 9/4 shot Too Darn Hot’s hopes after a disappointing start to the season.

Gosden also fields King Of Comedy at 11/2, while do not ignore the Aidan O’Brien-Ryan Moore combination of Circus Maximus at 10/1 – the pair having teamed up to win the race in 2015.

Wednesday 19th – Prince of Wales’s Stakes (15:40)

O’Brien and Moore also won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes in 2017 and will hope to back that up with 2/1 Magical on Wednesday.

A winner on his three starts this season under Moore, the four-year-old also has Ascot form after claiming the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes last October.

Rivalry is expected to come from Sea Of Class at 5/2, while last year’s winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute has claims with Crystal Ocean at 9/2.

Thursday 20th – Gold Cup (16:20)

Thursday’s feature is always the Gold Cup, the oldest race at the meeting. Gosden finally broke his duck in the 2m3f affair 12 months ago and Stradivarius is 11/10 to become the first horse to defend since four-time winner Yeats succeeded in 2009.

However, a classy field awaits ,with Cross Counter, Kew Gardens and Dee Ex Bee expected to push hard ,but Stradivarius hit the right notes in winning the Yorkshire Cup in May and will be tough to beat. Frankie Dettori is retained in the saddle.

Friday 21st – Coronation Stakes (16:20)

After backing up 1000 Guineas joy at Newmarket with success in the Irish equivalent, Hermosa rightly leads the betting for the Coronation Stakes on Friday.

A horse of her class deserves their 11/10 favourite tag and O’Brien has a strong challenge, with Happen, Just Wonderful and So Perfect also running.

Their stablemate is likely to feel the most heat from Stoute’s Jubiloso at 7/2, while Silvestre De Sousa’s mount of Pretty Pollyana could also be attractive at 13/2.

Saturday 22nd – Diamond Jubilee Stakes (16:20)

Finally to the showpiece of the final day, Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and O’Brien and Moore will have their eyes on the prize.

The pair teamed up for glory in this race with Merchant Navy 12 months ago and will hope 10/3 favourite Invincible Army can live up to his name after wins at Doncaster and York.

A winner at Ascot in May 2018, connections will hope the four-year-old can maintain his form to see off Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point at 11/2, with Inns Of Court 13/2 for Andre Fabre.

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Jack Ogalbe Jack has been a sports betting writer for over a decade and has an excellent strike rate with his suggestions. A semi-professional footballer, runner and cyclist, his sports knowledge is second to none and he knows all the stats and facts you need when considering a punt.


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