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.
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.
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.
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.