Royal Ascot kicks off on Tuesday and we’ve got five days of brilliant action in store at the iconic Berkshire circuit.
You can watch every race from Royal Ascot via live streaming when you log into MansionBet and we’ve picked out five horses to look out for this week.
Tuesday – Battaash
The fastest horse in the world when he’s on it, Battaash will hope to finally end his quest for victory in the King’s Stand Stakes on day one. He’s twice finished second in this race and has yet to win at Ascot. Those runner-up finishes did though come behind the course specialist Blue Point (now retired). Charlie Hills’ speedball was magnificent in winning the Nunthorpe at York last summer in a record time and it will take something special to stop him now. This promises to be one of the highlights of the week, but don’t blink or you’ll miss it! We have previewed all the action from Day 1 of Royal Ascot here.
Wednesday – Barney Roy
Winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes at this meeting in 2017, Barney Roy went off to stud but things didn’t pan out and his racing career was resurrected last summer. He was fancied for the Queen Anne here but couldn’t get a blow in, he now returns over 1m2f in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, having shown his class with a pair of group-race wins in Dubai in the spring. He clashes with Japan on Wednesday afternoon and it could be a cracker.
Thursday – Stradivarius
An outstanding stayer and remarkably consistent, Stradivarius is on course to give his connections a third straight Ascot Gold Cup win. He doesn’t often destroy his opposition but, with his stamina a major asset, he usually has more in the tank than most. He suffered a surprise defeat to Kew Gardens here on Champions Day last season, but remains unbeaten racing beyond two-miles and he should be spot on for this, after his reappearance run in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket.
Friday – Elarqam
It is 15 years since trainer Mark Johnston registered his fourth win in the Hardwicke Stakes and he may end that barren spell with Elarqam on Friday. He raised his game last season, the highlight being his Group 2 win in the York Stakes in July, though he also put up a solid effort in the Juddmonte International on the Knavesmire in August. His Group-race pedigree is important for this and the way he rallied in defeat behind Lord North in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Haydock on his return, bodes well as he tackles a mile and a half for the first time now.
Saturday – Sceptical
What a fairytale story Sceptical could become for Irish trainer Denis Hogan. Cast aside by Godolphin, he was picked up for less than £3,000 at the Sales last year and improved rapidly on the all-weather at Dundalk for his new connections. He bludgeoned his rivals this month on his turf bow in Ireland, to set himself up for Ascot. Having wisely opted to swerve a clash with Battaash in the King’s Stand, hopes will be high that Sceptical – to be ridden here by Frankie Dettori for the first time – can take the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.