Royal Ascot is the best week of the year for flat jockeys. It’s brilliant to have crowds back and 12,000 punters each day will make a huge difference to the atmosphere and general feeling around the racecourse.
I have ridden a winner in each of the last two years of the Royal meeting and I’m hopeful of having another winner this year. I think my best chance will probably be Onassis, but I will go more in depth into her chances tomorrow!
I will also be a part of the ITV Racing coverage this week.
I am not riding today but Tuesday is always one of the best days of racing of the year with 3 Group 1s to kick us off. Here are my thoughts on those three races.
2:30pm – Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes
Palace Pier (
2/5) has proven himself to be the best miler in Europe and he should be very, very hard to beat. He has yet to race on this quick ground in a Group 1, but he is sired by Kingman who loved it fast and I don’t think it’ll pose any problems for him. I don’t think it’s as strong a race as usual either, so I think Frankie will get off to the perfect start!
3:40 – Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes
Battaash is obviously the best 5f sprinter we have seen for many years, but I think he could be vulnerable today. He had a minor setback earlier this year which delayed his return and these horses are not machines. There are some exciting young sprinters in the line-up, including Liberty Beach (
12/1), who won the Group 2 Temple Stakes on her seasonal debut and she is only 4. I think there could be a fair amount of improvement still to come from her and she’d be my selection.
4:20 – Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes
This is a very open renewal. There are a number of leading contenders without a standout horse. Poetic Flare won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket but couldn’t quite get his head in front in the French and Irish equivalent since then. He is a hardy horse but he could be vulnerable to a speedier type today and the 1-mile round course often can turn into more of a dash. Battleground (
6/1) is very well bred, but didn’t handle Newmarket’s undulations, and I think a return to Ascot where he won the Chesham Stakes last year will be to his liking, as will the quick ground.
Good luck to everyone this week and I’ll be back tomorrow!