Horse racing has begun again in the United Kingdom, and all eyes will immediately be on the Royal Ascot festival, which begins next week. Ascot is the pinnacle of the flat racing season in Europe, with runners coming over from the recently affected France. Many of the best horses from around the world descending on the course to fight for the most prestigious prizes.
However, this year will be unlike any other with no fans in attendance and racing going ahead behind closed doors. Regardless, gamblers will be looking for the best picks of the festival, and there is some eye-catching Group 1 action on the opening day.
When: Tuesday 16th June
Where: Ascot Racecourse
How To Watch: ITV
Royal Ascot: Queen Anne Stakes (British Champions Series)
The Queen Anne Stakes will be one of the first big races of the meeting, with the Group 1 race open to horses four and over. The race has been a mainstay on the UK calendar since 1840, before it was classed as a Group 3 race over 100 years later. There have been some famous winners of this race in the past, with Flambeau, Worcester and Dean Swift all recording two wins. Last year’s will was Lord Glitters, and the bookmakers seem to think that Circus Maximus is the one to beat this year.
The four-year-old trained by A P O’Brien enjoyed an excellent season in 2019, as Circus Maximus won three of her six starts. However, there will be doubts surrounding whether the favourite will claim the win, as she finished fourth last time out and has been away from the track for an extended period of time. Both Fox Chairman and Terebellum hold excellent pedigree, but Headman could be the one to watch. This four-year-old has won three of his previous four stars, and with a higher price with Bet365, he could present each-way value.
Royal Ascot: King’s Stand Stakes (British Champions Series)
The next huge race on the opening day of Royal Ascot is the King’s Stand Stakes. This race is open to horses aged three and over and is another Group 1 meeting. It has been a Group 1 race since 2008, and there have been some illustrious winners over the past ten years. Among those are Sole Power, Lady Aurelia and Blue Point. The latter of those was the winner in the last two events.
It’s difficult to look past Battaash in this year’s race, as the six-year-old is the quality horse in the field. Trained by Charles Hill, he has won three of his previous five. However, he was well-beaten last time out by Glass Slippers. He was runner-up in this race last year, and will be hoping to take advantage of the fact that Blue Point is not in the running. Glass Slippers could also be a solid choice after winning his last three. However, the preference would be for Battaash.
Other Selected Royal Ascot Tips
|Buckingham Palace Handicap||Mutamaasik|
|Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)||West End Girl (EW) +1600|
|King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2)||Mohican Heights +600|
|Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)||Miss O Connor +450|
All odds were taken from one of the leading horse racing betting sites, Bet365 have the most up-to-the-minute odds available to gamblers.