Royal Ascot Tuesday

Red-hot favourite Ribchester will face 15 rivals in the curtain-raising Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Richard Fahey’s colt made a hugely impressive start to his campaign when landing last month’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and is odds-on across the board for the first race of the week in Berkshire.

The four-year-old is one of three representatives for Godolphin along with his stablemate and pacemaker Toscanini and the Charlie Hills-trained Dutch Connection.

Ribchester will renew rivalries with David Simcock’s Lockinge runner-up Lightning Spear, while Aidan O’Brien sends both Cougar Mountain and Deauville into battle.

There are two trans-Atlantic challengers in Todd Pletcher’s American Patriot, the mount of Frankie Dettori, and Miss Temple City from Graham Motion’s stable.

Other contenders include the William Haggas-trained Mutakayyef, Roger Varian’s Ennaadd and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Kaspersky, who will be ridden by Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne.

Churchill and Barney Roy will engage in an exciting rematch at Royal Ascot after both featured in a final field of eight runners for the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Last year’s champion juvenile Churchill has made a brilliant start to his three-year-old campaign, winning both the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish equivalent at the Curragh for Aidan O’Brien.

The Ballydoyle handler also saddles Lancaster Bomber and Peace Envoy in Tuesday’s Group One contest.

Barney Roy was just a length behind Churchill on the Rowley Mile and sidestepped a trip to Ireland, with trainer Richard Hannon keen to ensure his charge is at his best in Berkshire this week.

Barney Roy is one of two Godolphin-owned runners along with Saeed bin Suroor’s Thunder Snow, who bounced back from a shocking effort in the Kentucky Derby to finish second to Churchill at the Curragh.

Richard Fahey’s Forest Ranger, the William Haggas-trained Rivet and Simon Dow’s outsider Mr Scaramanga complete the line-up.

Star American filly Lady Aurelia is just one of the main attractions in a final field of 18 runners for the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The daughter of Scat Daddy produced a jaw-dropping performance to win the Queen Mary at last year’s meeting, providing trainer Wesley Ward with yet another victory at the showpiece fixture.

The three-year-old gets the allowances from her male counterparts and her elders in Tuesday’s five-furlong Group One and is bound to be popular with punters with Frankie Dettori on board.

Lady Aurelia is one of a few high-profile fillies in the field. Sir Mark Prescott’s Marsha won the Prix de l’Abbaye at the end of last season and made a winning return in the Palace House at Newmarket, while the Clive Cox-trained Priceless looked the part in Haydock’s Temple Stakes.

Cox also saddles last year’s King’s Stand hero Profitable, while 2015 victor Goldream aims to regain his crown for Robert Cowell.

Other leading hopes include French raider Signs Of Blessing, the William Haggas-trained Muthmir and Aidan O’Brien’s Washington DC, who won the Windsor Castle Stakes over the course and distance two years ago.

Brother Bear is one of 18 juveniles declared for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Jessica Harrington’s colt heads the market for the prestigious Group Two prize after winning each of his two starts to date, most recently impressing in the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled a record eight previous winners. Declarationofpeace was his biggest hope according to ante-post lists, but he has instead been declared for the Windsor Castle Stakes on the same afternoon.

In his absence, the Ballydoyle handler relies on Tipperary winner Murillo and U S Navy Flag, who was third behind Brother Bear last month but remains a maiden after three attempts.

American trainer Wesley Ward sends runaway Belmont scorer Arawak into battle. John Velazquez takes the ride, with Frankie Dettori partnering Richard Hannon’s Denaar for his employers Al Shaqab Racing.

Denaar is one of two Hannon representatives along with Woodcote Stakes winner De Bruyne Horse, who carries the colours of Middleham Park Racing.

“He always was a nice horse. At the sales it took us about five seconds to decide we were going to purchase him,” Middleham Park’s Tom Palin told Betfred TV.

“He’s by Showcasing, who can do no wrong as a stallion. I think everyone who has seen De Bruyne Horse has commented what a striking horse is.

“There have been offers for the horse, as you would imagine. As yet I don’t think anything has reached the value the syndicate have put on the horse.”

Other contenders include the Charlie Hills-trained Nebo, Richard Spencer’s Rajasinghe and Romanised from Irish trainer Ken Condon’s stable.


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