The season’s most prestigious Flat race meeting is almost upon us as Royal Ascot takes centre stage between June 20 and 24.
Punters will be treated to five days of top-class graded racing with Thursday’s Group One Gold Cup the undoubted highlight.
The latest horse racing news at Bethut will help advise you as to which horses to back but Aiden O’Brien’s Order of St George is the current ante-post favourite at around 5/4.
The son of Galileo was last seen winning a Listed race in Leopardstown on May 26 and may well renew acquaintances with Torcedor (16/1), who was too good for O’Brien’s charge at Navan the previous month.
Simple Verse could also enjoy a spin in the prestigious contest and, after being touched off by Dartmouth in the Yorkshire Cup, is available at 12/1.
However, it is not all about the Gold Cup, with big races on every day of the meeting and the St James’s Palace Stakes will dominate the opening day.
Run over the old mile, the imperious Churchill is in line to put his seven-race winning streak on the line and is, understandably, an 8/11 shot in many places.
With victory in the 2000 Guineas and the Irish 2000 Guineas already under his belt this season, the Galileo colt is a red-hot favourite to add another Group One to his impressive record, and has already tasted success at Ascot having won the Chesham Stakes at the meeting 12 months ago.
Barney Roy was not a million miles behind Churchill in the 2000 Guineas having won the Group Three Greenham Stakes and, at 9/4, has been tipped to put on another impressive display at Ascot.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes headlines day two on the Wednesday of the festival, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Ulysses (3/1) expected to challenge for honours.
The four-year-old colt took the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown on April 28 and has been tipped to double up, although Jack Hobbs might have something to say about that.
John Gosden’s charge claimed the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March and is generally a 3/1 shot for the prestigious race.
O’Brien looks set to let loose plenty of Galileo’s offspring and another is currently the favourite to land the Coronation Stakes on Friday, with Winter on offer at 4/6.
The filly romped to success in last month’s Irish 1,000 Guineas and, having won the English equivalent earlier in May, it is no surprise that she is fancied to take on all-comers later in June.
Rhododendron (7/1) also holds an entry and will be hoping to shake off the ‘bridesmaid’ tag, having finished as runner-up in the Oaks and behind Winter in the 1000 Guineas.
Saturday will end proceeding but not before the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Limato is the current ante-post jolly at around 9/2 and will be looking to reproduce the form that saw him take the Qatar Prix De La Foret at Chantilly in October last year.
He was far from disgraced when finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile but finished way down the field in a Grade One at Meydan last time out in March.
The Tin Man and Magical Memory will oppose but it looks there for the taking if Limato can hit his straps.