2.30pm - Queen Mary Stakes (Fillies' Group 2, 5f)
It wouldn't be a 2YO Royal Ascot sprint if Wesley Ward's name wasn't featuring prominently and the American trainer has Love Reigns to the fore here.
The US Navy Flag filly is bred for this challenge and she left her rivals trailing behind on debut at Keeneland, making all and effectively settling matters not long after half way. It may well be a similar plan now for Irad Ortiz Jr and they are big players as Ward seeks to win the Queen Mary for the fourth time.
This is a strong field and there are dangers lurking at every turn. Once-raced winners The Platinum Queen, Queen Of Deauville, Omniqueen and One More Olly are all possible improvers that could get involved but the principle dangers may be DRAMATISED and Maria Branwell.
The latter, representing David O'Meara, improved on her Thirsk debut to win the Listed National Stakes at Sandown in May, showing a good attitude to deny odds-on favourite Crispy Cat in the closing stages. That has routinely been a good pointer to this race.
Dramatised made a winning start in a Newmarket maiden in April, making all for Karl Burke and Danny Tudhope and extending clear by four-lengths at the line. She looked well above average there and the runner-up has easily won her next two starts. There should be plenty more to come from this filly and she's taken to score.
Next Best: Maria Branwell
3.05pm - Queen's Vase (Group 2, 1m6f)
A wide open Queen's Vase, and one in which Charlie Appleby plays a strong double hand with Nahanni and Hafit. The latter, the mount of William Buick, was seventh in the Epsom Derby this month and retains potential for better now upped in trip. Stablemate Hafit was turned over at Longchamp as odds-on jolly in Listed race upped to 1m4f but still brings a solid level of form and could find more at this longer distance.
That sentiment also applies to ANCHORAGE for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore and the Galileo colt might be some value at the prices. He took a while to strike last year, bagging a mile handicap at Thurles off 88 in October before placing on final start in a Leopardstown Group 3. In last month's comeback at the Curragh he tackled 1m2f and was doing his best work late on. He's likely to be sharper for that run and could have plenty to offer at this new trip.
Winner of a Newcastle AW novice last month on his seasonal bow, Eldar Eldarov is 2-2 for Roger Varian and the £480,000 Breeze-Up buy isn't to be underestimated rising in class/trip.
Next Best: Nahanni
3.40pm - Prince Of Wales's Stakes (Group 1, 1m2f)
Lord North won this contest in 2020 for the Gosdens and Frankie Dettori. He's run sparingly in recent times, winning back-to-back renewals of the Dubai Turf in Meydan, though either side of his latest win there in March he has been beaten by Alenquer.
Initially that came on the Polytrack at Lingfield in the Winter Derby and then in last month's Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland when he was only fourth at the Curragh. Is he still the force of old?
State Of Rest was just ahead of him in that Curragh Group 1 and Joseph O'Brien's contender is a solid performer that won the Prix Ganay in France previously. He's sure to be in the thick of things.
Shahryar also won in Dubai this spring, landing the Sheema Classic, and the Japanese raider has to be a chief player on that form. Cristian Demuro seemingly prefers her claims over Grand Glory.
The one they all be chasing home is BAY BRIDGE for Sir Michael Stoute. It's 41 years since he completed a Derby/Prince Of Wales's Stakes double with Shergar and Hard Fought and, following on from Desert Crown at Epsom, he can match that feat now.
Bay Bridge easily won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in last month's comeback, his fifth successive win and he looks tailor-made for the ascent into this company. Ryan Moore's partner can provide the legendary trainer with his fifth Prince Of Wales's Stakes win.
Selection: Bay Bridge
Next Best: State Of Rest
4.20pm - Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Fillies And Mares' Group 2, 1m)
Saffron Beach and Mother Earth were first and second in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in the autumn and they renew acquaintances now.
Jane Chapple-Hyam's filly was an impressive front-running winner that day but has a 5lb penalty to contend with now on her first start since running fourth behind Lord North at Meydan in March. She is capable fresh, however.
Mother Earth had of course beaten Saffron Beach (second) in the 1000 Guineas at HQ earlier last season. She didn't have to be at her best in landing a Curragh Group 3 in March on her reappearance and was a dozen lengths behind Baaeed since in the Lockinge when beating only two home. A pair of cheekpieces are reached for by Aidan O'Brien now.
French raider Sibila Spain has a slight query on the forecast faster ground but could emerge as a leading player no less but this might produce a career-best from BASHKIROVA.
She won the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom this month for William Haggas and Tom Marquand, readily avenging a Goodwood defeat to Mrs Fitzherbert in April, and taking the measure of fellow Cheveley Park runner Potapova with a good bit up her sleeve. This is more demanding - and an 11-day turnaround is a minor worry - but the Pivotal filly looks to be firmly on the rise.
Next Best: Saffron Beach
5.00pm - Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap, 1m)
Just about as daunting as any handicap across the five days, the Hunt Cup is a proper punting puzzle.
Real World won last year, coming right away from Astro King and it wasn't long before he proved correct the theory he was a Group horse in a handicap. Sir Michael Stoute's runner-up is back for another go, but is still rated 4lb higher and might do well to match that achievement.
A chance here is taken on TEMPUS for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle at chunky odds. The Kingman gelding has two wins and two placed efforts in just eight turf starts. He was second behind Modern News in a Listed Windsor event most recently having also chased home Chindit at Doncaster in March in that grade.
He was a C&D winner here in September 2020 and ran a creditable sixth under a penalty soon after in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket. He handled the hustle and bustle of that 27-runner event quite well should give a good account here.
Top-weight Magical Morning cannot be ignored after his Doncaster win 12 days ago, with Benoit De La Sayette negating his 5lb penalty, while Symbolize looks a player for Andrew Balding with the excellent Harry Davies claiming from his back too.
Epsom winner Totally Charming could have more to come and gets Frankie Dettori on board here, while Dark Shift, Legend Of Dubai, Excel Power and Tim Easterby's Cruyff Turn are also on the shortlist.
Next Best: Cruyff Turn
5.35pm - Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed, 5f)
Naas maiden winner Little Big Bear will be popular here for Aidan O'Brien but that form, while decent on the clock, hasn't been tested just yet and the odds are skimpy in a deep field.
Seismic Court represents Wes Ward, who had the favourite last year in Ruthin, and the Belardo colt carries familiar colours for the top American trainer. He was just denied at Churchill Downs on debut and should have a challenge in him.
KNEBWORTH has two wins on the Polytrack at Lingfield and looks a player here for Richard Hughes and Pat Cosgrave. He was a wide-margin winner first time up and defied his
penalty readily next time, with next-time-out winners behind in second and third. The Awtaad colt should handle the grass and is a solid each-way candidate.
Far Shot only debut a week at Yarmouth for John & Thady Gosden but he justified odds-on favouritism in comfortable fashion and the Kodiac colt could have a say now with Dettori up. Bolt Action, Eddie's Boy and improving Goodwood winner Rocket Rodney are others for consideration.
Next Best: Far Shot
6.10pm - Kensington Palace Stakes (Fillies' And Mares' Handicap, 1m)
Mobadra ended last season with a commanding all-weather win at Kempton over 7f. She's got plenty scope for better this summer and is a leading contender here for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni.
Fitness is a worry in this competitive line-up, however. State Occasion needed a stewards' intervention at Chelmsford last month on her comeback to get the verdict but Ralph Beckett's charge is another with plenty room to build.
Irish raider Haziya is unexposed at the trip and a one to note but IMPROVISED might be the answer. The Raven's Pass filly was second in a Listed Musselburgh race this month back up in trip and was a 7f Epsom winner last summer.
David O'Meara's charge is lurking on a mark of 54 and if seeing out this longer trip, she could be well-treated.
Next Best: Improvised
Next Best: State Occasion
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