Royal Ascot 2019
Tuesday 11th June 2019
A Look at the Favourites for Royal Ascot
Once the excitement of the Derby is over, all attention turns to Royal Ascot. This hugely popular meeting has been held since 1911 and features five days of top-class horse racing with 19 Group races. The date for your 2019 diaries is June 18 to 22, and it promises to be another spectacular event.
A Royal occasion
The five-day meeting isn’t just about who will win the races. Every day is attended by the Royal Family with a horse-drawn carriage Royal Procession down the track before the first race takes place. You can even place bets on the colour of the hat the Queen wears each day.
That might get you a winner before the tougher task of picking winners of top races such as The Queen Anne Stakes, The St James’s Palace Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Ascot Gold Cup and Coronation Stakes. Let’s look at some of the horses that could well grab the headlines this year.
Queen Anne Stakes opens the meeting
This is the first race, and the Group 1 race is open to horses with a minimum age of four years, and notable past winners include Frankel.
This year the favourite to win is Le Brivido, now trained by the all-conquering Aiden O’Brien. He won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at last year’s Royal Ascot meeting when trained by Andre Fabre. That’s the only race Le Brivido has ever won but could O’Brien’s magic get him a win in this race?
Other contenders include the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Mustashry. The bay gelding won the recent Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, and that was his fourth success in Group races. Also, look out for Barney Roy who had a recent win in France and only lost by a neck in last month’s Queen Anne Stakes Trial at Ascot.
Irish 2000 Guineas winner favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes
This is a Group 1 race run over seven furlongs and competed for by three-year-old colts. This is a truly historic event first run in 1834, and recent winners have included Frankel, Kingman and Gleneagles.
Looking to join that impressive list is Phoenix of Spain trained by Charles Hills. Last month saw the grey colt go off at 16/1 but went on to win the Irish 2000 Guineas beating Too Darn Hot who is currently the second favourite for this race behind his recent conqueror. Punters will, as ever, be hoping to cash in at the famous Ascot race meeting.
Phoenix of Spain had previously lost by a head in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes last year. Those last two runs have been on good to firm and good to soft going so any June downpours won’t hurt his hopes.
Battle Royal expected in The Prince of Wales’s Stakes
This is the highlight of the second day of the Royal Ascot meeting. It’s a nine furlongs Group 1 race for horses aged four years and over. Current favourite is Sea of Class who’s trained by William Haggas. The filly won both the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks last year and then lost by a neck to Enable in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe, so high credentials indeed but this will be her first run of the year.
Sea of Class should have a real battle with second favourite Magical, and the Aiden O’Brien trained filly has won her last three races. There’s been two Group wins already in 2019 including success by seven lengths in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup run at the Curragh.
Stradivarius bids to retain Ascot Gold Cup
This race dates back to 1804, and the Group 1 race is run over two miles and three furlongs. Last year saw the race won by the John Gosden-trained Stradivarius and he’s the favourite to win again in 2019. The chestnut colt has won his last six outings, and all were Group races. Stradivarius made a successful return to the track this year winning the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup Stakes for the second year in a row.
Hermosa has already proved herself to be the top three-year-old filly this year. Trained by Aiden O’Brien, Hermosa has won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and followed that up with victory in the Irish equivalent. Now she bids to win the Coronation Stakes, and another win looks more than likely.