Kingman set to land the St James’s Palace Stakes on the first day of Royal Ascot
The stage is set for Royal Ascot 2014, with Day 1 always a treat thanks to the renewal of the Queen Anne Stakes, King’s Stand Stakes and St James’s Palace Stakes.
Queen Anne Stakes, 2.30pm
The five-day meeting that is Royal Ascot gets underway on Tuesday with the Queen Anne Stakes, with Richard Hannon hoping to start a potentially memorable meeting by saddling Toronado to victory.
The four-year-old is already trading at odds-on with the majority of bookies, with the horse having been primed for this race and there’s an unknown element to how the runner will perform having last been seen at York in August.
Verrazano is the O’Brien horse in the race, finishing third at Newbury and is among the front runners on ratings, with Soft Falling Rain a South African raider who claimed a win at Newmarket last season.
Leading trainer Mike De Kock has brought over talented horses in the past, with Hamdan Al Maktoum the owner of a runner that can be backed at 3/1 for victory
King’s Stand Stakes, 3.45pm
Once again, we see the usual suspects lining up for this five-furlong dash and that includes Sole Power and Shea Shea who finished first and second in this race twelve months ago.
The pair are among the favourites to duel it out for victory again, although it’s Hot Streak who will go off the likely favourite, with the Kevin Ryan horse having claimed the spoils in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.
Pearl Secret was second in that race and third in last year’s renewal, although a disappointing eighth place at Newmarket in May suggests he might have too much to find here.
St James’s Palace Stakes, 4.25pm
Kingman may have lost the 2,000 Guineas although the three-year-old has been heavily backed to claim the £200,000 purse on Tuesday afternoon, with the John Gosden horse now trading at even money to beat Night of Thunder.
Kingman does look the better horse and was largely undone by tactics in the Guineas which saw his arch-rival claim victory at Newmarket, with the former bouncing back last month with an impressive showing at the Curragh.
Night of Thunder is a 9/4 chance and Richard Hughes will have tactics planned for this one-mile race which he hopes will land him a memorable double this term, with War Command the other interesting horse in the race.
Aidan O’Brien will have learnt plenty from that ninth place finish in the 2000 Guineas and Joseph O’Brien can help ensure that the horse is still in the shake-up.