December 7, 2021

Horses to watch at Royal Ascot

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IMAGE: Supplied

Next month, Royal Ascot is back! It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since the meeting was held behind closed doors for the first time in its lengthy history. However, the good news is that racegoers will return to the course for the latest renewal of the prestigious five-day event — so grab your glad rags!

Of course, with the meeting just a matter of weeks away, the Betdaq horse racing exchange will already be gaining a lot traction from punters looking to make the most of the early ante-post odds. But, with so many of the world’s best horses competing in the vast array of top-grade races, it can be hard to know who to back.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the horses to watch at this year’s renewal of Royal Ascot.

Palace Pier

Palace Pier is certainly worth keeping an eye on next month. The four-year-old is the outright favourite to win day one’s feature race — the one-mile Queen Anne Stakes. The John Gosden-trained horse won all of his first five races, including the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at last year’s meeting. However, despite setting off as the odds-on favourite, he came home in third back at Ascot in October. He got back to winning ways at Sandown last month, winning by eight lengths, and he looks in good nick ahead of Royal Ascot.

Love

Love had an amazing season last year and there’s no doubt that the punters will be keen to see if he can carry on that fine form at Royal Ascot this year. The Aidan O’Brien-trained horse won the 1000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket, the Oaks at Epsom and the Yorkshire Oaks. A victory in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes — day two’s feature race — would be another impressive victory to add to the four-year-old’s CV. He is currently the second favourite for the Group 1 race at 3/1. But given his form, we’re sure he’ll be heavily backed.

Stradivarius

Stradivarius is no stranger to Royal Ascot and this year the Gosden-trained horse can etch his name into the history books. The seven-year-old is gunning for a fourth successive victory in the meeting’s showpiece race — the Gold Cup. A win would see Stradivarius draw level with Yeats on four triumphs, whilst jockey Frankie Dettori would be the recipient of the trophy for a ninth time — closing the gap on record-holder Lester Piggott to just two. The seven-year-old ended last season winless in three outings, but having won at Ascot last month, the punters will be keeping their fingers crossed for another Stradivarius victory in the Gold Cup.

Starman

Starman had a fantastic start to his flat career last season. With Tom Marquand in the saddle, the four-year-old won at Lingfield, Doncaster and York. However, he was rather disappointing in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October — finishing second-last in what was his first Group 1 outing. Oisin Murphy took the reins for Starman’s first and only race of this season so far, and the duo beat Nahaarr and Marquand over the line by a neck in the Duke of York Stakes earlier this month. As a result, the Ed Walker-trained horse is now the slight favourite to win the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the meeting.

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