King Frankel bidding to keep Royal Ascot crown
Published: 15 Jun 2012 09:300 comments
By Rob Stevens
The Royal Meeting (June 19-23) is the place to enjoy all of the pageantry and history of a quintessentially British day out on this historic year, in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
And thoroughbred stars from all over the world will compete for a share of the £4.5million prize money on offer including superstars such as the unbeaten Frankel and the 'wonder from down under' Black Caviar.
Frankel, trained by the legendary Sir Henry Cecil, gets the five-day festival of racing underway when going in search of a 12th successive win in the Queen Anne Stakes - part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Cecil said: "Frankel has got important engagements as the season goes on and the main thing is as long as he can win, let's hope he can win well, it does not matter if it's two lengths or 10."
Red Jazz, trained in Lambourn by Charlie Hills, has each way claims after finishing third in the Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup night in March but disappointed in his latest start at Haydock Park earlier this month.
Caledonia Lady and Stepper Point could represent Jo Hughes and William Muir respectively in the King's Stand Stakes - part of the Global Sprint Challenge - while Mick Channon's Arnold Lane has each way prospects in the St. James's Palace Stakes after his victory at Chester in May.
The ultra-competitive Royal Hunt Cup highlights day two of the meeting where Hills saddles 12-1 ante-post second favourite Captain Bertie.
After finishing fourth in the Spring Mile at Doncaster the four year old held on gamely to win the Magnum Spring Cup at Newbury in April.
Marcus Tregoning's Boom And Bust (20-1) and Sylvester Kirk's Norse Blues (25-1) also feature prominently in the betting for the 30-runner cavalry charge over Ascot's straight mile.
Hughie Morrison's Shirocco Star, beaten just a quarter of a length in the Investec Oaks last time, bids to go one better in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes on day three where she could take on The Queen's Momentary who got the better of her when the pair last met at Newbury in May.
Recent Newbury scorer Hawaafez is a general 50-1 chance for the Ascot Gold Cup where last year's winner Fame And Glory will be a hot favourite to defend his crown.
David Lanigan's Main Sequence found only Camelot too good in the Investec Derby three weeks ago and he could bid for compensation in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes on day four.
Samitar provided Channon with his first major classic win in Ireland last month and could follow that up in the Coronation Stakes where the West Ilsley based handler also has the option of Laugh Out Loud, a recent French Group 2 winner.
The first ever running of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes features on the concluding day where Black Caviar runs for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere.
"Having arrived safely on these shores, Black Caviar looks set to blow the opposition away on her first start outside of Australia when she lines up in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes," said Coral's David Stevens.
"As far as we're concerned it's not if she wins, but a question of how far she wins by."
Clive Cox's duo of Jimmy Styles (66-1) and Lethal Force (100-1) and recent Haydock winner Pastoral Player (33-1) could all represent Berkshire against the 'wonder from down under'.