CLIVE Cox is backing Harry Angel to end his Ascot drought at next week’s mouthwatering Royal meeting.

The Group One winner has suffered defeat on all four previous visits, including in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot 12 months ago.

But West Berks trainer Cox believes the dual Group One winner’s fortunes could be about to change as he prepares for a crack at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday, June 23 (4.20pm).

And he insists the four-year-old has a plausible excuse for all of his previous setbacks at the famous Berkshire track.

Cox said: “I don’t particularly lose any sleep that he has not got his head in front there, I think it’s more coincidence rather than a serious problem.

“Adam (Kirby) gave him a nice introduction first time out and in his second to Blue Point he had a penalty and that race was pretty good form. He was just a bit keen in the Commonwealth Cup.

“When he ran in the Champions Sprint the ground was atrocious. I think his defeats have been a matter of circumstances, whether it be the ground or the way the race has panned out.”

While his Ascot reverses may be the only blemish on the record of the Godolphin-owned four-year-old, Cox argues his second behind Caravaggio in last year’s Commonwealth Cup was the springboard to success.

The Lambourn Downs handler added: “I was pleased with his run in the Commonwealth Cup and I think it was a turning point in his life, as he took another step forward - not in the race, but after that.

“He carried on at the top of his game after that defeat in the Commonwealth Cup and proved that decisively in the July Cup.

“He has proved he has progressed with racing and I’d like to think he is more mature this year.”

A number of familiar faces will line up in the six-furlong dash, but the most potent threat to Cox’s stable star could come from two new rivals in the form of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Merchant Navy and Australian raider Redkirk Warrior.

Royal Ascot takes place from Tuesday until Saturday next week (June 19-23) when racehorses from all over the world will compete for the £7.3m on offer. The feature race on the opening day is the King’s Stand Stakes, while Wednesday will be headlined by the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

The Gold Cup takes centre stage next Thursday, Friday hosts the Commonwealth Cup and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes brings the meeting to a close on Saturday.

Punters should look out for Battaash in the King’s Stand Stakes, having won five of his last six runs.

Cartier Horse of the Year candidate Cracksman is unbeaten in his last five runs and is the leader for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, while Order Of St George looks to make amends in the Gold Cup.