Arguably the greatest week in the flat racing calendar coming up, Royal Ascot has finally arrived! The weather looks to be almost perfect and everything is shaping up beautifully. The Kings Stand will be a race to savour on Tuesday with Battaash and Lady Aurelia locking horns, Cracksman will be looking to better his Coronation Cup performance on Wednesday, Stradivarius may well stamp himself as the new stayer on the block in the Gold Cup on Thursday, the Commonwealth Cup once again looks a belter on Friday and Harry Angel will attempt to put his Ascot hoodoo behind him on Saturday. Chelmsford also hosts their first Listed race on Wednesday.
- Mark Johnston – Tops last weeks trainer chart with 11 winners, 5 ahead of his nearest rival. Boasts quality and quantity in his yard, bound to have some big chances at Ascot.
- John Gosden – Had a relatively quiet week by his high standards, but goes into Royal Ascot with an extremely strong armoury and some leading fancies. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the top trainer for the week.
- Aidan O’Brien – A master of his trade, has many huge chances throughout the week in the big races, can’t rule out any of his runners.
- Wesley Ward – American trainer who loves coming over to Royal Ascot and has had plenty of success. All his raiders deserve a second look.
- Frankie Dettori – A man who just loves the big occasion, always seems to keep his cool and is in line to ride some leading chances at Ascot this week.
- James McDonald – Rider who hails from New Zealand and really caught my eye back in 2016 when he was over here. Returns this week and is very talented.
- James Doyle – Is having a terrific season, operating at a 25% strike rate and racked up 7 winners last week. A jockey to keep firmly onside and will no doubt be in the Ascot winners enclosure.
- Equilateral – Exceptionally bred sort for Charles Hills who goes for the Commonwealth Cup on Friday. Emphatic 8 length winner when last seen, runner-up has won twice since and he could be pretty special.
- Firmament – Likeable, consistent horse for David O’Meara who’s dropped to an attractive mark. Runs in the Royal Hunt Cup on Wednesday and can outrun his odds.
- Yucatan – Don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet and has some solid form in the book, runs in the Wolferton Stakes on Tuesday in first-time cheekpieces which are an interesting addition.
- Dreamfield – Unbeaten colt whose Dam is dual Group 1 winner Izzi Top. Impressive at Ascot when last seen and the form is working out well. Could be the proverbial group horse in a handicap. Runs in the Wokingham on Saturday.
- Victory Wave – Unexposed, well-rated filly who bolted up by 6 lengths on debut ahead of a horse who’s since racked up a hat-trick. Mark of 87 looks lenient and holds 3 entries this week.