2012 Royal Ascot Day One – June 19th
Special note: There will be no place wagering on the Queen Anne Stakes (Race 1)
|Race (click for course flyover)
|The Queen Anne Stakes – 9:30am ET/6:30am PT||Group 1||1m|
|The King’s Stand Stakes – 10:05am ET/7:05am PT||Group 1||5f|
|The St James’s Palace Stakes – 10:50am ET/7:50am PT||Group 1||1m|
|The Coventry Stakes – 11:25am ET/8:25am PT||Group 2||6f|
|The Ascot Stakes – 12:00pm/9:00am PT||Handicap||2m4f|
|The Windsor Castle Stakes – 12:35pm ET/9:35am PT||Listed||5f|
With no fewer than three Group 1 contests taking place, there is hardly a classier card in the racing calendar, than the first day of Royal Ascot.
The week kicks off with what is arguably the classiest contest of all, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Last year, saw a clash between Canford Cliffs and Goldikova, with Richard Hannon’s exceptional miler coming out on top. This year, there is a strong chance that the world’s best racehorse, the mighty Frankel will take his place in the race.
Following this, pulses will be racing even more, as some of the world’s top sprinters line up in the King’s Stand Stakes. This Group One dash over a straight 1006 meters is leg 4 of the lucrative Global Sprint Challenge, which also features races in Hong Kong and Australia. While the British challenge is consistently competitive, foreign raiders have an excellent record in the race. Australian trained horses are typically those that catch the eye, and in recent years, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, and Scenic Blast have cemented the reputation of runners from ‘down under.’ This year’s home challenge could include Bated Breath, who recently broke the track record at Haydock, when capturing the Group 2 Temple Stakes.
Attention is then turned to the leading three year old milers in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes Powerhouses of the breeding industry Coolmore have held a strong grip on the race under the stewardship of Aidan O’Brien. They have been responsible for six winners of the race since 2000, including Giant’s Causeway, Rock of Gibraltar and Mastercraftsman. In last year’s contest Frankel supplemented win in the 2000 Guineas, but was given his hardest race of the season. He was much more impressive in his subsequent wins at Glorious Goodwood and British Champions Day.
The Group 2 Coventry Stakes is a competitive sprint contested by the most exciting juvenile speedsters. Richard Hannon has won the race in 2009 and 2010 with Canford Cliffs and Strong Suit but Aidan O’Brien enhanced his impressive race record with Power last season, and both trainers are likely to saddle leading contenders in this year’s heat.
Day One closes with two races which present their respective fields with completely different tests. First, is the Ascot Stakes, a gruelling Handicap, in which competitors will race over almost two complete circuits of the track. This is followed by the fast and furious Windsor Castle Stakes, a two year old sprint over the minimum distance.
Handicapping Royal Ascot
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- A meet preview courtesy At The Races
- International Past Performances
- Mark Johnson’s Spotlight Selections
- Brisnet.com Daily Selections
- Timeform Ratings and analysis
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