FRANKEL has made a brilliant start to his stallion career and one of his offspring, Dream Castle, is well-fancied for this afternoon’s opening Jersey Stakes (2.30pm).
Godolphin took this prize 12 months ago with Ribchester and Sheikh Mohammed will be hoping to repeat the trick with this Saeed bin Suroor colt.
Dream Castle is clearly very talented, but he is also quirky as he showed when pulling much too hard against Barney Roy in the Greenham Stakes.
He finished fifth in the 2000 Guineas last time and Josephine Gordon will be on board for the first time.
I respect his chances, although the occasion might be too much for him, and I like the look of LE BRIVIDO for master French trainer Andre Fabre.
This son of Siyouni ran an absolute cracker in the French 2000 Guineas, getting nutted on the line by Brametot, who has gone on to win the French Derby since.
That was only his third start and the drop back to seven furlongs on a quicker surface should suit him perfectly.
He is the highest rated in the field and you should always take notice when his genius trainer sends one over here. The 7/2 generally available looks more than fair.
John Gosden’s Daban has to be a danger following her third in the 1000 Guineas behind Winter.
Prior to that she had won the Nell Gwyn over this trip and she might just end up being something of a seven furlong specialist.
Wesley Ward suffered a blow on Tuesday morning when Frankie Dettori was ruled out of the meeting, but compensation is likely to await in today’s Queen Mary Stakes (3.05pm).
The US trainer has won the last two renewals of this race with hot favourites Lady Aurelia and Acapulco, and he can land the hat-trick with HAPPY LIKE A FOOL.
Ryan Moore jumps into the saddle in Dettori’s absence. He has previous in this race with Ward, winning it two years ago with Acapulco.
The selection bolted up in a Keeneland maiden back in April and since then this race has been her target.
Understandably, the bookies aren’t taking any chances with her after the past two years, but one or two might push her out to 13/8 this morning.
Clive Cox’s Heartache looks the main danger, but it doesn’t often pay to take on Ward in this type of race, especially on quick ground.
The Royal Hunt Cup (5.00pm) is always a lottery with a combination of young, unexposed horses taking on the experienced mile handicappers.
There are loads with chances, but I’m going to stick with two older contenders who have good Ascot experience.
YUFTEN won the hugely valuable Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day last October on just his second start for Roger Charlton.
He ran disappointingly in the Lincoln, but has been given plenty of time to get over that and 20/1 is a big price.
My other selection hasn’t won for over three years so you probably think I’m crazy putting him up.
However, HORS DE COMBAT has some excellent form and he was unlucky last time in the Victoria Cup.
He needs everything to drop right, but at 25/1 with 188BET I’m prepared to take a chance.
Le Brivido 2.30pm Royal Ascot
Happy Like A Fool 3.05pm Royal Ascot
Yuften e/w 5.00pm Royal Ascot
Hors De Combat e/w 5.00pm Royal Ascot