Royal Ascot: Five events to light up the meeting next week

Awtaad

Awtaad beats Galileo Gold in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh

  PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)  

Fantastic horses, fantastic racing and fantastic weather (hopefully) make Royal Ascot a must-see event. This year there are plenty of extra special moments to whet the appetite even further and we look at some of the biggest.

The Gurkha, Awtaad, Galileo Gold
Event: St James’s Palace Stakes
Betting:  The Gurkha (13-8f), Awtaad (11-4), Galileo Gold (9-2)

Why it is special: Galileo Gold, Awtaad and The Gurkha are set to go head-to-head after winning the 2,000 Guineas in Britain, Ireland and France respectively. All three have exhibited different qualities when landing their Classics and all three sets of connections seem confident their horse has what it takes to come out on top.

What they say: “Everyone is excited about The Gurkha after what he did in France but Galileo Gold’s in tremendous shape. Awtaad’s in there for what could be a sensational race and I’m keen to have another crack at turning the tables after what happened in Ireland,” Frankie Dettori, rider of Galileo Gold, speaking to Ladbrokes.

Order Of St George

Order Of St George: thumped his rivals in the Irish St Leger

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos  

Order Of St George
Event: Gold Cup
Betting: 7-4f

Why he is special: Any Classic winner is a talented horse, but a horse that wins one by 11 lengths is quite extraordinary. That is what Order Of St George did in the Irish St Leger last year and he asserted to win on his comeback in the Saval Beg Stakes this month. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the Gold Cup with Yeats, Fame And Glory and Leading Light and looks the one to beat again with this improving four-year-old.

What they say: “He’s a lovely horse and he’s very genuine too. He’s just a very good horse,” Joseph O’Brien, former rider.

Magical-memory-360

Magical Memory (right): getting better and better with racing

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Magical Memory
Event
: Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Betting: 6-1f

Why he is special: Muhaarar was one of the stars at Royal Ascot last year and trainer Charlie Hills looks to have another high-class sprinter in this dashing grey. Beaten in a handicap off 93 this time last year, Magical Memory sprung into life afterwards, winning at the July meeting, the Stewards’ Cup and narrowly failing to land the Group 1 Sprint Cup. Two from two this year, including a win at York last time that oozed class, this race could be a springboard to even greater things in the second half of the season.

What they say: “He’s in good order, hasn’t missed a day since York and it’s just a question of getting him up to concert pitch,” Charlie Hills, trainer.

Cunco--360

Cunco: first runner and first winner for Frankel as a stallion

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Cunco
Event:
Chesham Stakes
Betting
: 6-1f

Why he is special: Cunco has been the trailblazer for the magnificent Frankel in his new role as a stallion right from the start. Cunco was the first foal born to Frankel and last month became the new sire’s first runner and first winner with a thumping win at Newbury, which was all the more impressive for the fact he took an age to pull up after the race. Anything to do with Frankel generates huge attention and Cunco might make a further push to be ‘number one son’ by giving Frankel a first Royal Ascot winner next week.

What they say: “He took a few strides to hit top gear, but I’d say he had a few more gears left. I couldn’t have been more pleased,” Robert Havlin, rider.

Air Force Blue (Ryan Moore)

Ryan Moore: claimed nine winners at the royal meeting last year

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Ryan Moore
Event: Top jockey
Betting: 1-3f

Why he is special: The more success and praise Moore gets from around the world, the more he looks to deflect it on to the horses he is riding and the trainers he is riding for. After nine winners at the meeting last year, Moore is set for another blockbuster time of things and his expertise in the saddle mean he is odds-on to be top jockey again. Strength, poise and skill in the saddle means Ballydoyle’s number one will be a force to be reckoned with.

What they say: “I am lucky to be riding for powerful stables and will have some nice rides. There is nothing I can think of that will definitely win but I should have some solid chances,” Ryan Moore.

 

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