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Royal Ascot 2021: Day One Betting Preview


One of the highlights of the 2021 flat racing season, the Royal Ascot meeting, kicks off on Tuesday with a trio of Group 1 contests in the Queen Anne, King's Stand and St. James's Palace Stakes. Here we preview all the big race action for day one...

14:30 Ascot - Queen Anne Stakes

A race that revolves around Palace Pier, who is clear on ratings in this field and has looked every bit the superstar in his two runs this season, readily winning the Lockinge last time out. As a result, he’s odds-on to win the first Group 1 contest of the week and the only real negative at this stage is perhaps the draw in stall 11, with winners generally coming from low in recent years.

Aidan O’Brien won this with Circus Maximus last year off a long layoff and attempts to do the same with Order Of Australia, who was a surprise winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year. The quicker ground will definitely suit but he’ll need to find improve again to take this. It’s hard to see Top Rank or Lope Y Fernandez reversing the Lockinge form, for all that the latter ran no sort of race that day. At a bigger price, Regal Reality is of each-way interest dropped back to a mile for his reappearance and while he’s been just short of Group 1 quality, he could be on the premises at a double figure price. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Palace Pier
  2. Regal Reality
  3. Order Of Australia

15:40 Ascot - King’s Stand Stakes 

Battaash looks to win back-to-back renewals of this contest but Charlie Hills’ runner has endured some problems over the winter and his fitness has to be taken on trust. He’s comfortably the top rated though and if he is anywhere near his best, he should be winning this. Oxted was a good winner of the July Cup last year but hasn’t got his head in front since and the drop back to 5f on fast ground is a definite question mark. 

Winter Power gets a handy allowance and her defeat of Atalis Bay last time out got a form boost over the weekend, but she’s going to have to step up again and looking down the list of three-year-olds who have managed to win this, she’s definitely not in the same league as Lady Aurelia or Equiano. 

At bigger prices, it would be no surprise to see Que Amoro outrun her odds, she pushed Battaash all the way in the Nunthorpe last year and has won fresh, while Ubettabelieveit will love the fast 5f here and ran a cracker at the Breeders’ Cup. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Battaash
  2. Ubettabelieveit
  3. Winter Power

16:20 Ascot - St. James’s Palace Stakes 

2000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare currently heads our market and winners of the Newmarket race have a decent record following up in the St James’s Palace, however few, if any, have taken in both the French and Irish Guineas in the interim. If Jim Bolger’s colt is able to take those in his stride, he has the form to produce another victory here. 

The unbeaten Mostahdaf is a clear danger but he was getting 3lb from Highland Avenue when successful in the Heron Stakes last time so it would be no surprise to see the Godolphin runner turn that around. 

Thunder Moon’s run in the Newmarket Guineas was too bad to be true and if he reproduces his two-year-old form then he’ll be a danger to all with Frankie Dettori booked, while Aidan O’Brien saddles both Battleground and Wembley who hold claims. 

Finally, Maximal is another to consider for Sir Michael Stoute having previously got close to Dante winner and Derby third, Hurricane Lane; he could be very interesting dropped back to a mile and on fast ground. 

Smarkets 1-2-3 

  1. Highland Avenue
  2. Mostahdaf
  3. Maximal

Other runners to note on day one:

Wesley Ward has been showering praise on his Coventry Stakes runner Kaufymaker but it would be no surprise to see the likes of The Acropolis and Tolstoy put it up to the American raider. Willie Mullins runners in the Ascot Stakes always command the utmost respect but the booking of Rachael Blackmore for Emmet Mullins’ Cape Gentleman obviously catches the eye for a trainer who enjoyed success at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Fujaira Prince won the Copper Horse Stakes last year and Throne Hall will attempt to make it another winner for the same owners and Andrea Atzeni, he’s shown some strong form this season and the step up in trip could bring out even more improvement. 

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