With the Derby Festival fast approaching on the Epsom Downs, the countdown is also on for Royal Ascot with only three weeks to go until the five-day meeting at the Berkshire Course.
The most valuable racing meeting in Britain, the meeting kicks off on Tuesday with two feature contests in the King’s Stand Stakes and St James’s Palace Stakes and concludes on Saturday with the Diamond Jubilee Stakes highlighting the day’s action on the card.
Wednesday sees the Prince of Wales’s Stakes headline the card, while the Ascot Gold Cup is the main event on Thursday and is followed by the Coronation Stakes and the Commonwealth Cup on Friday.
Here are our three ante-post bankers to consider for Royal Ascot next month
Battaash – King’s Stand Stakes (5/2 – Various)
Arguably one of the best five-furlong sprinters the racing world has ever seen, Battaash will make his seasonal reappearance in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The seven-year-old tore the division apart last season, kicking off with a victory in this contest at the third attempt after finishing behind Blue Point the previous two occasions.
The son of Dark Angel sent racing fans into a frenzy at Goodwood, after he set the fastest five-furlong run of all time at the West Sussex track on his way to landing a fourth straight King George Qatar Stakes.
Charles Hills’ star rounded off the season with success in the Nunthorpe Stakes, producing a gritty performance to claim success by a length.
If Battaash returns from his seasonal break at his best, then 5/2 is an incredibly generous price here.
Lord North – Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (9/4 – Various)
A winner of this contest back in 2020, Lord North could land back-to-back successes in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes for John & Thady Gosden.
The five-year-old had struggled slightly after claiming success at Royal Ascot last season, finishing third in the Juddmonte Stakes at York before disappointing in the Qipco Champion Stakes.
He was sent abroad over the winter, as the gelding finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf but he bounced back to winning ways in the Group 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan, looking a class above his rivals on the day.
Lord North goes well when he is fresh and after a three-month absence, he could return with victory at Royal Ascot next month.
Al Aasy – Hardwicke Stakes (8/1 – Betfair + Paddy Power)
An exciting four-year-old from William Haggas’ yard, Al Aasy could storm into contention for the Hardwicke Stakes if he produces a big run on the Epsom Downs.
His trainer has announced his excitement on his recruit and it is now clear his target is the Coronation Cup at Epsom.
The colt has won comfortably on his first two starts this season, claiming the Group 3 John Porter Stakes and the Al Rayyan Stakes with ease.
His form is slightly questionable in both contests but if Al Aasy claims success on the Downs, his price will considerably drop for the Hardwicke.