Royal Ascot Tuesday predictions: Five-day feast of racing begins
Royal Ascot is Flat racing's premier summer extravaganza and there are five stunning days in store at the famous Berkshire course this week.
The action kicks off with a major bang as unbeaten Baaeed looks to land the Queen Anne Stakes in the opening heat.
Today's seven-race Royal Ascot card runs from 2.30pm until 6.10pm and we have all the action previewed in detail.
2.30pm - Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
This is surely the next stepping stone for BAAEED on his way to superstardom.
Comparisons with the mighty Frankel are already being made and he can emulate the 2012 winner by landing the Royal Ascot opener.
The sky is the limit for the impressive Lockinge winner, who should be well able to uphold placings with Real Word and Chindit, second and third in that race, while Order Of Australia might emerge as best of the rest.
Verdict: Baaeed looks too good.
3.05pm - Coventry Stakes (Group 2, 6f)
Aidan O'Brien is bidding for a 10th Coventry Stakes win and unbeaten Blackbeard is a strong contender to give him just that.
There are plenty of dangers lurking, including Persian Force, Scholarship and Bradsell, but ROUSING ENCORE's Pontefract win looked good on the eye and might have some substance to it.
This is a big week for Oisin Orr, now stable jockey to Richard Fahey, and a Royal Ascot winner would be quite the start to their alliance.
Verdict: Blackbeard is a big player but this is a deep field and Rousing Encore can go well.
3.40pm - King's Stand Stakes (Group 1, 5f)
Wesley Ward has really been talking up Golden Pal but he has failed to win in both UK starts previously and last summer's Nunthorpe run was tame enough.
Winter Power won that York race but finished well behind King's Lynn and Twilight Calls on her return at Haydock.
They all may have some way to go in order to stop Aussie raider NATURE STRIP as the Chris Waller inmate looks for his ninth Group 1 win.
Verdict: Nature Strip can be the latest southern hemisphere winner of the King's Stand.
4.20pm - St James's Palace Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
With the form of his 2000 Guineas win at Newmarket well-advertised by runner-up — and stablemate — Native Trail winning the Irish version, it is hard to get away from the idea that COROEBUS will double his seasonal tally now.
Charlie Appleby's charge was a meritorious winner of the Rowley Mile Classic and looks sure to go on to better things.
Verdict: Coroebus is holding the aces.
5pm - Ascot Stakes (Handicap, 2m4f)
Jumps trainers have mopped this race up in recent times. It is the longest handicap of the meeting and Willie Mullins is seeking a fourth win since 2012.
Bring On The Night, fourth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, is a big player, as is Gordon Elliott's Pied Piper after his close call in a Grade 1 Aintree novice hurdle in April.
Look out too for MARSHALL PLAN in the Godolphin blue for John and Thady Gosden with Frankie Dettori on board, though.
His All-Weather Finals Day run at Newcastle hinted he might just relish this stamina test.
Verdict: The Frankie factor is never to be underestimated at Ascot and he might topple the jumps boys.
5.35pm - Wolferton Stakes (Listed, 1m2f)
CADILLAC looked as good as ever in his recent Listed win at Leopardstown, with the Jessica Harrington inmate seemingly buoyed in a pair of first-time blinkers.
If the headgear has the desired effect a second time, he is the one to beat. Last year's Britannia Stakes winner Perotto has the ability to be a key danger.
Verdict: The classy Cadillac might have too much for his rivals.
6.10pm - Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap, 1m6f)
Chester Cup winner Cleveland will be popular for Aidan O'Brien in the finale but his son Joseph has previous for upsetting his father and OKITA SOUSHI might help him do just that again.
He has only had three starts but his comeback second in a Listed race in Ireland was very pleasing and he is unexposed now diverting his attention to handicaps.
Verdict: The younger O'Brien may rule the roost in day one's finale.