THE sun is shining and Royal Ascot is looming large. Last year Frankel scared away the opposition in the opening race of the meeting, the Queen Anne Stakes. But this year’s renewal looks much more of a betting proposition. Finding the winner of the Queen Anne can set Royal Ascot punters up for the week; a bit like tipping the Supreme Novices Hurdle victor at the Cheltenham Festival. The defection of FARHH has left ANIMAL KINGDOM (pictured above) as the hot favourite in the ante-post market.
The American-trained Dubai World Cup winner has been aimed at this Group One contest since hitting the jackpot at Meydan in March. He even had a dress rehearsal gallop at the Berkshire track last month in preparation for the big day.
CITYSCAPE will also be missing but Aidan O’Brien is poised to fire his usual rounds of equine artillery with Lockinge flop DECLARATION OF WAR and MOST IMPROVED among his possibles. For those seeking some each-way value, you could do worse than consider GABRIAL. He has stacks of ability and if he put his best foot forward he could surprise a few. He looks an interesting each-way bet at around 25/1.
Punters seeking a big price contender could also do worse than ALJAMAAHEER who was a solid third in the Lockinge and looks to have some scope to improve. His price looks too big.
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