Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips

The opening day of Royal Ascot is always a cracker, with a trio of Group 1 races to look forward to on the card, including the St James’s Palace Stakes. The Racing Club insider is on hand to give his tips for all seven races on the card. 

2:30 – Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)

Favourites have won six of the last ten renewals of the Queen Anne, and I think the favourite FACTEUR CHEVAL has a big chance of continuing their excellent record in the race tomorrow. The French-trained 5YO may have been comfortably beaten by Big Rock at Ascot last season, but that was on soft ground and this better ground will suit the selection much better. His reappearance run at Meydan was a career best and I think he’ll prove he’s the class horse in the race here. 

Selection – FACTEUR CHEVAL (10/3 generally)

3:05 – Coventry Stakes (Group 2)

This looks wide open, and I’m willing to take a chance on one at a big of a price – Richard Hannon’s THE ACTOR. He was unlucky not to catch Arran when finishing runner-up on debut, staying on strongly at the finish, and he put that experience to good use when winning next time out at Newmarket. The form of that race has worked out extremely well, and the way he finished both of those races suggests he should relish this step up in trip. 

Selection – THE ACTOR (12/1 generally)

3:45 – King Charles III Stakes (Group 1)

I absolutely love BIG EVS for this. This is a race that it pays to have experience at Ascot (9 of the last 10 winners had previously raced at Ascot), and Big Evs seems to thrive here. He bolted up to win the Windsor Castle Stakes last season, and followed that up with wins at Group 2 and Group 1 level later that season. His reappearance win in Listed company at York proved he’s in excellent form, and although I do respect Regional, I think he’ll struggle to give the selection 6lbs at a course Big Evs clearly loves. 

Selection – BIG EVS (4/1 generally)

4:25 – St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1)

What a race this is going to be! Irish 2000 Guineas winner Rosallion is going to be a tough nut to crack, but NOTABLE SPEECH has already beaten him in the English equivalent and I don’t see the form reversing here. Charlie Appleby’s impressive colt absolutely flew home that day to beat Rosallion by a length and a half, and the form of that race has been working out nicely since. He’s now 4/4 and the way William Buick talks about this horse, it really sounds like they feel he can be the next superstar. 

Selection – NOTABLE SPEECH (11/10 generally) 

5:05 – Ascot Stakes (Class 2)

This race often springs a bit of a surprise, with 6 of the last ten winning at double-figure odds, and I think that could be the case again with NUSRET, who should relish this return to better ground. His record on soft or worse ground reads 2033027 (0-7), compared to his 423216114165 (4-12) record on good or better ground. His reappearance fifth in a Listed hurdles race was an excellent effort and this step up in trip should be right up his street. He’s a big price but I’d be confident he will at least finish in the top five.

Selection – NUSRET (12/1 generally)

5:40 – Wolferton Stakes (Class 1 Listed)

I’m struggling to get away from ISRAR here, who has by far the best form coming into the race and should prove too strong for his rivals. His two runs this season have seen him finish third in a Group 3 and most recently runner-up in a Group 2, so this drop into Listed company should see him go one better. He’s well drawn in stall 8, proven on the ground and I think he will take all the beating. 

Selection – ISRAR (7/2 generally)

6:15 – Copper Horse Handicap (Class 2)

Willie Mullins saddled the 1-2 in this race last year and he looks to have a big chance of winning again this year with BELLOCIO. The 6YO had some good form over slightly shorter than this trip when in the hands of David Menusier, but he’s recently moved to the Mullins yard and made an impressive debut stepped up in trip on his first run this year. Admittedly that was over hurdles, but the master trainer rarely gets it wrong with these sort of races and I’m willing to trust his judgement in here. 

Selection – BELLOCIO (10/3 generally)


2:30 – FACTEUR CHEVAL (10/3 generally)

3:05 – THE ACTOR (12/1 generally)

3:45 – BIG EVS (4/1 generally)

4:25 – NOTABLE SPEECH (11/10 generally)

5:05 – NUSRET (12/1 generally)

5:40 – ISRAR (7/2 generally)

6:15 – BELLOCIO (10/3 generally)

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