Another thrilling week of flat racing action saw more horses lay down a marker for Royal Ascot. We round up all the latest news ahead of the biggest race meeting of the summer as the world’s finest horses prepare to descend upon Ascot Racecourse for five days of unrivalled action.
Chester Cup star ready for Royal Ascot return
No Heretic who claimed the most dramatic of victories in the Chester Cup last week, is eyeing a return to Royal Ascot, three years after running in the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
Trained by National Hunt legend Nicky Henderson, the eight-year-old had had just one run since appearing on the flat at Salisbury in 2013. Sent off as an 11-1 shot for the famous handicap, it took all of Jamie Spencer’s experience to restrain his mount who pulled hard for the first two-miles.
But coming into the final two furlongs, No Heretic began to stay on well, his tussle with Nakeeta turned into a real epic entering the shadow of the post, but Spencer had done enough to grab the victory which was confirmed in a photo-finish.
Now the Ascot Stakes on the opening day of the Royal Meeting looks to be the main aim. After the race Henderson said: “It was a fantastic effort. He is a real individual and, as you saw in the race, he didn’t give Jamie Spencer any respite.
“He is a good jumper at home now but we will probably keep him on the Flat now and keep that up our sleeve for the autumn. He obviously stays fairly well. There is the Ascot Stakes, let’s have a look and see first.”
Solow will not defend his Queen Anne Stakes title on the opening day of Royal Ascot
Solow one of the superstars of last year’s Royal Meeting will not return to defend his Queen Anne Stakes crown this year after his connections revealed he has suffered a setback.
The six-year-old enjoyed an unbelievable campaign in 2015 winning six times a Group 1 level, ending the season as the premier miler in Europe.
Despite making a smooth reappearance in March, he suffered a blow to his hind leg and was forced to miss the Dubai World Cup Festival and it was also revealed that Royal Ascot is also out of the question.
Racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau said: “Solow has left to recuperate at the Haras de Saint-Leonard, following the blow he took to a hind leg during exercise. He will return to Freddy Head when he has totally recovered.”
Wesley Ward preparing to send more US stars to Royal Ascot
American trainer Wesley Ward is no stranger to success at Ascot and he looks set have another strong raiding party in 2016 after two-year-old filly Silvertoni took the Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
The 6-1 shot produced a striking performance under jockey Jose Valdivia Jr and landed the $100,000 prize. After two wins from two starts, a trip to Royal Ascot is now on the cards with the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes or the Group 3 Albany Stakes both under consideration.
After the race Ward said, “She’s a really nice filly, very talented. I think she’s going to get better as they go further.”
As Royal Ascot approaches are our packages are selling quickly, please follow the link to our Royal Ascot hospitality packages page for more information.