Royal Ascot is finally upon us, and here we take a look at the favourites to win each of the races on day one.
The 2023 renewal of Royal Ascot is finally upon us, with the today being the first of four enthralling days of world class horse racing for fans to enjoy. There are a total of 7 races set to take place today, from the Queen Anne Stakes to the Copper Horse Handicap, which is the final race of the day.
Day One will be notable for a whole host of reasons, with one being that this will be the final Royal Ascot for the legendary Frankie Dettori, who is set to retire this year. Dettori is set to ride Chaldean in the St. James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday.
Dettori is the most successful active jockey to be taking part at this year’s meeting at Ascot Racecourse with no less than 77 Royal Ascot wins to his name as of the time of writing. The Italian has also been the leading jockey on 7 occasions over the years.
Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) – 14:30
The Queen Anne Stakes gets us underway on day one of this year’s Royal Ascot. Baaeed, ridden by Jim Crowley met expectations as the race favourites, winning the race in style whilst beating the likes of Real World, Order of Australia and Chindit to the win in the 2022 edition of this race.
In 2023, Modern Games is seen as the most likely winner of this year’s Queen Anne Stakes. Modern Games came second in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in July 2022, only losing out to Baaeed. The most recent race the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury back on 20th May 2023, which Modern Games won ahead of Chindit and Berkshire Shadow.
Modern Games also came second in the Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes in the United States in April, which followed a win in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland, where William Buick rode Modern Games to victory ahead of the likes of Shirl Speight, Kinross and Ivar.
Coventry Stakes (Group 2) – 15:05
2022’s winner of the Coventry Stakes was Bradsell, ridden by jockey Hollie Doyle who finished ahead of Persian Force and Royal Scotsman who rounded off the top three in this race. The favourite for this edition of the race was Blackbeard, but jockey Ryan Moore had to settle for fourth place on the day.
Moore returns to Royal Ascot this year, and he will be riding River Tiber, who is the favourite for the Coventry Stakes in 2023. Form has been very good in recent times for River Tiber, who has won both of the last two races. The first win came in April 2023 in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden race at Navan, finishing ahead of Zona Verde, St. Laurence’s Gate and Smash Factor. A victory in the Coolmore Stud Calyx race at Naas followed a month later, finishing ahead of Tourist and I Am Invictus.
King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1)– 15:40
Coolangatta, ridden by James McDonald, is seen by many as the favourite to win this year’s King’s Stand Stakes. Form has most certainly been promising for Coolangatta, with two wins in the last three races. The first of these victories came in the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes, finishing ahead of Bella Nipotina, Zoustyle and favourite Rothfire, who had to settle for 5th place.
A win would then follow in the Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington, where Coolangatta was once again on top form, winning the race ahead of the likes of I Wish I Win, Bella Nipotina and September Run. Favourite Nature Strip finished in 6th.
Nature Strip, ridden by jockey Chris Waller, was the winner of this race in 2022 with Twilight Calls and Acklam Express rounding off the top three.
St. James’s Palace Stakes – 16:20
Frankie Dettori, racing at Royal Ascot for the final time before retirement, will be riding Chaldean, son of Frankel, is seen as the leading contender to win the St. James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday. Form has certainly been very positive in the last few months.
Chaldean most recently won the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse on 6th May 2023. Dettori was able to hold off strong competition from Hi Royal and Royal Scotsman to end the race in front. This was a second victory in the last three races, also winning the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, also at Newmarket, on 8th October 2022.
Ascot Stakes – 17:00
The Ascot Stakes is set to be the third to last race on Day One of this year’s Royal Ascot. 2022’s race saw Coltrane take home the victory on the day, ahead of Bring On The Night and Arcadian Sunrise in the final standings. This year, Calling The Wind is seen as the leading contender to win the Ascot Stakes this year.
This will be a first ever Royal Ascot appearance for rising star Billy Loughnane who, aged just 17 only took out his licence last season and has recorded victories in his last two races, most recently with Matty Too in the Grey Slate – Neil Phillips Memorial Handicap. Loughnane has ridden no less than 57 winners this year.
Wolferton Stakes – 17:35
The Wolferton Stakes is the penultimate race on the opening day of Royal Ascot, with the favourite being Bolshoi Ballet, ridden by jockey Ryan Moore. Form has been solid with two 3rd place finishes in the last three races. Moore and Bolshoi Ballet’s most recent race was in 20th May 2023, finishing 3rd in the Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury.
The winner of the Wolferton Stakes in 2022 was Dubai Future, ridden by jockey Daniel Tudhope. Tudhope is a serial race winner at Royal Ascot, and he will be hoping to follow up his four wins at Royal Ascot in 2022 with further victories in 2023.
Copper Horse Handicap – 18:10
The Copper Horse Handicap rounds off the enthralling racing action on the first day, with Berkshire Rocco the favourite to win the race despite having no wins in the last two races. However, in the Uniboosts A Day Conditions Stakes in February 2023, Berkshire Rocco finished in 2nd place with Earl of Tyrone winning the race.
Get Shirty, ridden by serial Royal Ascot race winner Daniel Tudhope, won the 2022 edition of the Copper Horse Stakes, finishing ahead of Cleveland and Okita Soushi who were ridden by Ryan Moore and Declan McDonogh respectively.
We are looking forward to four days of world class horse racing at Ascot this week, but excitement is already building for Royal Ascot in 2024!
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