QUEEN ANN STAKES – 1 MILE
Ervedya bids to repeat her win at this meeting last year when she landed the Coronation Stakes for Jean Claude Rouget and Christophe Soumillon. She had a neck to spare over Found that day and despite being beaten when an odds on favourite at Longchamp last time, she will certainly improve for the run and is likely to be much fitter. This one mile trip is likely to suit her much more than the seven furlongs did on her last outing and she has to be of obvious interest.
Tepin has only suffered defeat twice in a nine race career and the five year old has proved a revelation for her trainer Mark Casse. This is her first run outside of the a United States and whilst she certainly has to prove herself on European soil, she looks a very real threat. The form of Belardo’s win in the Lockinge doesn't look good enough and the likes of Limato has yet to conclusively prove he stays this far.
The home contingent just don't look strong enough to take the opening prize and it looks to be between France and the USA. With course and distance winning form on her side, Ervedya may just have the ability to come out on top.
E/W ALTERNATIVE: TEPIN
ST JAMES’ PALACE STAKES
The Gurkha was pulled from the Derby in order to go for this race and it could well prove a shrewd move by his top class trainer. A winner of his last two races he looks to have improved leaps and bounds from last year. Wins at Navan and Deauville have looked breathtaking and Ballydoyle will be looking to ensure that he carries that momentum forward. Ryan Moore is likely to retain the ride on this son of Galileo and the combination look one of the best bets at this year's Royal Meeting.
Awtaad was an easy winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh last month where he readily saw off the challenge of the English Classic winner Galileo Gold. This will be his first attempt outside of Ireland but he should confirm the form with the Hugo Palmer runner and make a bold bid for a fifth straight win. Kevin Prendergast is having a decent season ans this three year old son of Cape Cross will have a say in the finish. Ribchester caught the eye when staying on behind Galileo Gold in the Guineas. That was his first ever attempt at this trip and the recent Godolphin acquisition may well be playing for place money here with further improvement likely.
The Gurkha has won on ground with plenty of give on it so far this season and if the rain does arrive he will deliver another high quality performance. Ballydoyle know exactly what it takes to win this race as they have done so seven times since the turn of the century. The Gurkha can follow in the steps of Gleneagles, Mastercraftsman and Henrythenavigator to name just a few.
SELECTION: THE GURKHA
E/W ALTERNATIV: AWTAAD
DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE STAKES – 1 MILE
USHERETTE swept a few of these rivals aside when winning the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket last month. Those trailing in her wake included Arabian Queen and Irish Rookie. Andre Fabre is an excellent trainer and he brings this four-year-old daughter of Shamardal across the English Channel for yet another lucrative raid. With Amazing Maria likely to contest the Queen Anne instead, this pot looks to be there for the taking.
Irish Rookie will appreciate the return to home soil and she has improved as the season has progressed. She was beaten six lengths by the selection at Newmarket but then recorded a fine second to Devonshire in a Group Two at The Curragh. She saw off the re-opposing Lucida and can confirm the form with the Jim Bolger-trained filly.
Miss Temple City is an American raider that ventured across the Atlantic last year. She ran a mighty race to finish fourth to Ervedya at this meeting and now she has secured a morale-boosting win on her most recent start, further improvement could be forthcoming.
Usherette is likely to be partnered yet again by the brilliant Mikael Barzalona and the two have built up a formidable partnership. Together they can continue the excellent record that four-year-olds have in this race and record another big win for Godolphin.
E/W ALTERNATIVE: IRISH ROOKIE
ROYAL HUNT CUP – 7 FURLONGS
BALMORAL CASTLE has returned as good as ever this season and put on a dominant display when recently winning over the course and distance by no fewer than five lengths. On that occasion he saw off the likes of Chevallier, Bastille Day and Oasis Spear and all three have come out to win subsequently. Provided that he gets a fair draw, he should be more than capable of making his presence felt.
Buckstay is a veteran of these cavalry charges and despite having to carry a big weight, he will relish a return to this track. He always runs with his heart on his sleeve and it is difficult to see him not being involved in the finish. GM Hopkins will appreciate the return to this level having been swept aside quite readily in the Lockinge last time.
This dual course and distance winner bids to defend his crown and he looks to have solid place claims yet again. Johnny Portman doesn’t have the biggest stable in the world but usually his runners are worth following. With Balmoral Castle likely to have improved again since his last run it would be foolish to dismiss his chances.
SELECTION: BALMORAL CASTLE
E/W ALTERNATIVE: BUCKSTAY
GOLD CUP – 2 MILES 4 FURLONGS
ORDER OF ST GEORGE returned with a good win in a listed contest at Leopardstown just last week. That seemed to be an ideal preparation for this race and he comes here in search of a fifth straight win. He has not looked back since winning at Down Royal last July and the further he goes the better he looks. Aiden O'Brien has his team in excellent shape yet again this season and he bids to win the race for a seventh time.
Max Dynamite was a valiant runner-up in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington last autumn and looks set to head a list of dangers. He may have fluffed his lines on his seasonal return when only third to the likely re-opposing Pallasator but he is extremely likely to improve for that experience. Fly With Me is an interesting French raider; if there is any softening of the ground that would certainly bring him into the equation.
Order Of St George is the highest rated horse in this line up and he looks to be one of the best chances for Ballydoyle this week and with Ryan Moore likely to take the ride, this looks a combination destined to go close.
SELECTION: ORDER OF ST GEORGE
E/W ALTERNATIVE: MAX DYNAMITE
WOKINGHAM HANDICAP - 6 FURLONGS
NINJAGO is only having his second start for Paul Midgeley but he ran with credit on his only appearance for the trainer so far. That came when fourth at York over the minimum trip. He will be much better over this distance having won a listed race here just a couple of seasons ago. He is beginning to look like a well-handicapped sort and with Danny Tudhope likely to ride, the duo could be in line to land this valuable prize.
Flash Fire won the Victoria Cup over an extra furlong here last month and if the ground is like a road, his chances of winning would be seriously increased. He loves to hear his hooves rattle and Charlie Appleby clearly has him back to somewhere near his best. He has won at this trip in the past and the step back is unlikely to cause him too much of an inconvenience. Lancelot Du Lac was an excellent third in the race last year and he is set to race here off the same mark. If he gets a higher draw this time around, things may turn out very different.
Ninjago is taken to improve again since leaving the Richard Hannon yard team and given that he is versatile regarding ground conditions, he can deliver a power-packed performance. He should be cherry ripe following his recent pipe opener and a bold bid is expected.
E/W ALTERNATIVE: FLASH FIRE