Some of the Tuesday stars

Royal Ascot tips: Day one preview and horses to follow

Our experts take a look through the entries for day one at Royal Ascot and answer some of the big questions facing punters on Tuesday.

The Queen Anne Stakes sees Royal Ascot start with a Group 1 bang – but who are the big players in this year’s event?

Matt Brocklebank: Inspiral is clearly a key part of the race again having been narrowly denied in it 12 months ago. She's got a huge amount of talent and has bounced back from more disappointing efforts than last month's Lockinge fourth in the past, but I do think she remains opposable on the straight course here at Ascot.

Lockinge one-two Audience and Charyn are obvious dangers, with the latter of serious interest if there's rain around. That would also bring in the French horses, Big Rock and Facteur Cheval, who have top-class form in the book and should also give Inspiral a proper race even if she's back to her best which isn't guaranteed.

John Ingles: As if often the case, the Lockinge supplies quite a few of the key contenders but whether the form of last month’s race is replicated is another matter. Inspiral and Big Rock will have to have come on plenty for their underwhelming reappearances at Newbury, so runner-up Charyn might be the one to take out of that race, with this stiffer track likely to suit his run style better than winner Audience.

Facteur Cheval was runner-up in Group 1 company on his two visits to Britain last year and is one to consider again, especially after looking better than ever in the Dubai Turf.

Ben Linfoot: I think Charyn is the improving older miler who is well placed to strike for the first time at Group 1 level in the here and now. He has looked a different model this season, he did much the best of those caught napping behind Audience in the Lockinge and I’d be surprised if he didn’t come out on top from the Newbury horses here.

I love Big Rock on soft or heavy ground, not so much on better conditions, so if there is a French-trained horse to scupper Roger Varian’s charge it could be Facteur Cheval, although I do worry about him being outpaced at a key stage.

Are you likely to be with the older campaigners or the three-year-old potential in the King Charles II Stakes?

Matt Brocklebank: You can't beat a bit of experience in the sprints at this level and while it's not a brilliant edition of the race, I do think Big Evs and the other young pretenders still have to step up another notch to be beating these more hardened older horses.

Believing has to be a player on the back of her Haydock victory, with talk of an Ascot double bid in the immediate aftermath of her winning the Achilles Stakes, while I've not yet given up on Rogue Lightning, who was well held by Kerdos in the Temple Stakes but would be happier here if the ground rides a bit quicker.

Kerdos' stablemate Diligent Harry is one to consider at a big price too. He's looked better than ever as a six-year-old this time around and only just missed out in the Duke of York when last seen - he looks a touch over-priced to me based on that evidence, coupled with his Al Quoz third earlier in the year.

John Ingles: Bradsell was a rare winner for the younger generation last year and while Big Evs will doubtless be popular to emulate him, he’ll need to do a lot better against his elders than he managed in the Nunthorpe last year.

Europe’s older sprinters might not be world-beaters, but Australian mare Asfoora got closer than most to beating ten-time Group 1 winner Imperatriz down under last year and she showed plenty of dash in the Temple Stakes recently before ultimately shaping as if needing the run. That should have put her spot-on for this with Oisin Murphy on board this time.

Ben Linfoot: A three-year-old won this last year in Bradsell and Big Evs obviously poses a big threat getting the weight-for-age, but I’m with the older brigade.

Again, I think Kerdos is improving at the right time and his upward trajectory led me to back him for a trainer in Clive Cox who knows what is required to win this race, while Regional would be the one I fear most as he looks to have the pace for a stiff five at this level despite doing the bulk of his racing over six furlongs.

Horse Racing Podcast: Royal Ascot Talking Points

The winners of the English, Irish and French Guineas clash in the St James’s Palace – is there a betting angle?

Matt Brocklebank: This is a cracking race as you might expect but I don't expect any shocks in truth and will not be rushing to oppose Notable Speech. I can't see that Rosallion improved much - if at all - to win the Irish Guineas and he was put in his place by the pacey Godolphin runner at Newmarket.

He looks a bit special and could be the one to take it to older horses in races like the Sussex Stakes and QEII later in the year.

John Ingles: Rosallion’s win at the Curragh entitles to him to plenty of respect, especially considering the ground he had to make up to get his head in front, but that really only served to underline how good a prospect Notable Speech is given how impressively he’d quickened away from Rosallion at Newmarket.

If there’s one to shake up the favourite, it could be Ballydoyle’s Henry Longfellow instead. He’s surely better than his run behind Metropolitan at Longchamp and it wouldn’t require a City of Troy-type bounce-back to put that behind him.

Ben Linfoot: I’m not sure yet but what a spectacle we have in store. I can’t wait to see Notable Speech again as he was a taking winner of a top-notch Qipco 2000 Guineas and I’m fascinated to see how Rosallion gets on against him in the rematch around a bend now he has his own Classic under his belt following victory in the Irish 2,000.

What a race it looks. I’d be surprised if Metropolitan can trouble the big two but his presence adds a vital formline.

Notable Speech is a brilliant winner of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas
Notable Speech was a brilliant winner of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas

Give us one other name to note for the Tuesday action…

Matt Brocklebank: The handicaps on day one could be dominated by the Irish as they're very well represented in both the Ascot Stakes and the Copper Horse Handicap, with Gentleman Joe of interest in the latter.

Trained by Henry De Bromhead, he didn't quite cut it over hurdles or fences but returned to the Flat scene with a fine second over a mile and a half at Dundalk in April, splitting rivals rated 105 and 99 with the 104-rated Tyson Fury - second at the Curragh since - back in fifth. He looks dead interesting here off a BHA mark in the mid-90s.

John Ingles: Andesite is one of 13 different two-year-old winners for Karl Burke already this season and this one’s certainly got a Royal Ascot pedigree, by the Chesham winner Pinatubo and a half-brother to his stable’s 2022 Queen Mary winner Dramatised. He was his sire’s first winner when getting up late for a short-head win on Dante day at York, looking a useful prospect, and seems sure to have learned a lot from that debut which will make him of plenty of interest in the Coventry Stakes.

Ben Linfoot: Loads to go at but I’m really looking forward to seeing Botanical in the Listed Wolferton Stakes over 10 furlongs. Roger Varian’s son of Lope De Vega couldn’t have been anymore impressive in handicap company at York last time out and he fully deserves his new rating of 107.

Tuesday’s test should tell us whether he could be even better than that number and I suspect he might be.

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