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What a start to Royal Ascot

3 minute read

The opening day of the Royal Meeting must be one of the most exciting in a long time.

NATURE STRIP prior to winning the King's Stand Stakes
NATURE STRIP prior to winning the King's Stand Stakes Picture: Alex Steedman

At least it was from our perspective a few thousand miles away but the sun was out, the course looked fantastic and the horses beautiful.

The traditional start to the meeting, the Queen Anne, saw the wonderful Baaeed at his imperious best in defeating Real World by 1 ¼ lengths and in record time.

Then the 2yos were quite well behaved as the 17 runners entered the stalls in the Coventry Stakes over 1200m and it was a perfect trip for Bradsell with Hollie Doyle riding the son of Tasleet for Archie Watson.  Persian Force was the second home but could not catch the winner and it was Royal Scotsman on 12/1 that ran third and Blackbeard 4th.

Then followed a huge moment for Australian racing when Nature Strip got a perfect trip and a perfect ride from J Mac although it looked for an awful moment in the closing stages that a riderless horse might interfere but fortunately he got over the line without any mishap and establish a new record in the process and the King's Stand Trophy was once again in Australian hands.

The race was not without incident as Jamie Spencer's horse knuckled down at the start and left Jamie in the gates, another horse was scratched when it wouldn't load and the favourite Golden Pal blew the start and had to use petrol to catch up which meant he didn't have any left to finish the race and came home at the wrong end of the field.

While the rest of the field was way back behind Nature Strip from that bunch Twilight Calls and Acklam Express – the highest placed 200/1 runner at Royal Ascot since records were started in 1988 – emerged to take the placings.

The St James's Palace Stakes saw Coroebus tough it out to finally find the gap and win for Appleby-Buick.  It was a good result in the end as Buick kept his cool and while jammed in on the rails waited for a way through to appear and when it did he had enough horse to produce a good finish.  Lusail on 28/1 finished second and My Prospero 4/1 third.

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