After a memorable opening day of Royal Ascot 2020, the action continues with seven more top class races on Wednesday
Titanic finishes, brilliant performances, fairytale results and a 50th winner for trainer John Gosden courtesy of Frankly Darling combined to form an unforgettable first day of the 2020 Royal Meeting. And as we head into day two there is plenty on the card to look forward to as the action on the track continues on a revamped and extended Wednesday schedule.
The highlight of the seven-race card is the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (race four, 1500), with the top three in the betting all past winners at Royal Ascot. Last year’s impressive winner of the King Edward VII Stakes, Japan, went on two wins two Group 1 contests later in the season and is a warm favorite on his seasonal reappearance.
His chief rivals in the seven-runner field look to be the 2017 St James’s Palace Stakes winner, Barney Roy, and the fast-improving Addeybb, the winner of the 2019 Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot. Addeybb lines up on Wednesday having already won a pair of Grade 1 races in Australia earlier this year.
In the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes (race two, 1350), Frankie Dettori takes the ride on First Receiver, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute for Her Majesty The Queen. Given the connections there will be no more popular winner this week if First Receiver can win, but the three-year-old colt must overcome some talented and potentially improving rivals if he is to prevail.
The Queen, 94, is a passionate racing fan but is this year unable to attend the five-day event for the first in her 68-year reign because of the coronavirus crisis. Her Majesty has penned a moving message to racing fans as she prepares to watch Royal Ascot 2020 from home. The touching statement has been printed in this year’s Royal Ascot racecards as the event is held behind doors for the first time.
The Queen wrote: “I send my best wishes to the thousands of racing professionals and enthusiasts who will join me in celebrating this year’s Royal Ascot.
“In these challenging times, we are once again delighted to welcome the best horses and jockeys from across the world and pay tribute to those who have helped make this race meeting possible.
“This year Ascot will feel different for many, as it is so often a chance for friends, families and colleagues to gather together and enjoy a shared passion.”
The Windsor Castle Stakes (race six, 1610) is the first two-year-old race of the meeting and looks a fascinating renewal on paper. Chief Little Hawk is the likely favorite for trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore, but American trainer Wesley Ward, who has had so much success with runners at Royal Ascot, is represented by the Sunshine City and Sheriff Bianco, both of whom have eye-catching pedigrees for this test.
Four valuable and ultra-competitive handicaps complete Wednesday’s card, including a perennial highlight of Royal Ascot, the Royal Hunt Cup (race five, 1535), where Jim Crowley has a leading chance to add to his three opening day winners aboard Alrajaa for trainer John Gosden.
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Edited Royal Ascot Press Release
Photo: The Queen arrives at Royal Ascot in 2019. Getty Europe