Royal Ascot is the racing event of the summer and it promises to be extra special in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.
For the first time since 2019, a full crowd will soak up the atmosphere over the five days. From June 14, fans are looking forward to fast-paced action on the track and perhaps a winner or two. Queen Elizabeth II will have runners at the meeting where she won the feature race, the Gold Cup, in 2013 with Estimate.
The royal procession of carriages is a fine spectacle to start each afternoon in front of the grandstands. Last year’s fixture had a restricted attendance, however fans are keen to return and see the action live. Many celebrities will also be back on-course, where fashion will be at a premium.
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Overall there are 35 races for punters to solve, including the Gold Cup on Ladies Day, June 16. Around 44,000 spectators per day will be expected to head to the Berkshire venue. The prize money on offer amounts to £8.65 million, up significantly on the 2019 figure of £7.33 million.
In April, entries from nine countries have been unveiled for the eight Group 1 contests, including the highest-rated sprinters Nature Strip, Golden Pal and Home Affairs. On the home team, the star of the show is the William Haggas-trained Baaeed, who is the odds on favourite for the Queen Anne Stakes which kickstarts proceedings on the Tuesday.
Royal Ascot 2022 race schedule
Tuesday 14th June 2022
14:30 – Queen Anne Stakes
15:05 – Coventry Stakes
15:40 – King’s Stand Stakes
16:20 – St James’s Palace Stakes
17:00 – Ascot Stakes
17:35 – Wolferton Stakes
18:10 – Copper Horse Stakes
Wednesday 15th June 2022
14:30 – Queen Mary Stakes
15:05 – Queen’s Vase
15:40 – Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
16:20 – Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
17:00 – Royal Hunt Cup
17:35 – Windsor Castle Stakes
18:10 – Kensington Palace Stakes
Thursday 16th June 2022
14:30 – Norfolk Stakes
15:05 – King George V Stakes
15:40 – Ribblesdale Stakes
16:20 – Gold Cup
17:00 – Britannia Stakes
17:35 – Hampton Court Stakes
18:10 – Buckingham Palace Stakes
Friday 17th June 2022
14:30 – Albany Stakes
15:05 – Commonwealth Cup
15:40 – Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
16:20 – Coronation Stakes
17:00 – Sandringham Stakes
17:35 – King Edward VII Stakes
18:10 – Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes
Saturday 18th June 2022
14:30 – Chesham Stakes
15:05 – Jersey Stakes
15:40 – Hardwicke Stakes
16:20 – Platinum Jubilee Stakes
17:00 – Wokingham Stakes
17:35 – Golden Gates Stakes
18:10 – Queen Alexandra Stakes
Royal Ascot ante-post betting tips
With latest odds for each race.
Tuesday – King’s Stand Stakes
Golden Pal 5-2
Some of the best sprinters around are due to line up for the Group 1 on the opening afternoon. Golden Pal will be looking to confirm his status as America’s leading hope from Wesley Ward’s stable. Last seen taking a Grade 2 at Keeneland by nearly five lengths, the four-year-old raced with all his old zest to go well clear in the closing stages.
At Royal Ascot in 2020, he set out to make all the running in the Norfolk Stakes but he was overhauled in the final strides by The Lir Jet. He also met with defeat York in the last Flat season. However, Ward really rates the horse and believes he is much better than that run.
With a favourable draw, Golden Pal should put in a bold show for connections and is a worthy favourite.
Wednesday – Prince of Wales’s Stakes
“Adayar is most likely to be heading towards the Prince of Wales’s [at Royal Ascot] for the first start of his four-year-old career,” said Charlie Appleby.
The 2021 Derby winner was due to head back to Epsom for the Coronation Cup, until a setback held up his training. The yard’s horses have continued where they left off last season, with a hat-trick of 2,000 Guineas. Adayar started his season early enough last April, before going on to record a shock victory in the colts’ Classic. His King George triumph was an excellent piece of form given the exploits of runner-up Mishriff at York.
Fourth in the Arc after making a bold bid from the front, the way he raced on Champions Day subsequently suggested that effort had taken its toll. The team have given him plenty of time and the extra few weeks should be ideal for the royal meeting in mind.
Thursday – Hampton Court Stakes
Reach For The Moon 2-1
Originally The Queen’s Derby horse, the son of Sea The Stars took some time to come to hand following an injury. A smart juvenile, he just missed the target at this meeting last year, by half-a-length in the Chesham.
Frankie Dettori put the emphasis on stamina that day over the seven furlongs, with his mount’s pedigree suggesting that he would excel over longer distances. Out of a mare that has produced two 1m 4f scorers, plus his Derby-winning sire, on the book he had all the attributes of an Epsom contender.
But John Gosden, who trains with his son Thady, earmarked Royal Ascot from some way out and the three-year-old is the early favourite for the Hampton Court Stakes.
The way he raced at Sandown on seasonal debut, prominently showing plenty of pace, suggests the shorter trip may be preferable to the King Edward VII Stakes. It is also a level down from that race and would give the Queen an excellent chance of a winner on such an important occasion.
Friday – Albany Stakes
Pillow Talk 12-1
The market for this two-year-old contest for fillies, over a sprint trip, is headed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Meditate.
The master trainer has many renewals of races of his CV, however he has only taken this once since 2002, when Brave Anna struck in 2016.
Karl Burke is a handler on the roll of honour, as Dandalla blew away the opposition by six lengths in 2020. This year he looks to have a candidate capable of regaining the crown, as Pillow Talk is one of a number of nice juvenile fillies he trains.
The first foal out of a half-sister to 2017 Gimcrack winner Sands Of Mali, a race run over six furlongs, she kept on well towards the finish at York on May 13. That win followed a fine debut against more experience rivals and with work to do from her draw.
Burke also trained the runner-up on the Knavesmire so he has a good guide to the strength of the form. He also trains Dramatised, for the same Clipper Logistics team who is fancied for the Queen Mary – and Pillow Talk is a nice each-way price for this alternative assignment.
Saturday – Hardwicke Stakes
Third Realm 9-1
Roger Varian trained Defoe to land the 2019 renewal, carrying the colours of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum to victory.
And there is a strong chance of a repeat, with Third Realm in the running for the 1m 4f test. He appeared to need his Ascot reappearance run and no horse was going to defeat the revitalised Al Aasy there.
Nevertheless it gave him course experience ahead of the big event and a steady gallop was never going to suit this strong galloper. At Goodwood subsequently, he came with a sweeping run and went on to record a six-length score.
Lone Eagle, rated 119 coming into it, did not run his race, however he was a further length-and-a-quarter behind. Third Realm picked off his Listed rivals easily and although he has to step up again for this Group 2, he might just be capable of doing so.