The first day of Royal Ascot takes centre stage on Tuesday as the eyes of the racing world turn their attention to the Berkshire track for the biggest Flat meeting of the year.
Although this year’s Royal Ascot will have a very different feel with no fans or even the Queen in attendance, Tuesday’s seven-race card promises plenty of excitement with two Group 1s and three Group 2 clashes to look forward to, getting underway at 13:15 with the final race due off at 16:40.
Betfred are offering extra places on three races on the opening day, including in the first Group 1 of the afternoon, the Queen Anne Stakes at 13:50.
Circus Maximus is the 3/1 favourite as Aidan O’Brien’s charge bids for a second straight victory at Royal Ascot having won the St James’s Palace Stakes last year.
However, the field features no less than three other previous Royal winners, while the mount of Frankie Dettori, Terebellum (10/3), holds serious claims after impressing on his seasonal bow at Newmarket.
There is also plenty of interest in the Ribblesdale Stakes at 14:25 where the daughter of Frankel, Frankly Darling, is the 11/8 favourite, while Mogul (5/6) will look to enhance his Investec Derby claims in the King Edward VII Stakes at 15:00.
The second Group 1 of the day, the King’s Stand Stakes, looks to be all about Charlie Hills’ 4/5 favourite Battaash on the surface but there are doubts about his credentials.
The six-year-old has failed in his two previous attempts to win this race and his stablemate Equilateral (11/1) is one of those who could spoil another Ascot outing for Battaash. Glass Slippers (5/1) also looks a threat.
Betfred are offering a host of specials markets for Royal Ascot, including top trainer, top jockey and several Pick Your Punt options, including 2/1 on The Queen owning a winner at this year’s meeting.
While there is no accompaniment to day one of the Royal meeting from Ireland, there are cards at Thirsk, Chelmsford City and Windsor to support the main event.
Thirsk stages a 10-race meeting during the afternoon, getting underway at 13:00 with the last race due off at 17:50.
The evening’s entertainment kicks off at Chelmsford at 16:00 where their 10 race card runs until 20:45, while Windsor have eight races to look forward, starting at 17:00 with the final action of the meeting set to take place at 20:30.