Royal Ascot 2017 : Injured Frankie Dettori out of race

Royal Ascot 2017 : Injured Frankie Dettori out of race

Royal Ascot 2017 : Injured Frankie Dettori out of race

But it is a previous Queen Mary victor, the brilliant Lady Aurelia, whose appearance in Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes is most anticipated.

Her reappearance win at Keeneland in April was impressive and Ward, who has trained seven Royal Ascot winners, thinks she's back to her best.

Now 46 the enduringly popular Italian is enjoying a renaissance and heads to Royal Ascot with a book of rides that jockeys half his age would envy.

The Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, first run in 1840, opened the six-race card and was won in record time by favorite Ribchester under jockey William Buck. Then you have the proven Group 1 form of Qemah and last year's victor Usherette, not to mention the improving Mix And Mingle, who I rode to beat the Rouget Filly at Lingfield last time.

It's eight years since he became the first American trainer to score a victor at the royal meeting and since then he has added six more successes from just 34 runners, an incredible and enviable strike rate.

"This year the weather is great, the horses look well and everything looks wonderful".

As usual, the Queen will be holding court during what is acknowledged as her favourite week of the year.

She certainly has a big chance, especially on the quicker surface, but only two three-year-olds have won this race since the turn of the millennium.

Jean-Claude Rouget's filly hit the mark in the Coronation Stakes at this meeting previous year before going on to add the Prix Rothschild to her CV. But considering there are just 30 Royal Ascot races in all these are undeniably remarkable times in terms of strike-rate from this country. Lady Aurelia is out of D' Wildcat Speed (by Forest Wildcat), victor of the G2 Rampart Stakes.

"There's nothing like Royal Ascot".

Meanwhile, haute couture designer Isabell Kristensen, among others, has praised the Berkshire race meeting which is as much a social occasion as a celebration of sport.

With more than £6.5 million in prizes up for grabs, Royal Ascot is Britain's most valuable horse racing event and the 2017 edition is shaping up to be a huge success as well, taking place from 20th to 24th June. Miss Temple City has experienced running on a straight track before, so don't worry about that if you're thinking of betting on her.

Kate Middleton impressed the rest of the world with her elegance and style during a horse race that included Queen Elizabeth II.

Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup on 100-1 chance Prince of Penzance in 2015 and rides another long shot, Kaspersky, for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, who landed an 80-1 victor at Newbury last week.

Despite being quite stoutly bred by Galileo out of the Oaks victor Light Shift, Ulysses could be better suited by this distance as he didn't seem to get home when fourth in the Breeders Cup Turf and then made a fluent winning seasonal debut over a mile and a quarter in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown.

Dettori says it is "soul destroying as it's the most important week of the year".

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