Day 1 – Tuesday night/Wednesday morning
RACE 1 – GROUP 1 QUEEN ANNE STAKES (1600M) – 11.30pm (AEST)
There’s no mucking around with arguably the best race of the Carnival getting things underway. The Queen Anne Stakes, which is run down the straight mile, has been won in recent years by the likes of Frankel, Canford Cliffs, Goldikova and even ex-Aussie Haradasun. This year’s edition features the most-anticipated clash in world racing between hulking Hong Kong hero Able Friend and French five-year-old Solow. The race also boasts another dual Group 1 winner in Night Of Thunder, who has been seemingly forgotten in the hype surrounding the “match race” between Able Friend and Solow.
RACE 3 – GROUP 1 KING’S STAND STAKES (1000M) – 12.45AM (AEST)
The first race featuring one the four Australian-trained horses is the King’s Stand Stakes. Oakleigh Plate winner Shamal Wind will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous Aussie winners Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast. Standing in her way is Irish sprinter Sole Power, who is looking for a third-straight victory in the race.
RACE 4 – GROUP 1 ST JAMES’S PALACE STAKES (1600m) – 1.20AM (AEST)
Unlike the Queen Anne Stakes which is run down the straight, the St James’s Palace Stakes for the three-year-olds is run around a bend. Aside from his debut victory, the closest they ever got to beating Frankel was in this race in 2011 following an interesting ride from jockey Tom Queally. This year the favourite is theAidan O’Brien-trained Gleneagles who is looking for a third-straight Group 1 victory.
Day 2 – Wednesday night/Thursday morning
RACE 4 – GROUP 1 THE PRINCE OF WALES’S STAKES (2000m) – 1.20AM (AEST)
The strongest race in terms of depth is the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2000m) which features the second of the Aussie runners for the week – Criterion. Despite his dominant Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory and honest third in the QEII Cup in Hong Kong, the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained four-year-old faces undoubtedly the toughest test of his career to date against a field that includes star gallopers from Ireland, England, France and Japan. The Dermot Weld-trained Free Eagle is the favourite, while lightly-raced Japanese six-year-old Spielberg boasts a win over Gentildonna and a third placing in last year’s Japan Cup.
Day 3 – Thursday night/Friday morning
RACE 4 – GROUP 1 THE GOLD CUP (4000m) – 1.25AM (AEST)
The Gold Cup is Britain’s premier staying event and is run over a gruelling two-and-a-half miles. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Yeats, who finished seventh in the 2006 Melbourne Cup, is the most successful horse in the history of the race having won the Gold Cup on four occasions between 2006-09.
Day 4 – Friday night/Saturday morning
RACE 3 – GROUP 1 THE COMMONWEALTH CUP (1200m) – 12.45AM (AEST)
The Commonwealth Cup for three-year-olds is the newest race at Royal Ascot. Introduced this year, it is also open to southern hemisphere-bred two-year-olds and though there were a couple of Australian nominations, unsurprisingly neither made the trip. We do have an Australian link in the race however with the Australian-bred and owned Home Of The Brave set to take his place.
RACE 4 – GROUP 1 CORONATION STAKES (1600m) – 1.25AM (AEST)
Run over the “old mile” around a bend, the Coronation Stakes is Royal Ascot’s premier race for fillies. This year’s race appears to be a clash between 1000 Guineas Stakes runner-up Lucida, Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Found and French Group 1 winning filly Ervedya.
Day 5 – Saturday night/Sunday morning
RACE 4 – GROUP 1 DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES (1200m) – 1.25AM (AEST)
The final Group 1 of the week features two Australian gallopers in the Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau andGai Waterhouse’s Wandjina. The pair will be aiming to emulate previous Aussie winners Choisir,Starspangledbanner and Black Caviar. Though Brazen Beau is rated the favourite in the early betting, Wandjina’s stamina may be an advantage down the testing Ascot straight.