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Racing Fans Must Wait Until Royal Ascot To Catch A Glimpse of Hugely Promising Frankel

The UK Flat Season is now in full swing and after most horses have had their seasonal debuts and the first classics of the season, the 2000 and 1000 Guineas have been run, the form book is beginning to take shape and attention now turns to the upcoming valuable races for horses with Group race prospects. First up is the Epsom Derby on Saturday 4th June but beyond that, attention is already turning to Royal Ascot with many bookmakers already offering antepost odds for many of the races at the five day meeting which is looked upon as the centrepiece of the UK Flat season and this year is run between Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th June. 

One of the most anticipated races at this year’s meeting is the Group One, St James Palace Stakes, which is run over a mile on the first day of the Royal meeting and has as its favourite, the hugely promising Frankel, emphatic winner of the 2000 Guineas.  His trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, has suggested that the horse will run in the race, preferring Royal Ascot to an early tilt over 12 furlongs in the Derby. Frankel is currently a 2/5 odds on favourite to win the race, with Wootton Bassett second favourite in the betting at odds of 11/2. The Richard Fahey runner has yet to race this season but unbeaten in five races so far in his career, he could be seriously underrated. Another notable contender is the David Simcock trained Dream Ahead who has also yet to run this season and has a big reputation based on what he showed as a juvenile.

Another intriguing Royal Ascot antepost market is the Prince of Wales Stakes, which is raced over 1 mile 2 furlongs and open to the older horses aged four years or more. Heading affairs is the Australian import, So You Think, who is spending the summer with Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle and comes to the UK with a huge reputation. He is a multiple Group One winner “Down Under” including the Cox Plate and Mackinnon Stakes and this son of High Chaparral has shown his very best form generally shown over 10 furlongs. He had a warm up run in a Group 3 at the Curragh which he won by an overwhelming ten lengths which is just one of the many reasons why he is a hot favourite in the Ascot odds to win the Prince of Wales Stakes.

In the Group One Queen Anne Stakes over a mile, all talk is about a possible match up between the brilliant Goldikova, winner of the race last year and three times Breeders Cup Mile winner, up against Canford Cliffs, Irish 1000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes winner and a horse that at the age of four is fast becoming one of the most exciting thoroughbreds in Europe. These two head the market in what would be an electrifying renewal and arguably could be the race of the week.

The Dermot Weld trained; Rite Of Passage looks set to defend his Ascot Gold Cup crown and is already the antepost favourite to win the race. The seven year old, who is the 5/1 favourite to win, has not been seen since winning the Gold Cup by a neck from Age Of Aquarius but it is understood that he is being prepared specifically for a repeat success. Possibly his biggest danger will come from the O’Brien trained, Fame And Glory, winner of the Irish Derby in 2009 after finishing second to Sea The Stars in the Epsom equivalent. O’Brien makes no secret of the fact that he would like to win this race again after his record breaking success with four time winner Yeats. Fame And Glory was clearly trialling for the race when he won the Listed Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in April but a decision as to his appearance at Ascot is still yet to be decided with concerns over the marathon 2miles 4 furlong trip.

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