3 Horses From The Weekend Racing That Can Star At Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is set to showpiece the premier equine talent in mid-June
Royal Ascot is set to showpiece the premier equine talent in mid-June

Steve Chambers picks out three horses that ran over the weekend, who could go on to run well at Royal Ascot in June...

We are just over a month away from Royal Ascot, and with a reduced number of racegoers set to be present at the Berkshire racecourse over the five-day Flat extravaganza, the excitement is building. On the track, horses are beginning to be prepped for a crack at one of the prestigious races over the week, and we pick out three horses that ran an eye-catching trial for the Royal meeting, and could well taste victory during the star-studded week.

Joan Of Arc - 12/1 for the Coronation Stakes

Aidan O'Brien's Joan Of Arc was a hugely impressive winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday afternoon, and the daughter of Galileo is destined to have a sensational campaign at the highest level. The manner in which she quickened and maintained a notable advantage over her rivals in the Group 3 event showed that she is all class, and there's sure to be more improvement to come over the next few months.

In the aftermath of the race, O'Brien was quick to point out that the Irish 1000 Guineas in a couple of weeks would be the next port of call, but the exciting talent could well use that Classic event as a springboard to the Coronation Stakes, Immediately cut from 20/1 to 12/1 for the Coronation Stakes, Joan Of Arc was also slashed in the Cazoo Oaks betting (20s into 10s), but with Santa Barbara spearheading the potential Oaks crew for Ballydoyle then Joan Of Arc can take her chance in the Coronation.

The O'Brien-trained Winter was a fine winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas before going on to claim glory in the Coronation Stakes back in 2017, so while there's not too long in between the Group 1 events, Joan Of Arc can be readied by her trainer for both, and having blossomed at the weekend, she could well become one of the star three-year-old fillies of the season.

Coronation Stakes
Joan Of Arc silk

Joan Of Arc

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Cape Byron - 12/1 for Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Roger Varian's Cape Byron outclassed a small, but select field in a conditions event at Haydock on Saturday, and the consistent, seven-year-old sprinter is now destined for a crack at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes next month. Beating the top notch duo of Brando and Khaadem in Saturday's contest, Varian's charge has now been earmarked for a crack at the Diamond Jubilee, as with a rise in the handicap imminent, he's likely to be rated too high for one of the fiercely competitive handicaps run during the five days at Royal Ascot.

A winner of the 2019 Wokingham Stakes at the Royal meeting, Cape Byron often produces his best at the Berkshire track, as he won the Bengough Stakes that same campaign, and a return to the venue next month looks on the cards, however, he does face his toughest test to date.

Hovering around the 12/1 mark for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, which is a 6f Group 1 race run on the final day of the meeting, Cape Byron will need to improve on that Haydock success if he is to stand a chance against some of the top sprinters in training. He maybe seven years old, but he still looks to be firing on all cylinders, and with such an eye-catching record at Ascot, then he's one to keep on side with, as he's sure to run a mighty race, as he goes in search of a second Royal Ascot win.

Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Cape Byron silk

Cape Byron

Escobar - Royal Hunt Cup

David O'Meara's Escobar was no match for the classy River Nymph in the Victoria Cup at Ascot over the weekend, but the former can use that contest as a springboard to the Royal Hunt Cup in a few weeks time. Staying on eye-catchingly well through the final two furlongs, Escobar will relish a step back up to a mile, and the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot looks tailor-made for the seven-year-old.

Formerly rated in the low 110s, Escobar was last seen at Royal Ascot finishing down the field in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes last year, but while he's never managed to land a blow at the highest level, he's been a top notch handicapper for several years. A former winner of the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on British Champions Day back in 2019, Escobar has shown his love for fiercely competitive, bumper fields, and the Royal Hunt Cup looks the obvious destination next.

He was 11th in the 2018 running of the race off a mark of 99, but he's a significantly better horse these days, and now rated in the low 100s it could be his season to blossom in the one-mile handicap conundrum. Everything will have to fall right for him, as he will be looking to scythe through the field in the closing stages, but having shown a real zest for Ascot, and having shown a lot of talent on his day, Escobar is certainly one worth noting for the Royal Hunt Cup next month.

Ascot Odds
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