Shea Shea: last year's runner-up is drawn in stall two for King's StandPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Speedsters set to do battle in King's Stand
SPEED rules on the opening day of the royal meeting and the prize for the swiftest of all is contested by a field which includes the first four home 12 months ago.
Sole Power and Shea Shea were separated by a quarter of a length in the King's Stand last year, and have finished within a head of each other in both subsequent British meetings.
Shea Shea's trainer Mike de Kock is hoping there will be some pace for his runner to latch onto, as he said: "We'd have liked to have been drawn towards the middle, as a lot of the speed is there and we need a fast horse drawn near us."
Favourite for the race is Temple Stakes winner Hot Streak, and trainer Kevin Ryan said: "He's in very good form. He's come out of Haydock very well and I'm happy with him going to the race. We're looking forward to running him."
Royal Ascot takes centre stage for the week, with the King's Stand one of three Group 1s on today's card. There is also Flat racing from Brighton, Nottingham and Thirsk. Over jumps there are cards at Sligo and Stratford.
Today's key pointer
Nine of the 14 winners of the St James's Palace Stakes this century had also run in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh that season, finishing 211041111. Kingman makes obvious appeal at 4.25.
Pointer appears from Raceform Interactive
Brighton: good to firm
Nottingham: good to firm, good in places
Sligo: good to yielding
Stratford: good to firm, good in places (watered)
Thirsk: good to firm (watered)