Expect fireworks on day one as big guns stand their ground
Day one at Royal Ascot on Tuesday looks likely to kick off with the usual bang after big guns Churchill, Ribchester and Lady Aurelia were declared for their assignments.
2,000 Guineas winner Churchill, who also won the Irish equivalent, will face seven in the St James's Palace Stakes with Barney Roy and Rivet, the mount of Andrea Atzeni, in opposition.
All 16 stand their ground in the Queen Anne, which Lockinge winner Ribchester is favourite for.
"He gives me the impression he is still improving and with that in mind, he should again hold Lightning Spear, who he beat at Newbury," his jockey William Buick said on Godolphin's website.
"He handled the soft ground very well that day, but he will be just as much at home on fast ground. It was good to firm when he finished a close third to The Gurkha in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last year."
The third Group 1 on Tuesday's card is the King's Stand Stakes, which has attracted 18 runners including Lady Aurelia, Marsha, Signs Of Blessing, Priceless and last year's first and second Profitable and Cotai Glory.
The going at Ascot was described on Sunday morning as good to firm, good in places with further watering planned for later in the day and on Monday morning in advance of a generally dry, warm spell before Friday.