Five from afar who could take Royal Ascot by storm
With entries for the eight Royal Ascot Group 1 races revealed on Wednesday, we take a look at some of the overseas contenders who could star in June
Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget
Target: Prince of Wales's Stakes
With Arrogate competing on dirt, California Chrome retired and Winx ruled out of a trip to Royal Ascot until next year, Almanzor is the highest-rated horse who could have been entered and happily his name does feature.
Jean-Claude Rouget is having a tough time of things at the moment with a virus affecting several of his horses, and what impact that has on Almanzor remains to be seen but the fact is, in achieving a World's Best Racehorse mark of 129, he was the top horse in Europe last year and it is going to take a good one to beat him wherever he goes in 2017.
The Prince of Wales's Stakes looks like being one of the races of the week, with Minding, Hawkbill, Jack Hobbs, Highland Reel and last year's winner My Dream Boat also entered, along with some star milers like Galileo Gold and Ribchester.
Trainer: Wesley Ward
Target: King's Stand Stakes or Commonwealth Cup
The King's Stand Stakes appears to be the target at this stage for a filly who left jaws dropped with her Queen Mary tour de force last summer.
While Lady Aurelia has the option of staying with her own age group in the Commonwealth Cup over six furlongs, it would appear five furlongs is much more to her liking and she showed her continued wellbeing with a smooth return to action at Keeneland this month.
The daughter of Scat Daddy promises to be one of the star attractions this summer and will be a popular pick to bag the feature sprint on the opening day.
Bound For Nowhere
Trainer: Wesley Ward
Target: Commonwealth Cup
Wesley Ward is always respected by British punters and there will also be plenty of interest in Bound For Nowhere, who is entered for the Commonwealth Cup along with Lady Aurelia.
Unbeaten in two starts, most recently last week at Keeneland, the son of The Factor is worth noting when Ward says, as he did on Wednesday: "I also have the colt Bound For Nowhere who is nominated for the Commonwealth Cup – he is undefeated and I'm excited about him."
Trainer: Mark Casse
Target: Coronation Stakes
Another potential American raider is La Coronel, representing trainer Mark Casse, the mastermind behind Tepin's Queen Anne success last summer.
La Coronel was an authoritative winner of a Grade 3 over a mile at Keeneland this month and will take on the opposite sex in the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs before making the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.
"She enjoys a little give in the ground and is a very smart filly, I think she'll handle Ascot fine," said Casse. "Tepin’s success at Ascot has definitely given us more confidence and a better understanding of the English style of racing."
Trainer: Freddy Head
Target: Queen Anne Stakes
Remember him? Solow brushed aside all before him as he went unbeaten in ten starts between August 2014 and March 2016 but last year was a write-off as a niggling injury refused to go away.
That remarkable run included the 2015 Queen Anne and the now seven-year-old gelding tantalisingly pops up among those in contention for this year's race.
Coming back from more than a year off is never easy but the vibes so far have been positive and if Solow can recapture his old form, there is no reason he cannot be a major player once again.