High hopes for a clear victory before Raucous celebrations
British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies' Handicap | 7f | RUK
Downton Abbey comes to Hadrian's Wall country as Contentment bids to give her owners the perfect start to an important week.
She represents Highclere Thoroughbreds, a syndicate group named after the castle where the ITV series was filmed, whose familiar light blue colours have been carried to Royal Ascot success by stars such as Harbinger, Memory and Telescope in recent years.
The William Haggas-trained filly has some way to go to match that trio, but she looks to be on the up judged on her maiden success at Goodwood last month.
"We felt she was a lovely filly last year but she took a bit of time to get rolling and to get her strength," said racing manager Harry Herbert.
"She was impressive at Goodwood and this looks a nice spot for her. I'd like to hope she is progressive – and if she is she should be very competitive."
Wokingham hope Raucous will be Highclere's only runner at Royal Ascot, as Herbert said: "It has always been my rule that we run horses who have proper chances. No-one gets fun out of seeing horses run for the sake of it and I don't think it does the horses any good at all.
"Raucous likes the hustle and bustle of a lot of runners and he loves top of the ground."
Me me me
Just 40 minutes before the Wokingham, Quiet Reflection will bid for a second Royal Ascot success in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes for Karl Burke and the Ontoawinner syndicate – whose Seduce Me lines up here.
"Seduce Me is in very good form," the trainer said on Sunday. "I wouldn't want the ground to dry up much more than it has but she goes there in great shape.
"She ran a sound race at Nottingham and stays a mile, so she will want a strong gallop dropping back to seven furlongs, although she's not short of pace."
Ribchester's trainer Richard Fahey runs Greenview Paradise, who is a seven-race maiden but who was beaten just a short head in a Beverley handicap last week.