Prix de Diane is the highlight as Royal Ascot countdown continues
It's a week that is all about the build-up to Royal Ascot and our countdown steps up a notch with news, big interviews and features on the leading contenders and their connections. Classic glory is also up for grabs with the Prix de Diane taking place at Chantilly on Sunday.
Racing returns to Worcester, where owners and trainers were left appalled at the facilities on ladies’ day earlier this month, but there is a healthy turnout out on the track again despite the scathing criticism.
Weekend entries will be confirmed in the afternoon, consistent handicapper Malaysian Boleh hits the century mark at Brighton and seeing as it is the start of the week, evening entertainment is forthcoming from Windsor.
Our Royal Ascot countdown continues with Steve Dennis looking back on a memorable Lester Piggott tale at the meeting in part five of our stunning moments series.
One potential runner to keep an eye on in the evening is Portrush Ted, successful in the Grade 2 bumper at the Grand National meeting in April, and entered to make his hurdling debut at Southwell.
Big-race entries will be the order of the day as fields for day one of Royal Ascot will start to take shape, while ante-post markets will be updated and formed for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Bunbury Cup following the latest confirmation stage.
Mick Channon will be hoping to make his mark at Royal Ascot, 25 years on from his first winner at the meeting, and an interview with the in-form trainer will be available online and in Wednesday’s edition.
The level of prize-money at Chelmsford continues to impress and they host three handicaps in the afternoon worth a total of £140,000. The entries suggest they will rightfully be hotly contested.
Football fever will reach boiling point as the World Cup gets under way with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in the only game on the opening day. If you’re not a fan, it’s going to be a long month.
Racing fans can rejoice too as Listed and Group action takes place at Newbury and Leopardstown, with Emmaus, an absentee at Haydock on Saturday on account of quick ground, a possible runner in the Ballycorus Stakes.
Lewis Porteous assesses the international contenders at Royal Ascot in Thursday’s paper – available online at 6pm on Wednesday – while entries for day two of the meeting will arrive early on Thursday afternoon, with the latest confirmations and omissions for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, Queen Mary Stakes and Royal Hunt Cup among others.
All preferences are catered for with Listed action in the Ganton Stakes at York complemented by a £15,000 seller, while jump racing takes place in the afternoon at Newton Abbot, where past summer stars Hammersly Lake and Bagad Bihoue are entered in the feature 2m5f handicap chase, and in the evening at Aintree.
Jason Weaver features in an interview in Friday’s paper – online from 6pm on Thursday – recalling Royal Ascot wins on Bijou D'Inde and Double Trigger and talking about his role with ITV, while entries for day three of the meeting will be confirmed.
A typically busy Saturday with seven meetings in Britain, featuring Listed contests in the Randox Health Scurry Stakes at Sandown and Sky Bet Grand Cup at York.
York is also the scene of the Macmillan charity race and racegoers on the Knavesmire will see Love Island's Chris Hughes and Sarah Fanning, wife of jockey Joe, among the 11 riders in the saddle, raising money for the worthwhile cause.
Classic glory is up for grabs in France as the Prix de Diane takes place at Chantilly.
There is also Listed action at Salisbury where the Cathedral Stakes, won five times in the last seven years by the Hannon family, is the feature event.
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