The specialists: must-have guide to four races trainers and jockeys target
In recent seasons these four names have put their stamp on four Royal Ascot races and they will certainly be worth keeping a keen eye on in the same contests next week.
Willie Mullins: Ascot Stakes (Tuesday)
Willie Mullins' dominance extends beyond the winter months and Ireland's champion jumps trainer has had a stranglehold on this 2m4f contest in recent years.
Lagostovegas was sent off a 10-1 shot and stayed on strongly in the 2018 running to hold off Dubawi Fifty by a length and become his trainer's fourth winner in the race since Simenon became his first winner at royal meeting in 2006.
Victories from Clondaw Warrior (2015) and the Rich Ricci-owned Thomas Hobson (2017) underlined Mullins' ability to prepare runners for this test of stamina, and punters would be wise to keep an eye on the Frankie Dettori-ridden Buildmeupbuttercup.
Willie Mullins' Ascot Stakes winners
2018 Lagostovegas (10-1)
2017 Thomas Hobson (4-1f)
2015 Clondaw Warrior (5-1f)
2012 Simenon (8-1)
Jamie Spencer: Sandringham Stakes (Friday)
In the last two seasons Jamie Spencer has made this three-year-old fillies' handicap his own and will doubtless be seeking a hat-trick this week.
The jockey won the race twice in four years with Red Evie (2006) and Moneycantbuymelove (2009), and joined forces with Wesley Ward to rediscover the winning formula when Con Te Partiro drew clear from 23 rivals in 2017.
Last year Spencer eased 11-2 favourite Agrotera to victory to confirm himself as the go-to jockey for this highly competitive contest.
Spencer has been provisionally booked to ride the George Margarson-trained Model Guest in the £90,000 handicap this year.
Jamie Spencer's Sandringham winners
2018 Agrotera (11-2f)
2017 Con Te Partiro (20-1)
2009 Moneycantbuymelove (9-2f)
2006 Red Evie (5-1f)
Sir Michael Stoute: Hardwicke Stakes (Saturday)
Sir Michael Stoute has an enviable Royal Ascot record and it is emphasised by his domination of the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
Since Maraahel's victory in the 1m4f contest in 2006, Stoute has won the race on seven occasions, most recently when Crystal Ocean justified 4-7 favouritism last season.
Crystal Ocean goes for Wednesday's Prince of Wales's Stakes, but Stoute could still hold a strong hand if he runs Mirage Dancer, who fits the bill as the progressive type his trainer typically excels with.
Sir Michael Stoute's Hardwicke winners
2018 Crystal Ocean (4-7f)
2016 Dartmouth (10-1)
2015 Snow Sky (12-1)
2014 Telescope (7-4f)
2012 Sea Moon (3-1f)
2010 Harbinger (8-11f)
2007 Maraahel (100-30)
2006 Maraahel (9-2)
Gordon Elliott: Queen Alexandra Stakes (Saturday)
Gordon Elliott is another Irish jumps trainer who has made a habit of putting the noses of his Flat colleagues out of joint with his excellent recent record in the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
Commissioned gave the trainer his first Ascot winner in the 2m5½f contest when advertising bottomless stamina to deny Cayirli under Adam Kirby in 2016. Two seasons later Pallasator followed suit and confirmed his trainer's ability to prepare horses for Flat racing's biggest stage.
The ten-year-old is set to return to Ascot to defend his crown this year and will surely come on plenty for his reappearance in the Listed Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown last month.
Gordon Elliott's Queen Alexandra winners
2018 Pallasator (11-2)
2016 Commissioned (12-1)
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