Ribchester is the biggest name among a stellar cast at Royal Ascot tomorrow and it is difficult to envisage a scenario which will see him beaten in the Queen Anne Stakes.
A winner at the meeting last year in the Jersey Stakes, he went on to prove himself as one of the best milers in Europe when successful in the Prix Jacques le Marois.
His best effort might have been when narrowly failing to reel in Minding in the QEII but he has returned this year better than ever.
Malton’s Richard Fahey sent him to Dubai but he just failed to see out nine furlongs in the Dubai Turf, beaten a length by the Japanese horse Vivlos.
In the Lockinge at Newbury, though, Ribchester quite simply looked in a different league to his rivals.
Even though his pacemaker Toscanini missed the kick and could not get to the front, he dictated matters under William Buick winning by nearly four lengths.
Nebo could surprise a few highly-touted rivals in the Coventry Stakes for Charlie Hills and champion jockey Jim Crowley.
A really impressive winner on his debut, he was immediately put away with this race in mind.
The form of his maiden could not have worked out any better. The second, sixth, seventh and even the 13th horse home have since won, with several others going close.
The King’s Stand looks a cracker, with previous winners Goldream and Profitable as well as Lady Aurelia lining up, but it is fair to say Sir Mark Prescott’s Marsha is the leading home hope.
This time last year it looked like connections had no more than a decent sprinter on their hands when she won a Listed race at Ayr but her progression has gone through the roof.
She went on to land a Listed race at York, beating Easton Angel and Muthmir, before running well at Goodwood and Chantilly.
It was her return to France for the Prix de l’Abbaye which marked her down as top class, though, when she left several of these rivals trailing in her wake.
Those who thought there may have been a bit of a fluke in that were put back in their box when she defied a massive penalty to win the Palace House on her return this season.
It is hard to see how the half a dozen or so who finished behind her there when getting weight can turn the tables now that she is in receipt of an allowance.
We will not get rich backing Churchill so it is worth giving Barney Roy another chance in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
He stumbled and met trouble in running in the Guineas behind Churchill so Richard Hannon is not the only one who believes it is not beyond the realms that he can close the gap.
Only beaten a length at Newmarket, Barney Roy has plenty in his favour to turn the tables after having skipped the Irish Guineas.
Beyond Conceit was running well over hurdles the last time we saw him and after a few month off he could give Nicky Henderson a notable win on the level in the Ascot Stakes.
This race usually goes to a jumps trainer.
Declarationofpeace had been a big fancy for the Coventry Stakes so it could be worth noting that Aidan O’Brien runs him in the Windsor Castle instead.
Mecca’s Spirit is an interesting newcomer in the opener at Thirsk, having cost 120,000 guineas for the Mecca’s Angel connections, while Thesme should prove hard to catch in the five-furlong conditions race at Beverley.
BEVERLEY: 6.00 Global Wealth, 6.30 Harba, 7.00 Thesme, 7.30 Camerone, 8.00 Alfred Richardson, 8.30 Bahamian C.
BRIGHTON: 5.40 Ursus Belle, 6.10 Pass The Cristal, 6.40 Fast Dancer, 7.10 Let’s Be Happy, 7.40 Frap, 8.10 Gold Club, 8.40 Deer Song.
ROYAL ASCOT: 2.30 RIBCHESTER (NAP), 3.05 Nebo, 3.40 Marsha, 4.20 Barney Roy, 5.00 Beyond Conceit, 5.35 Declarationofpeace.
STRATFORD: 2.20 Irish Roe, 2.55 Champagne City, 3.30 The Clock Leary, 4.05 Our Three Sons, 4.45 Jonagold, 5.20 Chantecler.
THIRSK: 2.10 Mecca’s Spirit, 2.45 Windforpower, 3.20 Time’s Arrow, 3.55 Seamster, 4.35 Desert Way, 5.10 Akdaar, 5.45 Kirkham.