Royal Ascot 2016 gets under way at 2.30 on Tuesday with the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. The Queen Anne Stakes has been won by some of the best milers of all time including Goldikova (2011), Frankel (2012) and Solow (2015).
Tepin in top form for Queen Anne Stakes
Top on official ratings this year is Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Tepin, trained by Mark Casse in America. The five-year-old mare has won her last six races, three of them at Group 1 level. There are always concerns about runners from America being able to reproduce their best form at Royal Ascot. As well as not having raced over a straight mile, the going looks certain to ride on the soft side with further heavy showers forecast.
Tepin did win on soft ground in October when beating Crowley’s Law by seven lengths at Keeneland. She is a free-travelling mare who should be able to lie up with the pace here.
His Highness The Aga Khan celebrated Group 1 success in the Epsom Derby recently and is represented here by Ervedya. The softer ground will hold no fears for the daughter of Siyouni who won the Coronation Stakes at this meeting last year. She was beaten on her seasonal reappearance at Saint-cloud but was not given a hard race that day. The four-year-old should be at her peak for the Queen Anne Stakes and will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
Tepin has travelled from the US for the Queen Anne Stakes
Esoterique bids to go one better in Queen Anne Stakes
There has been good market support for Roger Varian’s Belardo, another likely to be suited by the soft ground. He won the Dewhurst Stakes on soft ground in 2014 and also won in testing conditions at Doncaster in April. Last time out he won the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury by a length from Euro Charline. Clive Cox’s Kodi Bear was fancied in that race but faded to finish seventh. He has been beaten on all four attempts at Group 1 level and this looks a top class renewal.
Andre Fabre saddles Esoterique, a six-year-old mare by Danehill Dancer. She has six victories from nineteen starts, three of them at this level. She won at Deauville in very soft ground in August and later won the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket. Esoterique was runner-up to Solow in the Queen Anne Stakes last year and holds third and fourth-placed Cougar Mountain and Toormore on that form.
Olivier Peslier rides Amazing Maria who beat Ervedya at Deauville in August. She produced a 25-1 shock to win at Royal Ascot last year but that was on good to firm ground. She has been beaten on both previous starts with cut in the ground. Endless Drama was having his first run for almost a year when finishing a length and a quarter behind Belardo at Newbury. He had previously finished second to Gleneagles in the Irish 2000 Guineas and won’t be troubled by the conditions.
Royal Ascot Betting Tip 14/06/2016
2.30 Queen Anne Stakes
Tepin @5-1 Betway
Ervedya @4-1 Bet365
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3