Royal Ascot's prestigious five-day meeting kicks off in style on Tuesday afternoon with three Group One races on display.
After thoroughly impressive victories at Sandown and Newbury already this season, John Gosden's Palace Pier - ridden by Frankie Dettori - is the red-hot favourite for the opener, the Queen Anne Stakes at 2.30pm.
Up next in the Coventry Stakes at 3.05pm, Wesley Ward's team of American stars is led by Kaufymaker, who faces stiff opposition in the best of the UK and Ireland's exciting two-year-olds.
And then Battaash, one of the most devastating five-furlong sprinters in recent years, returns to defend his King's Stand Stakes title at 3.40pm.
The seven-year-old will be hard to beat, too, with Charlie Hills' sprinter finally claiming this race last year after two second-place finishes in 2018 and 2019.
Among those taking him on are younger rivals in Winter Power, an emphatic winner at York last time out, and Oxted.
"Battaash worked this morning and I was really happy with him. He should be fine for the King's Stand." - @cbhills confirms his star is on track for Royal @Ascot :trophy:
via @MCYeeehaaa pic.twitter.com/rccHP2pT2q
- At The Races (@AtTheRaces) May 17, 2021
Irish trainer Jim Bolger won the St James's Palace Stakes - held at 4.20pm - with the wonderful Dawn Approach back in 2013 - and now hopes that horse's son, Poetic Flare, can follow in his footsteps.
Palace Pier and Battaash are expected to live up to the hype and justify favouritism, but the competition is incredibly tough this year.
Tuesday race card and race times at Royal Ascot
Tuesday, June 15
- 2:30 - Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)
- 3:05 - Coventry Stakes (Group 2)
- 3:40 - King's Stand Stakes (Group 1)
- 4:20 - St James's Palace Stakes (Group 1)
- 5:00 - Ascot Stakes (Handicap)
- 5:35 - Wolferton Stakes (Listed)
- 6:10 - Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap)
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