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Ladies and gentleman, it's finally here. Royal Ascot, one of the biggest Flat meetings of the year, is back - and we've got you covered with three cracking tips from Tuesday's card.
Ascot this year might be a bit different with the attendance capped at 12,000, but the big guns will still be out to play.
As well as a star-studded card at Ascot, racing fans will be pleased to know that there are five other fixtures to enjoy on Tuesday with races at Thirsk, Stratford, Sligo, Beverley and Brighton.
In the opener at Ascot - the Queen Anne Stakes at 2.30pm - John Gosden and Frankie Dettori team up with the highly rated Palace Pier - seeking to add to his victories at Sandown and Newbury this season.
Later on, the sensational five-furlong sprinter and fan favourite Battaash returns to defend his King's Stand Stakes title at 3.40pm.
Charlie Hills' sprinter will be hard to beat, too, finally claiming this race last year after two second-place finishes behind Blue Point in 2018 and 2019.
With that said, we are in store for an amazing day of racing and our horse racing expert Robert Mann has selected his three best bets from the star-studded card this afternoon.
Tip: Battaash (7/4)
Battaash was a truly dominant winner of this race last year, putting his Royal Ascot hoodoo to bed - and there's no doubt that he will be popular again here.
Hills' seven-year-old gelding has an exemplary record when fresh and probably won't have to be at his best to win this for the second year in a row.
Battaash is back today at #RoyalAscot on Sky Sports Racing! :zap: pic.twitter.com/8A6gmQQk9G
- At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 15, 2021
He has had an interrupted preparation, however, with Winter Power likely to be his main danger.
Tim Easterby's dashing filly was brilliant on her York comeback, trouncing a subsequent Listed winner, and she is in receipt of all the allowances.
But despite that, we still think Battaash has enough to get the job done - and we really can't see him being caught once Jim Crowley says go.
Tip: Poetic Flare (9/2)
This is a very open-looking St James's Palace Stakes, but it is Poetic Flare who gets the nod from us.
Jim Bolger's three-year-old emulated his sire, Dawn Approach, with victory in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket - and what a performance that was.
Excuses can be made in the French Guineas, but he quickly bounced back with a narrow defeat in the Irish 2000 Guineas. He should be able to show up well this afternoon.
️"He's the most complete racehorse I've ever had,"
Where will Jim Bolger send QIPCO 2000 Guineas hero POETIC FLARE head next?
He's now joint favourite for the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot:tophat:pic.twitter.com/MbETf8yFa2
- Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) May 4, 2021
His main danger comes in the shape of last year's Chesham winner Battleground, who arrives here fresher than most having not had a hard race in the 2000 Guineas.
We think Poetic Flare has enough class to get the job done here, though - and he is expected to go off a lot shorter than his current price.
Tip: Fox Tal (20/1)
Felix has gone from strength to strength for Marco Botti and ran a screamer under Oisin Murphy in the Dubai Turf when last seen.
Preference, however, is for Andrew Balding's Fox Tal. The five-year-old, by Sea The Stars, is capable of smart form, but temperament is holding him back.
And here he is.... #FoxTal pic.twitter.com/lvlJfQU9sO
- Alex Hammond (@skysportsAlexH) September 11, 2019
Most recently, he was caught close home in a Chester handicap on his return having been gelded, before turning in a recalcitrant performance at Sandown behind Euchen Glen.
Despite his foibles, a bigger field than the four-runner affair at Sandown could play to Fox Tal's strengths, and he could run into a place under jockey Silvestre De Sousa.
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are, as always, subject to change.
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