Richard Hannon’s Toronado looks set to blow his rivals away in the Queen Anne Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot 2014
Last year’s Sussex Stakes winner will look to stamp his quality on the first race of Royal Ascot 2014 by blowing away his rivals in the Group One mile. Impressive when defeating Dawn Approach at Glorious Goodwood, his main rival in the Queen Anne would appear to be the Ballydoyle ex-US Verrazano. O’Brien’s horse shaped well in the Lockinge at Newbury finishing third behind Toronado’s stablemate Olympic Glory. If he can regain his States form he is certain to give Toronado something to think about over the Ascot mile. Globe-trotting colt Soft Falling Rain is also not without chances and holds very strong place claims for his South African connections.
In the other Group One mile contest on the card – The St James’s Palace Stakes, punters will be presented with the mouthwatering rematch between the 2000 Guineas first and second. Kingman failed to keep his unbeaten record at Newmarket when failing to defeat Night Of Thunder but will be favourite to reverse the placings when they meet at (4.25)
The American raider Hootenanny will hope to continue his trainer Ashley Ward’s good record at the meeting when running in the Windsor Castle (5.35).
The King’s Stand (3.45) will see Pearl Secret and Hot Streak clash again after finishing first and second in the Temple Stakes. This time the pair’s strongest challenge is likely to come from the classy Shea Shea.
CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – KINGMAN (ST JAMES’S PALACE 4.25)
Facile winner of the Irish Guineas and the Greenham at Newbury, John Gosden’s colt looks certain to gain revenge on Night Of Thunder in the Group One contest. Kingman looked unlucky in the Guineas at Newmarket and will reaffirm his dominance amongst his peers.
CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – KOOL KOMPANY E/W (COVENTRY 3.05)
Unbeaten in three starts, this Hannon juvenile is head in high regard by connections. Expect a bold show from him at each way prices in the Coventry Stakes.
Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day One:
Queen Anne (2.30) – Toronado
King’s Stand (3.45) – Shea Shea
Ascot Stakes (5.00) – Lieutennant Miller e/w
Windsor Castle (5.35) – Hootenanny
(Featured photograph – Toronado in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood by Stuart Rice)