The longest race of the five days is saved for last, providing quite a test on the flat over almost two and three quarter miles. Read on for our Queen Alexandra Stakes tips and betting preview at Royal Ascot.
IN SUMMARY: Thomas Hobson won here on Tuesday in the 2m 4f Ascot Stakes and if able to turn up in the same form he looks to have a huge chance, but he’ll struggle to live with Charlie Appleby’s QEWY. He finished fourth in the Melbourne Cup in November and backed up that effort with a good win at Sandown (Australia) in a Listed race. This extra distance looks sure to suit and with William Buick taking the ride, he should take some stopping for the ‘Boys in Blue’.
1 WINNING STORY – Has to give weight away all round but this dual all weather winner over two miles shapes as if he will get a little further. He won the Marathon Championship on Good Friday at Lingfield but found himself outpaced in the straight at Chester in the Ormonde. Has a bit to do to concede the weight, but has an each way shout.
2 FIRST MOHICAN – Infrequent winner who was behind Winning Story at Lingfield. He was a rather one paced seventh in this contest last season and although he is in better form coming in this time around, he will likely struggle at the weights.
3 FUN MAC – A close second in the Ascot Stakes in 2015, he was most recently seen in the Chester Cup when running a solid race in third. Promises to stay this trip and he is an interesting each way option despite needing a little more to trouble the principals.
4 ORIENTAL FOX – No problem with the trip, winning this race in 2015, the same season he finished second in the Cesarewitch behind Grumeti. Has shaped well in both starts this season over inadequate trips and will have been targeted specifically at this race all season.
5 ARTHUR MC BRIDE – Won a Goodwood handicap over two miles last October from a mark of 79 but that leaves him with a mountain to find with the principles.
6 BIG THUNDER – Tailed off in the 2015 Cesarewitch the last time he was seen on the flat. Shaped okay in a novice hurdle at Ayr in November but he has too much to find despite getting the ground he likes.
7 EXCELLENT RESULT – Formerly very smart when with Godolphin, winner of the 2014 City of Gold at Meydan. Recent times has seen him win a couple of novice hurdles but his flat form is nothing like good enough for him to get involved.
8 GRUMETI – Stays well, winning the 2015 Cesarewitch but has struggled since, having to drop to a mark of 81 to get his head back in front at Wolverhampton two runs ago. Faces a stiff task to get competitive at the weights.
9 GUARD OF HONOUR – Quick ground suits and his staying on fourth at Newbury over two and a quarter miles gives hope that he will stay this trip but he has to much to find to trouble the best of these.
10 MEDBURN CUTLER – Run well in a pair of two mile handicaps at Goodwood this season, but that bare level of form is a good forty pounds short of what is required here.
11 MONTALY – Nailed Yorkidding in the final strides to land the Chester Cup back in May, a new career best for him. Plugged on at one pace at the end of the Ascot Stakes last year so promises to stay and may sneak into the frame.
12 QEWY – Runner up in the Ascot Stakes last year, staying on strongly having been held up a long way out of his ground. Won twice in three starts in Australia at the back end of last year, finishing an excellent fourth in the Melbourne Cup. Lacks a prep run but Charlie Appleby will have him ready to go, so he looks the one to beat under William Buick.
13 THOMAS HOBSON – Produced a career best on the flat by a sizeable margin when landing the Ascot Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot. The way he bounded clear there suggests that he will have no problem with the extra quarter mile in trip. To win two brutal staying events in the same week at Royal Ascot would be an incredible feat, even for Willie Mullins but he won with plenty in hand on Tuesday and is likely to be popular.
14 VENT DE FORCE – A strong stayer, he won the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown in 2015. Quick ground is exactly what he needs to be seen at his very best and tactically adaptable, and it would be no surprise to see him in the frame.
15 HIS DREAM – Won a bumper at Down Royal in May for Ellmarie Holden, he is now in the care of Jonjo O’Neill. He kept on well at the end of that two miles but this is a step into the unknown on his first flat start.
16 MOTHERLAND – Very lightly raced with just six career starts. He was third to Order Of St George last time in the Savel Beg, form that reads well at this level. He steps up in trip a full mile which is going to ask him a very different question but he remains of interest.
17 OCTOBER STORM – Has run well in a pair of Goodwood handicaps this season. He still has more to offer in that discipline but is unlikely to be figuring at the business end in this company.
18 PARIS PROTOCOL – Has long looked as if he is more capable than he has shown on the track. Quick ground is no problem, staying on late over two miles the last twice suggests that he will appreciate the step up in trip. Only rated 88 so needs to up his game considerably but first time cheekpieces could be the making of him.
19 US ARMY RANGER – Best in at the weights officially but the 2016 Derby runner up has been disappointing since. He didn’t appear to get home over a mile and six at Chester so whether this extreme trip is what he wants to get his career back on track is unlikely, he is best watched.
20 SOIESAUVAGE – Fourth of five in a claimer on her only flat run in this country, she is only rated 70 and has no chance in this field.