Royal Ascot attracts the best runners from around the globe, with horses from France to Japan coming over to take the shot at the biggest prizes in flat racing. One of the main challengers is America, with Wesley Ward sending over big teams to try and steal away the top races. We’ve gone through all the big American chances below, some which may feature this week in our Royal Ascot tips.
Kimari (Queen Mary, Windsor Castle)
Holding entries in both the Queen Mary (likely target) and the Windsor Castle, Kimari looks to have a huge chance for Wesley Ward. She made a winning debut at minuscule odds in a Keeneland Maiden Special weight, slamming her rivals by fifteen lengths. She clearly possesses a huge amount of tactical speed and is more than likely to be pushing the pace from the front, as Wesley Ward looks for a fourth win the race.
Chili Petin (Windsor Castle, Norfolk)
Another who made all on debut at Keeneland, Chili Petin created a good impression when scoring readily under John Velazquez. She’s bred for the turf and further improvement should be expected from her for the change in surface. There is enough stamina on her dam side to suggest she can see out the uphill finish at Ascot and she’s one of the leading US hopefuls.
Nayibeth (Albany Stakes)
There has been a huge amount of hype surrounding the potential “wonder filly” Nayibeth, who made a winning debut at Keeneland in a Maiden Special Weight in April. That run suggested she had a very bright future and Joel Rosario has been very complimentary of her. The second has won easily since and bolstered the form significantly, though the six-furlong distance at Ascot will mean she’ll have to settle and ration her speed perfectly.
Maven (Windsor Castle, Norfolk Stakes)
A son of the incredible American Pharoah, Maven was extremely well backed on debut and made all for a workmanlike success at Aqueduct in April. The second has won since, which obviously cements the form, and this is a race that Wesley Ward has won twice in recent years.
He’s entitled to come on plenty for his debut and should be in the vanguard throughout. If he was to land the spoils, he’d be the first of American Pharoah’s first progeny to win a stakes race!
Bound For Nowhere (Diamond Jubilee)
Finishing a close third in this race twelve months ago, Bound For Nowhere returned this season with a neck second to King’s Stand runner Imprimis. Having to do the donkey-work that day won’t have helped his chances and did plenty in the opening stages. He’ll be able to chase a strong pace in this race, however, and he’s already proven his ability on this side of the Atlantic. He looks good each-way value in a renewal of the race which potentially isn’t as hot as recent years.
With some of the runners having unconfirmed entries, we’ve comprised a treble of runners who look to be nailed on to their targets. These are Kimari, Nayibeth and Bound For Nowhere!