3 things we learnt from the opening day of Royal Ascot 2020

Battaash and trainer Charlie Hills at Faringdon Place, Lambourn

The first day of Royal Ascot is over and what a treat for racing fans. Seven exceptional races and that’s just the beginning with four more days of action still to come. Let’s look back at what we have seen on Tuesday afternoon.

Darling is frankly a machine!

She looked a star at Newcastle but today we learnt she’s a monster. John Gosden’s 50th winner at Royal Ascot came in the Ribblesdale, Frankie Dettori the man doing the steering. The same team who won the race last year with Star Catcher followed up in some style in 2020 with Frankly Darling.

Despite being far too keen in the early stages, she still had more than enough to pick up when the question was asked and ran away with the Group 2 affair. She will be well fancied for the Oaks now at the start of July, few would oppose the daughter of Frankel with the strong likelihood of better to come.

Battaash gives them a battering

Fresh is the key with him! He can be a bit of a marmite horse at times but it was third time lucky for the Charlie Hills’ individual in the King’s Stand. Runner-up in this race in both 2018 and 2019, Jim Crowley bounced him out and kept it simple, just point and shoot.

We all know with him, he is no good thing to reproduce that next time up as he has a nasty habit of throwing in a flat run out of nowhere. However, if Hills can keep him sweet and keep him fresh, he can add further to his excellent Group 1 record, especially if kept fresh.

Nazeef victorious at the battle of Agincourt

She has turned into a Group filly in quick order! A rapid improver, Nazeef made it a treble on the opening day for Jim Crowley as she took home the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes. Beaten on her debut last June, she has won all of her five starts since.

She got the better of former classic winner Billesdon Brook to start 2020 at Kempton. That was a Listed contest but she took the step up to Group 2 in her stride. She was made to fight hard by the game Agincourt but showed a great attitude to score. It would be no surprise to see her land a Group 1 later in the season.


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