There are few more enthusiastic racing supporters in the world than Her Majesty The Queen, but when it comes to Royal Ascot, you get the feeling that her excitement just moves up a notch.
Throughout her long and proud reign as monarch she has constantly supported the sport of horse racing, whether that be by attending racing meetings, having runners of her own or even breeding the next generation of Royal equine superstars.
The Queen and racehorses are practically bonded as close as the crown, and although her best furlongs in racing may be in the past, her love of the sport is stronger than ever and she has plenty of exciting prospects to look forward to at this year’s Royal Ascot.
Luke Parkinson has taken a look at some of her early entries and assessed the chances of the Queen recreating those famous scenes of Estimate in 2013 by shouting home another Royal Ascot winner of her own.
Trained by William Haggas, this five-year-old has experienced the Royal Hunt Cup before, finishing eighth in the race last year when it was won by 16/1 shot, Settle For Bay.
That came just a few weeks before Seniority’s last victory, when he got the better of Poet’s Society in the Golden Mile at Goodwood, securing only his second victory on turf after opening his account on his first ever outing at Newmarket in August 2016.
Hopes were high that he could be quite a classy individual after that performance, but he’s yet to really hit those heights with some poor performances in group company.
However, he did manage to grab second on his reappearance this season at Epsom, and with him dropping back down the handicap, he might be able to scrap it out for the places.
Another that is entered in the Royal Hunt Cup for Her Majesty is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Elector.
His trainer hasn’t won this race since saddling Caribbean Monarch to victory, in the hands of Kieran Fallon, back in 2000 but he’ll be desperate to add another winner to the board for the Queen.
The four-year-old ran on well to just edge the Spring Lodge Stakes at Newmarket in May, but disappointed last time when he was outpaced to finish eighth over 1m2f at Epsom.
He’d have some work to do on that basis and a handicap mark of 95 might just be a touch too much for him.
Her Majesty teams up with William Haggas again for the Ribblesdale Stakes with Shrewdness entered in the Royal silks.
As a three-year-old, she has seen very little of the racecourse, with two outings resulting in a down the field effort at Newbury and a much-better 2nd at Lingfield on her latest start.
The Eve Johnson Haughton-trained Bella Vita beat her on that most recent start, and she is a filly that has stepped up in class with a victory at Salisbury last month.
That may well be a decent line of form to follow, although, with the likes of Oaks second, Pink Dogwood, and the Cheshire Oaks-winning Mehdaayih in the field, Shrewdness would need some serious improvement to match those.
The Coronation Stakes is another chance for the fillies to take centre stage at the Royal meeting and the Queen might just have a handy one in Magnetic Charm.
Another from the William Haggas yard, she was a winner of a Fillies’ Listed race at York last time when beating the highly regarded Twist ‘N’ Shake by a neck.
That followed a far from disgraced fourth in the Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last September, which is proof that she could have a bit of class.
This would, of course, require another step up, but she could be an each-way player to consider in your ITV tips come the big meeting.