Royal Ascot Heads for the Finish Line

The 2012 Royal Ascot got off to a great start on Tuesday, with Frankel crossing the finish line 11-lengths ahead of the rest of the contenders in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Heralded as his career-best performance, the race marked his sixth straight one-mile win, confirming that he is back at the top of his game…

Following a brief health scare earlier this year. While acknowledging that no horse is a certainly, trainer Sir Henry Cecil noted that Frankel had performed in exactly the way he had anticipated, adding that the horse continues to improve. Cecil also revealed that Frankel has been pre-entered to the Group 1 Eclipse and Group 1 Juddmonte – both at 1 ¼ miles – and the one-mile Group 1 Sussex.

Royal Ascot’s Prince of Wales Stakes was won by odds-on favorite So You Think, beating the Queens horse Carlton House by two and a quarter lengths. Bred in New Zealand and trained in Australia, So You Think make a decisive dash for the finish line in the closing stages of the race and claimed the 10th Group 1 win of his career, with his career earnings to-date adding up to more than £5 million. It is likely that So You Think will be returned to Australia later this summer for stud duties.

Closest rival Carlton House won the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown three weeks ago, adding to his achievements of third in last year’s Epson Derby and fourth in the Irish version of the race. While missing a victory in the Prince of Wales Stakes may have been disappointing for the Queen, there are two more races coming up in which royal horses are competing. Momentary will run in Thursday’s Ribblesdale Stakes, with Estimate running in the Queen’s Vase on Friday.

Excitement for Sunday’s Diamond Jubilee is mounting, with Black Caviar still the favorite. Other possible contenders for the race include Power, Ortensia, Krypton Factor, Crusade, Bated Breath, Reply, Society Rock, Moonlight Cloud, Hitchens, After, Amico Fritz, Bannock and Bogart. Crowds of horseracing fans will be heading for Royal Ascot for a weekend of high fashion and high-stakes racing – will you be there?