Royal Ascot 2020 – Aidan O’Brien’s Best Chances Of Meeting
Aidan O’Brien has tasted plenty of Royal Ascot Group 1 success so when it comes to looking at trainers to follow, he has to be near the top of the list. The Irish based trainer has saddled 70 winners during his career at the prestigious meeting, with his first being Harbour Master in 1997. Christopher Loader looks at some of his best chances of the week…
Royal Ascot 2020 – Starting with a bang in the Queen Anne Stakes
CIRCUS MAXIMUS will be looking to get Ballydoyle off to a flying start in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. The son of Galileo was a winner at Royal Ascot last year when winning the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes. It was a clever move by connections to drop him back in trip and Ryan Moore used prominent tactics to dictate the pace. The four-year-old will be coming into the race fit after having a prep run in a Group 3 at The Curragh on Friday. The Queen Anne is a wide-open race but he will have a leading chance on Royal Ascot Day 1.
Aidan O’Brien Royal Ascot 2020 Stars
JAPAN has been well fancied for the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes in recent weeks after O’Brien revealed this will be his target. He’ll be the subject of many Royal Ascot tips after he progressed well last season after finishing third in the Derby, winning the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at this meeting and then beating Crystal Ocean in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York. This year’s race could feature a small field and it will come as no surprise if Japan doubles his Royal Ascot tally.
KEW GARDENS will be going head to head with Stradivarius once again in the Ascot Gold Cup. They last met on Champions Day at Ascot and a titanic battle ensued with Kew Gardens breaking the winning streak of the dual Gold Cup winner. The 2018 St Leger winner took time to demonstrate his ability over two miles last year with a string of second-placed efforts. The concern this year could be that he is not always primed first time out as he has never scored on his seasonal reappearance. Stablemate Anthony Van Dyck might be the biggest threat to Stradivarius at Royal Ascot 2020 after he got the better of him in the reorganized Coronation Cup at Newmarket. However, the 2019 Derby winner still needs to prove his stamina over extreme distances.
Aidan O’Brien Royal Ascot Two-Year-Olds
MORE BEAUTIFUL will be the Aidan O’Brien-trained juvenile most people will be excited to see from Ballydoyle. The daughter of War Front created a strong impression when scoring comfortably at Naas over six furlongs and she would be a major player wherever she shows up.
LIPPIZANER could be the best of the two-year-old colts. His likely destination might be the Coventry Stakes amidst the Ascot day 2 action but he will need to find the winning habit after finishing second in both his career starts so far. Despite this, O’Brien has a fantastic record winning the Coventry Stakes nine times.
Aidan O’Brien Best Of The Rest
WICHITA could head for the Group 1 St James’s Places Stakes for another clash with Pinatubo. Both met each other earlier this month in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, where Wichita finished one place ahead of Pinatubo. If he replicates that performance, he will have a massive chance but many would fancy Pinatubo to possibly reverse the form. But the rule of thumb must be that if you are in any doubt, use some of your Royal Ascot Free Bets on Aidan O’Brien’s runners at Royal Ascot 2020.