The Week Ahead – What Racing To Focus On This Week

What a week of racing we have in store! Five days of world class racing starts on Tuesday as Royal Ascot takes over. There’s also some interesting races to keep an eye on away from Ascot – we highlight all the key moments to look out for this week.

You can take advantage of 888Sport’s fantastic new customer offer and get a HUGE £40 in Free Bets when you sign up here + place a £20 bet!

See all the key meetings and races this week in our weekly guide ↓


Monday

The calm before the storm. We start the week with five meetings, with the pick of the action coming on the all-weather at Lingfield. The feature race is the Class 3 ‘Follow @attheraces On Twitter Handicap’ (3:30), where Big Meeting will be a popular choice for punters after bolting up on his reappearance run.

Elsewhere, jockey Ben Curtis has a chance to cut William Buick’s lead in the Flat Jockey Championship, with five rides at Carlisle:

  • Post Office Road (1:45)
  • Polam Lane (3:15)
  • Eight Of Diamonds (3:45)
  • Coaxing (4:50)
  • End Zone (5:20)
Jockey Ben Curtis after winning the Play 4 To Win At Betway Handicap on Dream With Me at Wolverhampton Racecourse. Picture date: Monday March 29, 2021.

Jockey Ben Curtis will hope to close the gap on William Buick, with five rides at Carlisle on Monday.

The sole jumps meeting comes over in Ireland as Kilbeggan hosts a seven-race card.


Tuesday

Baaeed: Unbeaten colt will look to confirm his status as Europe's champion miler, starting with Newbury's Group 1 Lockinge Stakes.

Unbeaten superstar Baaeed can get favourite backers off to a winning start at Royal Ascot.

The big day arrives! Opening day of Royal Ascot, with THREE Group 1 races on the card. Two of those races feature odds-on favourites – unbeaten superstar Baaeed should take the world of beating in the opening race (Queen Anne Stakes – 2:30), whilst 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus will be difficult to catch in the St James’s Palace Stakes (4:20).

The most competitive race could be the King’s Stand Stakes (3:40), where international raiders Nature Strip and Golden Pal have been difficult to split in the ante-post betting. If Chris Waller’s Australia runner Nature Strip wins, he could be declared for Saturday’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes – to win two Group 1 races in the space of five days would be one hell of an effort!

The sole Group 2 race on the card features A P O’Brien’s unbeaten colt Blackbeard, who impressed when winning in Group 3 company last month. He’s up against some tough opposition here, notably Persian Force, Bradsell and stablemate Age Of Kings.


Wednesday

Bay Bridge ridden by Ryan Moore wins The Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher. Picture date: Thursday May 26, 2022.

Bay Bridge will be a popular choice for punters in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on Wednesday.

Day Two of Royal Ascot features a further four Group races, including the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (3:40). Sir Michael Stoute’s Bay Bridge has been hugely impressive when winning his last five races and will be a popular pick for punters looking for a ‘banker’ on day two. He won’t have it all his own way though in the most valuable race of the week, with Japanese raider Shahryar set to make it a test for him, as will Joseph O’Brien’s State Of Rest.

Elsewhere, Princess Elizabeth Stakes 1-2 Bashkirova and Potapova are set to clash again in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (4:20). The other two Group 2 races on the card are the Queen Mary Stakes (2:30) and the Queen’s Vase (3:05).

Sir Michael Stoute could be in for a good day at Ascot with three of his runners in with solid chances:

  • Bay Bridge (3:40)
  • Potapova (4:20)
  • Astro King (5:00)

Thursday

The roof could go off if Stradivarius makes it a record-equalling fourth win in the Gold Cup on Thursday.

The feature on Day Three of Royal Ascot is the Gold Cup (4:20), where Stradivarius will bid for a record-equalling fourth win in the race. His biggest rival is likely to be A P O’Brien’s Kyprios, but it would be some story if John & Thady Gosden’s stable star could equal Yeats’ record in the race. Either way, he’s going to be remembered as a staying superstar!

The Group 2 Ribblesdale (3:40) could be a chance of redemption for Epsom Oak’s runner-up Emily Upjohn, who will bid to resume winning ways after agonisingly failing to catch Tuesday in the Oaks.

The other Group 2 race on the card is the Norfolk Stakes (2:30), where the likes of Dramatised, Walbank, Love Reigns and Little Big Bear could line up, in what looks a wide-open race.


Friday

Day Four features two Group 1’s on the card – The Commonwealth Cup (3:05) and the Coronation Stakes (4:20).

There was controversy in the Commonwealth Cup last year, with Campanelle being awarded the race in the Stewards room after Dragon Symbol was judged to have repeatedly bumped into the filly. This years renewal will hopefully be more straightforward, with El Cabello and Perfect Power both sharing the favourite tag at the time of the writing.

Inspiral could make her eagerly-anticipated return to action on Friday.

The Coronation Stakes looks set to feature John & Thady Gosden’s unbeaten filly Inspiral, who was last seen winning the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last October. Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Homeless Songs is also entered in the race and if both decide to run, it should be a superb race!

Other Group races on the day include the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes (5:35) and the Group 3 Albany Stakes (2:30).


Saturday

The fifth and final day of Royal Ascot features another three Group races, including the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes (4:20). Providing Nature Strip or Golden Pal wins the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday, the international stars are set to race again in this, and line up alongside Home Affairs, Campanelle and Creative Force.

Hurricane Lane and William Buick coming home to win the Cazoo St Leger Stakes during Cazoo St Leger Day of the Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse. Picture date: Saturday September 11, 2021.

One of the stars of 2021, Hurricane Lane looks set to return to action on Saturday

We could see the return of one of the stars of last season as Hurricane Lane looks set to return in the Hardwicke Stakes (3:40). He could be up against some big names, including Adayar, Al Aasy and Hukum, and if just some of them go for this it should be a thriller!

Away from Ascot, there’s Listed action on the card at Ayr (3:34), plus Down Royal hosts the Ulster Derby (4:25).


Sunday

Wednesday Lucky 15 Tips. Selections from Ascot, Pontefract, Musselburgh and Brighton make up our advised Lucky 15 on Wednesday.

Pontefract hosts the next instalment of the Sky Bet Sunday Series.

The Sky Bet Sunday Series continues, with Pontefract hosting a seven-race card. The feature race is the Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies’ Stakes (4:45) – a race which Ryan Moore steered Katara to victory in last year. ITV have had a busy week showing the best racing and it continues on Sunday with ITV4 showing the full Pontefract card.

Elsewhere there’s a couple of jumps cards at Hexham and Worcester for National Hunt fans to look forward to.