Royal Ascot opens with a St James’s Palace cracker as Rosallion meets Notable Speech | Racing News



Three Guineas winners will clash on the opening day of Royal Ascot as Notable Speech, Rosallion and Metropolitan all stood their ground for Tuesday’s St James’s Palace Stakes.

Charlie Appleby’s Notable Speech enhanced his unbeaten record when getting the better of Rosallion in the opening Classic of the season at Newmarket, but Richard Hannon’s well-regarded colt achieved his own Classic glory when outbattling stablemate Haatem in the Irish equivalent.

Mario Baratti’s Metropolitan adds further spice having picked up the French version of the Guineas at ParisLongchamp, while the international challenge is bolstered by fellow French raider Darlinghurst who has won four in a row this term.

Henry Longfellow was down the field in the French capital and also takes his spot in a red-hot Group One event which features stablemate and Breeders’ Cup winner Unquestionable, Owen Burrows’ Alyanaabi and Ed Walker’s Heron Stakes hero Almaqam.

With three Group One events in the first four races, the action comes thick and fast and as expected Inspiral is an absentee from the curtain-raising Queen Anne Stakes.

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Big Rock returns to the scene of his brilliant British Champions Day success looking to claim a notable victory for new handler Maurizio Guarnieri, with Dubai Turf winner Facteur Cheval another leading contender for France representing Jerome Reynier.

Charyn and his Lockinge conqueror Audience are also involved, with the latter getting the nod to be the sole representative of John and Thady Gosden and owners Cheveley Park Stud in Inspiral’s absence.

Big Evs tops the 17 declared in the King Charles III Stakes as Mick Appleby’s Breeders’ Cup champion bids for back-to-back victories at the meeting, with Australian raider Asfoora, Haydock winners Believing and Kerdos, and Ed Bethell’s stable star Regional amongst the other contenders.

A full field will head to post for the Coventry Stakes – the first two-year-old event of the week – with Ballydoyle’s Camille Pissarro and Joseph O’Brien’s Cowardofthecounty both well fancied.

My Lyka will aim to give Willie Mullins a fourth Ascot Stakes in 10 years on his first Flat start for the Closutton handler, while Botanical will have his supporters amongst a field of 16 for the Listed Wolferton Stakes, bidding to enhance Roger Varian’s recent race record.

Mullins also has a strong hand in the closing Copper Horse handicap with Belloccio, a race the perennial Irish jumps trainer won last year with Vauban.



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