Our event of the day is Day 1 of the Royal Ascot festival at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England. This annual June meeting is the jewel in the crown of the flat racing calendar and is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated amongst all racing festivals the world over. The eight group 1 races that are set to take place across the week highlights the quality that will be on offer to the hundreds of thousands of patrons that will be lining the Ascot stands, with some of the best jockeys on display from Day 1. The five-day festival will begin in some style today as three group 1 races are set to take place, with the action starting at 2:30pm local time. The curtain raiser is The Queen Anne Stakes which is the day’s most valuable race, with the prize fund totalling £600,000. At just one mile long, expect an exhilarating affair to kick off proceedings with a wide-open field set to battle it out for the lucrative purse. Accidental Agent will certainly be one to watch in this one after the five-year-old won this very race last year. He upset the odds at last year’s meet as a 33/1 underdog and is now looking to become the first back-to-back winner in this prestigious race in 112 years. Though eyes will be firmly affixed on the performance of Accidental Agent, many are also eagerly anticipating the display race favourite Mustashry will produce, who is one of the form horses going into this meet. He came out on top in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last month but will be asked to submit an even better performance this time round if he is to become the first winner of the week.
The excitement continues throughout the day with two more group 1 races headlining the action, with the St James’ Palace Stakes the final race of the day in that particular category. This is a much narrower field on paper, with Phoenix of Spain and Too Darn Hot far and away the two favourites to be jostling for position at the finish line. Phoenix of Spain is highly regarded as the one to beat going into this prestigious race after he came out on top in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last month. Ridden by Jamie Spencer, this three-year-old powerhouse will be heavily backed to win his rider the £500,000 prize fund, but they will have to see off the perennial threat of racing royalty in Frankie Detorri, who will be riding Too Darn Hot. Detorri has already won this race three times with three different horses and will be looking for back-to-back wins after coming out on top with Without Parole last year. With some of the world’s greatest horses and jockeys congregating at the famous racecourse this week, be sure not to miss a second of the action!
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the European U21 Championships as England take on France at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi in Cesena. In this intriguing contest, two of the tournament favourites will go head to head as they look to gain the upper hand in Group C, with some of the greatest young talents in world football ready to battle it out in what should be a memorable occasion. Elsewhere, the Copa America continues in Brazil today as the hosts return to action against Venezuela at The Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova. Further north, England will get their fifth game of the Cricket World Cup underway at Old Trafford as they entertain the winless Afghanistan. Finally, in the WNBA, the Washington Mystics will look to return to winning ways after losing their last two as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Sparks at the Staples Center.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Royal Ascot
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