Royal Ascot 2012 could not get off to a more exciting start, with the world’s best racehorse Frankel in action in the very first race of the five-day meeting on June 19.
Frankel, officially the highest-rated racehorse on the planet, runs in the Queen Anne Stakes in which he will aim to make it 11 victories in 11 starts.
Although Frankel’s appearance is sure to be the highlight of day one for many racegoers more interested in the equine talent than the fashion stakes, the general rule of thumb at Royal Ascot is that race three is the feature event on each day.
On Tuesday it’s the St James’s Palace Stakes – won last year by Frankel - for three-year-old colts who will have been making their presence felt in the various versions of the 2,000 Guineas staged around Europe.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has been enjoying a fantastic season in the Classics and his colt Power looks like being one of the favourites for this event.
Wednesday sees the 150th Anniversary of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and there would be no more appropriate winner than Her Majesty The Queen’s four-year-old Carlton House just a couple of weeks after the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
On Thursday it’s the showpiece race of the whole week, the Ascot Gold Cup, which O’Brien will be trying to win for the sixth time in seven years with last year’s victor Fame And Glory, a best-priced 15/8 ante-post favourite.
Friday is perhaps the most low-key day of the week when the highlight is the Coronation Stakes, essentially the equivalent of the St James’s Palace Stakes but for fillies.
The French have a good record in this race and their 1,000 Guineas heroine Beauty Parlour is sure to be a popular choice among the lady racegoers present if she makes the journey across the Channel.
Saturday rounds off the meeting and one of the most exciting prospects of the whole week will be the first appearance in this country of brilliant Australian sprinter Black Caviar, the second highest-rated horse in the world behind Frankel.
Royal Ascot 2012 full race schedule
TUESDAY, JUNE 19
2:30 Queen Anne Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Class 1 1m
3:05 King´s Stand Stakes (British Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge) (Group 1) Class1 5f
3:45 St James's Palace Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Entire Colts) Class 1 1m
4:25 Coventry Stakes (Group 2) Class 1 6f
5:00 Ascot Stakes (Handicap) Class 2 2m4f
5:35 Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed Race) Class 1 5f
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
2:30 Jersey Stakes (Group 3) Class 1 7f
3:05 Windsor Forest Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) Class 1 1m
3:45 150th Anniversary of the Prince of Wales's Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Class1 1m2f
4:25 Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) Class 2 1m
5:00 Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) Class 1 5f
5:35 Sandringham Handicap (Listed Race) (Fillies) Class1 1m
THURSDAY, JUNE 21
2:30 Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) Class1 5f
3:05 Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) Class1 1m4f
3:45 Gold Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Class1 2m4f
4:25 Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Colts & Geldings) Class2 1m
5:00 Tercentenary Stakes (Formerly The Hampton Court Stakes) (Group 3) Class1 1m2f
5:35 King George V Stakes (Handicap) Class2 1m4f
FRIDAY, JUNE 22
2:30 Albany Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) Class1 6f
3:05 King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Class1 1m4f
3:45 Coronation Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Fillies) Class1 1m
4:25 Wolferton Handicap (Listed Race) Class1 1m2f
5:00 Queen´s Vase (Group 3) Class 1 2m
5:35 Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) Class2 7f
SATURDAY, JUNE 23
2:30 Chesham Stakes (Listed Race) Class 1 7f
3:05 Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) Class1 1m4f
3:45 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (British Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge) (Group 1) Class 1 6f
4:25 Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) Class2 6f
5:00 Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) Class2 1m4f
5:35 Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions Race) Class 2 2m5f159y