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Speedster can take King's Stand at third time of asking at Royal Ascot meeting


Battaash can bag a big win on the opening day of Royal Ascot

Battaash can bag a big win on the opening day of Royal Ascot

Battaash can bag a big win on the opening day of Royal Ascot


Battaash can finally pick up the King's Stand Stakes at the third time of asking on the opening day of Royal Ascot.

The Charlie Hills-trained speedster has had the misfortune to bump into Blue Point on his last two visits to the showpiece meeting, but with his nemesis safely retired to the breeding sheds, the stage is set for what would be a hugely popular success.

When the Sheikh Hamdan-owned gelding is at his best, very few can match strides with him - and the fact the meeting is behind closed doors this year is arguably in his favour as he can be his own worst enemy in getting worked up from time to time.

Abbaye winner Glass Slippers is an obvious danger and his own stablemate Equilateral is no slouch, but if the real Battaash turns up, it should be a one-horse affair.

The way Marcus Tregoning has started the season suggests he will have Mohaather cherry-ripe for the Queen Anne Stakes.

Mohaather has been the apple of his eye for a couple of years now and since finishing second on his debut, his only other defeat came on Champions Day last year in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, when he had been off the track for six months.

He came to prominence in his juvenile season when winning the Horris Hill Stakes at 33-1 and proved there was no fluke about that in the Greenham back at Newbury on his return to action at three.

Unfortunately he was ruled out of the Guineas with a setback and did not run again until October, so that effort when fifth to King Of Change at Ascot was a great run.

The heavy ground would not have been in his favour there and stretched his stamina, so this better surface should help and he looks a cracking each-way price in a wide-open renewal.

John Gosden has had some excellent fillies through his hands in recent seasons and he runs three in the Ribblesdale Stakes.

There is no question Frankly Darling looks the pick, though, given her demolition job on her return to action on the first day racing resumed at Newcastle.

This is clearly a huge step up in class, but there was just something about the way the daughter of Frankel stretched clear in the final furlong which suggested she had a touch of brilliance about her.

Gosden may already be on the board by then because another of his that has run at Newcastle since the resumption, Daarik, looks to hold solid claims in the opening Buckingham Palace Handicap.

The lightly raced four-year-old has yet to win on turf, but his displays on the all-weather suggest he is a classy sort.

He beat a well-handicapped rival on his return to action in Vitralite and the pair pulled nicely clear. The handicapper has put him up 7lb but he should be able to manage that if he is to fulfil his undoubted potential.

Mogul is very difficult to oppose in the King Edward VII Stakes. The Galileo colt hails from the all-conquering Aidan O'Brien yard and at this stage is the number one Derby contender for Ballydoyle.

He did little wrong as a juvenile, finishing his campaign with fourth place to Kameko in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle.

A full-brother to the very smart Japan, he should really come into his own now he has the chance to tackle middle distances and while the yard's runners can improve for a run, it will be disappointing if he is beaten.

Queen Power is too talented to not be getting her head in front again at some stage and offers a bit of value in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. It looks a fascinating move from Michael Stoute to bring her back to a mile. She will certainly be coming home strongly.

CHELMSFORD: 4.00 Seneca Chief, 4.35 Bal Mal, 5.10 Tawaafoq, 5.40 Irish Times, 6.15 Where Next Jo, 6.45 Musee D'Orsay, 7.15 Pioneering, 7.45 Beat The Breeze, 8.15 Lilypad, 8.45 Sinndarella.

THIRSK: 1.00 High Peak, 1.30 Moonlighting, 2.05 Licit, 2.40 Scorched Breath, 3.15 Aiden's Reward, 3.50 Blazing Hot, 4.20 Electric Mistress, 4.50 Quanah, 5.20 Mythical Spirit, 5.50 Cool Possibility.

ROYAL ASCOT: 1.15 Daarik, 1.50 Mohaather, 2.25 Frankly Darling, 3.00 MOGUL (NAP), 3.35 Battaash, 4.10 Queen Power, 4.40 Land Of Oz.

WINDSOR: 5.00 Soldierpoy, 5.30 Golden Bear, 6.00 Ivadream, 6.30 True Belief, 7.00 Junius Brutus, 7.30 Narak, 8.00 Crystal Carole, 8.30 Rocket Rod.

DOUBLE: Mogul and Mohaather.