Tuesday 23 January 2018

Royal Ascot Day One Lucky 15: Four horses to follow

Sole Power after his second King's Stand success lat year
Sole Power after his second King's Stand success lat year
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

There is huge Irish interest on Day One of the 2015 Royal Ascot racing festival. Here are four horses that could fill a Lucky 15 today.

1. Able Friend (2.30 Royal Ascot) Odds: 11/4

There is a real international feel to the Queen Anne Stakes which kickstarts the action today.

There is little to separate the Richard Hannon pair of Night Of Thunder and Toormore who finished one and two in the Lockinge Stakes last month but I think the raiders have the upper edge.

It's safe to draw a line through Cougar Mountain for Aidan O'Brien but the same cannot be said for Hong Kong raider Able Friend and the Freddy Head-trained challenger from France Solow.

Able Friend is quite simply enormous animal and his long striding style should suit the contours of Ascot.

John Moore is hoping Able Friend can consolidate his standing among the global elite by beating Solow and Night Of Thunder in a sizzling Royal Ascot opener for the Queen Anne Stakes

2. Sole Power (3.40 Royal Ascot) Odds: 10/3

The first big sprint of the week sees the Eddie Lynam-trained Sole Power bid for an unprecedented third King Stand Stakes success in a row.

It will be a blistering 57 seconds of action and incredibly exciting given Sole power's preference of coming from the rear of the field.

A lot will hinge on Richard Hughes' timing but if he gets it right, the eight-year-old is the one they all have to beat.

Sole Power will run at the Curragh tomorrow

3. Gleneagles (4.20 Royal Ascot) Odds: 4/6

The nap selection of the Lucky 15, Aidan O'Brien's Gleneagles should prove more than capable of following up his double Guineas success at Newmarket and the Curragh with victory in the St James's Palace Stakes.

Andre Fabre's Make Believe will probably be his closest challenger but expect Ryan Moore to be celebrating at the winning post.

Victory should consolidate his standing as the best three-year-old miler in training.


4. Round Two (3.05 Royal Ascot) Odds: 5/2

Jim Bolger's colt comes to the Coventry Stakes with a lofty reputation after accounting for Washington DC (who also runs today in the Windsor Castle Stakes at 5.35) in a listed event at the Curragh.

He steps up from five furlong to six and the added distance doesn't seem like it will perturb him given how he finished his last race.

Aidan O'Brien's Air Force Blue could be his biggest challenger. He beat Rockaway Valley for Jessica Harrington on his only outing and that horse went on to record a very impressive maiden success at the Curragh.

Jim Bolger's Round Two is considered the front-runner for the Coventry Stakes

A €1 stake on a Lucky 15 will cost you €15 for potential returns of €345.31 (Prices and winnings subject to change)

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