Horse racing exists in most countries around the world. However, few racing meets are as prestigious as the lovely five-day Royal Ascot meet in the United Kingdom, which begins today.
This highlight of English racing is full of pomp and circumstance—even the Queen herself attends annually.
This year, Royal Ascot will commence its 300th meeting, and it is not short on superstars to support this important week. Although there will be many horses from around the world, including the United States and Australia, ultimately the European horses seem to have the edge this year.
Headlining today’s card is Frankel (GB), who will run in the Gr. I St. James’ Palace Stakes. Frankel is widely regarded as the best male turf horse in the world and is at 2-5 odds in today’s race.
The son of Galileo (GB) has never been beaten in six lifetime starts for trainer Sir Henry Cecil. Owner Khalid Abdulla named the horse after the late legendary American trainer Bobby Frankel.
Also headlining the races is Goldikova (IRE), who will race in the Group I Queen Anne Stakes against colts. Goldikova has established herself as one of the all-time great mares of the world with her astounding victories in the Breeder’s Cup Mile (Gr.I)—against colts—for three straight years.
She is a dominating force in whichever country she runs and is the heavy favorite for Ascot glory today.
These are just some of today’s races. Many other Group I races are scattered throughout the week, including Thursday’s two-mile, four-furlong Gold Cup.
Legendary trainer Aiden O’Brien is never to be ignored at Royal Ascot, and he has the favorite in this race with Fame and Glory (GB). The five-year-old son of Montjeu (IRE) has won 10 of 16 races.
O’Brien’s filly Together (IRE) headlines Friday’s one-mile Coronation Stakes (Gr.I). However, Together is far from a sure bet as she has only won two of 11 races. She will have to face several other talented fillies, including Memory (IRE), winner of three of five starts.
This is just the tip of the iceberg with the Royal Ascot meet. If I were to cover every race, this article would be ridiculously long. Each race is historical by nature, each hoofprint taken over the plush turf course just the latest in 300 years’ worth of horse racing.
Top hats, champagne and multi-million dollar superstar horses will engulf the beautiful track for the next five days. Those of us in America would do well to pay close attention to this famous and historical event.