Royal Ascot 2059

Some things, of course, have changed little over the years.

We still have the royal procession, even though it is now along the service road to avoid damaging the racing surface.

Queen Diana will miss the procession this year, having just given birth to the new heir, Prince Darren. Her place will be taken by Queen Kate, the Queen Mother.

One thing is for sure and that is the continued domination of the sprinting division by the Americans. This year is the 50th anniversary of the first American victory when Wesley Ward’s, Strike The Tiger became the first American winner at the Royal Meeting.

Now his son Riley is looking to train his tenth consecutive winner of the 4f King’s Stand Stakes. Historically the Kings Stand was a 5f contest before dropping to the proper sprinting distance back in 2017.

It is also hard to believe that earlier this century 30 runners used to contest the race.

Since the introduction of the ultra-polytrack surface all races are now limited to a maximum of 15 runners. Even though the new surface has been in place for over fifteen years, the debate about draw bias continues.

As always a strong challenge is expected from the United States Of Europe.

Ballydoyle trainer Joseph O’Brien, who took over the reigns of the training establishment when his father St Aidan retired, will once again have a strong challenge and will be looking to follow up his successful Southwell Derby meeting, where he trained the first six home in The Derby over the classic mile distance.

Of course one of the highlights of the week remains the Gold Cup, over the marathon, and almost unique, distance of 1m 4f. Although, once again, question marks will be raised about the future of the race as so few horses are able to cope with this ultra long distance and it looks like being a three or four runner contest again.

It is incredible to believe that horses used to be allowed to run over distances as far as 2m 6f on the flat, however the Animal Equality Bill of 2018 abolished such cruel practices, one of the few remaining laws from before the country withdrew from the United States Of Europe.

Once again the BBC will be providing coverage with the first two races being shown on BBC 19 before switching to BBC 23 in all regions except London which will have coverage behind the red button on BBC 22.

BBC Radio may broadcast coverage but are not saying on which station or at what time.

ATR will bring highlights of the races between "Ambulance Chasers Live" and "Chair Lift Special"


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