Where to Watch Horse Racing this Weekend

June 21, 2018

- Grant Whittington

Race meetings are known for their excitement and drama, but few are as thrilling as the Royal Meeting. One of the most highly anticipated of the ten meetings scheduled for this weekend, racing fans across the UK are expected to flock to Royal Ascot to watch this four-day event featuring captivating races and culminating with some of the nation’s best riders competing for coveted titles.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what we can expect from the Royal Meeting and where you should watch the racing this weekend.

Royal Ascot, Saturday 23rd June
The final day of the Royal Meeting hosts six flat races in Classes I and II, including the prestigious Diamond Jubilee Stakes. This sprint earned Group 1 status in 2002 and this year twelve talented runners will compete for an impressive first prize of £340,260.

The early favourite is Group 1 horse Harry Angel (5/2), who has been trained by the notable Clive Cox. The four-year old colt enters the race after making a winning start to the season at York back in May, racing in a similarly firm field to the one he will encounter at Royal Ascot. Harry Angel did well in the last year’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, placing a respectable second in a field of twelve.

He’s won three of his four sprint outings since Newmarket last July and has a solid pedigree both at Royal Ascot and as a whole, so he’ll be the one to watch this Saturday.

Aiden O’Brien’s inexperienced horse Merchant Navy (10/3) is another strong contender despite having only completed one sprint to date. He stole the show at Curragh in May and offers a solid each-way bet in the Jubilee Stakes.

If you’re looking for an outside bet, you might want to check out the Stéphane Wattel trained City Light (14/1). This four-year old colt is expected to enter the race in outstanding form after winning all three of his sprints this year. Despite his lack of high-level exposure, this runner could surprise.

Ayr, Saturday June 23rd
Seven flat races are listed for Ayr Racecourse this Saturday, including the underrated Class I Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes. With ten runners competing for a prize fund in excess of £48,000, the race is expected to be a particularly close one.

William Jarvis’ three-year old filly Mrs Gallagher (3/1) is the early favourite after emerging victorious from two of his sprints this year. In May, he performed superbly at Naas and left with odds of 7/1. However, he disappointed during his last showing at Haydock in May, finishing ninth in a field of eleven despite the good field conditions.

A preferred option for punters could be Les Eyre’s Sandra’s Secret (4/1). This five-year old mare enters the race in superb form after having won each of her last three sprints, succeeding at Ripon twice and York since May. These races were in similar conditions to Ayr so she’s well-placed for the win.

Pontefract, Sunday 24th June
The weekend ends in Pontefract with seven flat races, including the sponsored Pontefract Castle Fillies’ Stakes, featuring eleven talented runners and a first place prize of £28,010.

The four-year old filly Ameletum trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam is definitely a horse to watch on Sunday, having performed consistently well this year so far. He’s placed in the top three in all four outings since March including a superb win in Leicester over a similar distance, so he’s well-placed as one of the top runners this weekend.

Mark Johnston’s Titi Makfi is also one to watch, having placed second and third at Nottingham and Ayr respectively since May. He’s certainly a solid each-way bet and he joins a multitude of worthy riders and runners across the weekend.

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