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Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips - Race times & Fixtures

Royal Ascot Day 1 Tips for Tuesday

Always a cracking start to the best five days of flat racing in the world, with two Group 1 races the highlight and extremely competitive racing throughout the seven race card. 2020 has a very different feel, with the meeting taking place behind closed doors and none of the usual fashion or pomp and ceremony, but the reintroduction of the Buckingham Palace handicap at 1.15pm gets the meeting off to a terrific start.

For sprint fans, the five furlong Group 1 Kings Stand is undoubtedly one of the best races of the week, with top class familiar sprinters from around the world likely to be locking horns again. In contrast, the concluding Ascot Stakes over two miles and four furlongs provides a severe test of stamina (that very few horses on the turf are able to stay properly).

Royal Ascot Day 1 2020 – Race Times & Fixtures

Royal Ascot Day 1 2020, Tuesday 16th June Schedule

Time Race Name Age Distance
01:15 PM Buckingham Palace Handicap Tips 3+ 7f
01:50 PM Queen Anne Stakes Tips 4+ 1m
02:25 PM Ribblesdale Stakes Tips 3 1.5m
03:00 PM King Edward VII Stakes Tips 3 1.5m
03:35 PM Kings Stand Stakes Tips 3+ 5f
04:10 PM Duke of Cambridge Stakes Tips 4+ 1m
04:40 PM Ascot Stakes Handicap Tips 4+ 2.5m

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Buckingham Palace Handicap 2020

Race 1, Tuesday, June 16th, 01:15pm

Royal Ascot 2020 has a unique feel from start to finish, and the opening seven furlong handicap will delight traditionalists who have severely missed this race that used to take place on Friday of the meeting (upto 2014 when it was scrapped and effectively replaced by The Commonwealth Cup). This years opening race is sure to attract a maximum field of 24 runners (reduced from a maximum of 30 because of safety concerns in the wake of the pandemic).

Fast ground seems certain with the weather forecast fine for several weeks in the lead up to the race (watering taking place to avoid really firm conditions on day one), and a clutch of progressive three year olds are likely to be primed to take advantage of handicaps marks that may underestimate their improvement over the winter.

Read complete Buckingham Palace Handicap preview here

The Queen Anne Stakes 2020

Race 2, Tuesday, June 16th, 01:50pm

The week at Royal Ascot begins over the straight mile, with this Group 1 confined to four year olds and upwards, and prize money in excess of £600,000 (winners purse in 2019 £340,260). All of the runners are to carry nine stone, though there is a 3lb allowance for fillies and mares (and 1lb for any Southern hemisphere 4-y-o). It is usually a competitive and wide open contest that has provided more than its fair share of shocks over the years.

In 2019 David O’Meara’s ultra tough and consistent performer Lord Glitters won in a tight finish at 14/1 (gaining compensation for finishing second in the same race in 2018), much to the delight of bookmakers who enjoyed a very profitable start to the meeting.

Read complete Queen Anne Stakes preview here

The Ribblesdale Stakes 2020

Race 3, Tuesday, June 16th, 02:25pm

This Group 2 is confined to three year old fillies only and run over a trip of one mile three furlongs and 211 yards, with prize money of £200,000 (winner receives over £113,000). All runners carry 9 stone (with a 3lb penalty for previous Group 1 winners), and this has traditionally been the stepping stone for runners who took part in the Epsom Oaks.

Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have dominated the prize in recent years, with five wins between them in the last six years. In 2019 Star Catcher proved a very popular winner under Frankie Dettori, asserting her superiority over two furlongs out and having more than enough in reserve to fend off the 7/4f Fleeting. She went on to frank the form in style at the Curragh when winning the Irish Oaks (again seeing off her old rival under a positive ride), and rounded off a fantastic season with a Group 1 win back at Ascot on Champions Day in October.

Read complete Ribblesdale Stakes preview here

The King Edward VII Stakes 2020

Race 4, Tuesday, June 16th, 03:00pm

A cracking Group 2 for three year old colts and geldings only, run over one mile three furlongs and 211 yards, and boasting a terrific history of top class winners stretching back to its inauguration in 1834 (originally and aptly called “The Ascot Derby” as it usually provided the logical next step for runners in that years Epsom Derby).

Aidan O’Brien’s Japan ran out an extremely impressive winner in 2019 under Ryan Moore, putting the race to bed early in the straight with a devastating turn of foot. The race has been dominated in recent history by Sir Michael Stoute, with a remarkable six wins so far, and he seems sure to have one laid out in 2020 chasing the prize money of £220,000 (over £127,000 to the winner alone).

Read complete King Edward VII Stakes preview here

The King’s Stand Stakes 2020

Race 5, Tuesday, June 16th, 03:35pm

The highlight of Day 1 at Royal Ascot, with this prestigious Group 1 five furlong sprint attracting the best from all over the world. The race is confined to three-year olds and upwards, with the weights allotted seeing 3-y-o’s carrying 8 st 12lb, and 4-y-o and upwards carrying 9st 4lb (fillies and mares get a 3lb allowance).

Prize money in 2019 was a cool £500,000 (winner received £283,550), and this is understandably one of the biggest betting heats of the entire week (both on the day and in the ante-post market). Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point has won the last two runnings of this race under James Doyle, edging out his old rival Battaash on each occasion in a thrilling finish, and the latter named is currently the 5/1 favourite to go one better this year.

Top class sprinters tend to have a big public following on the flat, coming back year after year and tending to be more durable than middle distance performers. Sole Power proved to be very popular with the punters in recent times, winning in 2013 and 2014 under confident rides from off the pace.

Read complete King’s Stand Stakes preview here

The Duke of Cambridge Stakes 2020

Race 6, Tuesday, June 16th, 04:10pm

This Group 1 race run over one mile one fulong and 212 yards (upgraded from a Group 2 in 2000). It is open to four year olds and upwards, with prize money of £750,000 in 2019 (winner received £425,325), and fillies and mares getting a 3lb allowance (also 3lb for any southern hemisphere raiders).

Sir Michael Stoute has been the trainer to follow in recent years in this top class contest, landing the spoils with Poets Word in 2018 and Crystal Ocean in 2019. There have been some legends of the game who have taken this prize over the years, with perhaps Dubai Millennium the most memorable in 2000 when he stormed home by a remarkable eight lengths (before retiring from racing at the very height of his powers).

Read complete Duke of Cambridge Stakes preview here

The Ascot Stakes 2020

Race 7, Tuesday, June 16th, 04:40pm

The first handicap of the meeting and one that provides a stern test of stamina, open to horses aged four and upwards and run over the marathon trip of two miles three furlongs and 210 yards. Prize money is relatively modest compared to the rest of the week, with £56,025 on offer in 2019.

Willie Mullins has been brilliant at targeting this race with runners who are better known for their exploits over jumps, winning it a remarkable four times in the last decade, with Simenon (2012), Clondaw Warrior (2015), Thomas Hobson (2017) and Lagostovegas (2018) flying the flag for his amazing operation in Ireland. He is sure to be back with a strong team in 2020, and even his second or third string in the betting are worth keeping on side of (market interest tends to focus on the one Ryan Moore is booked to ride).

Read complete Ascot Stakes preview here

Royal Ascot 2020 Day 1 Races

The Tuesday of Royal Ascot is traditionally the strongest day of the five in terms of quality, with the highlight of the day coming in the Group 1 Kings Stand. The Queen Anne Stakes is the other Group 1 race on the day inn 2020, with the valuable contest named after the founder of Ascot back in 1711. Originally the track staged races for “Her Majestys Plate”, with three heats run over four miles, rather different to the tests of speed that prevail in flat racing in the modern era.

All of the day one card is filled with fascinating racing, usually with horses competing from all over the world (though this might not be the case in 2020 given travel restrictions). The Kings Stand is a cracking Group 1 sprint, with Blue Point making history in 2019 by winning the race for the second year running (foiling a hefty gamble on old rival Battaash in the process). This is one of the most exciting races of the week, with a select field of crack sprinters blazing the trail on fast ground and a true champion crowned.In 2020 there will be a completely different feel to the opening day, with the meeting being run behind closed doors because of the continuing effects of the global pandemic.

There will be none of the fashion, fine-dining or the pomp and ceremony associated with the attendance of the Queen and Royal family. However, the action on the track seems sure to be high class and extremely competitive as usual, with the betting certain to be colossal given the dearth of sporting action over the past few months. The Buckingham Palace Stakes is reintroduced to the week to get things underway, and handicap fans are certainly well served throughout the five days with all six additional races coming in this sphere.

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