Royal Ascot is right around the corner, but this year’s event will be unlike anything before it. The event is typically one of the biggest events on the British social calendar, but the closest that gamblers and fans will be able to get to the action this year is through their television screen.
There will be no fans in attendance for the huge week of racing, but that won’t stop gamblers picking their winners on the action.
One of the biggest races of the week will be the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, which is part of the British Champions Series. The lucrative race is open to horses aged four and over, and there will be a reported £148,000 for the winning trainer.
There have been some famous winners in this race, including Connaught, Mtoto and Muhtarram. But, will Japan be the next big name added to the esteemed winners of this Group 1?
All sportsbooks see Japan as the one to beat in this race, with some bookies offering prices of 5/4. The A P O’Brien trained horse will certainly be among the front runners, after tasting success at the royal meeting last year, and will be seen as one of Ryan Moore’s leading chances of the festival.
Japan has long been a popular selection among the punters, and with a festival success already under his belt, this four-year-old will be seen as not only the solid choice for this race but maybe one of the bankers for the entire festival.
However, there will still be some that doubt whether this distance is best for Japan. The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes is run over a mile and a furlong, while many of Japan’s previous successes have gone over one mile and four furlongs. Japan has had previous experience at running the shorter distance, after winning on all his races when aged two. However, last year Japan raced in two races at one mile and two-and-a-half furlongs, with mixed results.
He came fourth at York in May 2019, before winning at the same course in August of the same year. Japan is the quality horse in the field, which means it will be awfully difficult to bet against him.
Japan’s win will not be seen as a full-gone conclusion to all gamblers, as there could be potential further down in the market. One of the most exciting horses is one of the oldest runners in the race- Barney Roy. The six-year-old has established success over this distance, after previously winning over the same distance twice this calendar year.
Both wins came at Meydan, with the most recent win coming on the 7th March. Barney Roy won from Magic Lily on that occasion by a length and three quarters. Like Japan, Barney Roy is also a festival winner, having won the St James’s Palace Stakes in 2017. He will certainly be one that gamblers will be keeping an eye on.
There will also be intrigue around Headman. Roger Charlton trains this four-year-old, and he will come into this race having won in three of his previous four. Those three wins all came over a distance of one mile and two furlongs, which means he could present a stern challenge.
There is no doubting that Headman will be able to keep pace with the quality runners in this race, but he will need to improve on his run from last time out. Headman’s last run was a disappointment as he came fifth at Leopardstown. Gamblers will also be wary as Headman has never run at Ascot. Regardless, the four-year-old could present each-way value.
Here you have the top reasons why we bank Japan to win it all, but also the ones to look out for as contenders. If you fancy horse racing check out also the odds for the upcoming Kentucky Derby in September: https://www.twinspires.com/kentuckyderby/odds