ROYAL ASCOT 2017

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Racegoers from across the globe will gather at Ascot Racecourse for the spectacle of the 2017 Royal Meeting. Five days of world-class racing, fashion, tradition and fine dining.

The 2017 Royal Ascot meet will run from Tuesday, June 20 through Saturday, June 24, and large fields in almost all of the races will mean superior wagering value.

Royal Ascot is Britain's most valuable race meeting, attracting many of the world's finest racehorses to compete for more than £6.58 million in prize money. Royal Ascot has eighteen Group races, eight of them in Group One, that have made legends of the finest thoroughbreds. Black Caviar, Frankel, Yeats - all are Royal Ascot winners turned household names.

A record 14 American horses appear likely to race in this year's Royal Ascot with 10 of them trained by Wesley Ward who has won 7 Royal Ascot races in the last few years.

Below is a list of the 2017 Royal Ascot major races, purses, distances and dates:

£600,000 | ONE MILE STRAIGHT | Tuesday, June 20 (2.30pm)

Royal Ascot gets off to the best possible start with the Queen Anne Stakes for four-year-olds and upwards over the straight mile.

American handler Todd Pletcher, who saddled Always Dreaming to land the Kentucky Derby last month, is set to run American Patriot. The four-year-old son of War Front heads to Royal Ascot on the back of a first G1 victory in the Maker's 46 Mile on turf at Keeneland on April 14.

Pletcher commented at the time of entry: "American Patriot is in great form and came out of his win at Keeneland really, really well. We have been very pleased with the winter and spring he has had and it seems he is in career-best form at the moment.

Pletcher saddled his first Royal Ascot runners in 2011, with Bridgetown finishing 12th in the G1 King's Stand Stakes and More Than Real coming home 11th in the G1 Coronation Stakes.

He continued: "Royal Ascot is unbelievable. We hope to do a little better than we did with our runners before but it was still a great experience. "I have been a few times to Royal Ascot when I haven't had runners. It is a fantastic event and we look forward to coming back, hopefully with some success this time."

Also entered from the USA is Royal Ascot regular Miss Temple City (Graham Motion), fourth in both the G1 Coronation Stakes in 2015 and the G2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes last year.

The five-year-old, a three-time G1 scorer, also holds a Duke Of Cambridge Stakes entry again this year.

Heading the British-trained entries is Godolphin's Ribchester (Richard Fahey), the impressive winner of the G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 20, Europe's first Group One mile race of the year, while the 2016 Coronation Stakes heroine Qemah (Jean-Claude Rouget FR) and Usherette (Andre Fabre FR), who landed the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes 12 months ago, add further spice to the mix.

£400,000 | FIVE FURLONGS | Tuesday, June 20 (3.40pm)

Lady Aurelia (Wesley Ward USA) put up a superb performance when making all to win the G2 Queen Mary Stakes by seven lengths at Royal Ascot in 2016 and is set to return this year in the King's Stand Stakes.

Subsequently successful in the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville, the three-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy returned to action this year with a facile victory in the Listed Giant's Causeway Stakes at Keeneland on April 15.

The star filly worked at Keeneland Racecourse on June 5 before departing for England with the rest of his strong team for Royal Ascot. Lady Aurelia went five furlongs on a fast turf course dampened by morning showers with Bound for Nowhere, set for the Commonwealth Cup, in 1m 0.80s.

Ward commented afterwards: "I was going to go into the work a little easy, but when we got that little bit of rain with the give in the ground I thought it would be a good time - two weeks out - to let her skip along, so I changed my plan a little bit. She worked tremendous."

Ward has saddled seven winners at Royal Ascot since Strike The Tiger got the ball rolling in the 2009 Windsor Castle Stakes.

Reflecting on his success, Ward continued: "Royal Ascot has been so kind to me. It is a point in the calendar that I aim at every year and have been lucky enough to have had some success. Everyone in Britain has always been so kind to us.

"My son was a tiny guy with his top hat over his ears back in 2009 and is now going to college! It is great looking at all the photos of Royal Ascot we have and at how the timeline has developed."

Last year's King's Stand Stakes hero Profitable (Clive Cox) is also engaged along with stable companion Priceless, winner of the G2 Temple Stakes at Haydock Park on May 27. Marsha (Sir Mark Prescott) is another leading contender, having captured the G1 Prix de l'Abbaye in 2016 and gained another victory on her seasonal return in the G3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket on May 6.

Ireland's champion Flat trainer Aidan O'Brien has six remaining entries including the unbeaten Caravaggio, who is more likely to go for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, plus Acapulco, winner of the Queen Mary Stakes in 2015 when trained by Wesley Ward.

£400,000 | ONE MILE ROUND | Tuesday, June 20 (4.20pm)

Churchill (Aidan O'Brien IRE) has carried all before him so far in 2017 with commanding successes in the mile Classics, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.

He is one of nine O`Brien-trained contenders in the St James's Palace Stakes for three-year-old colts, with Investec Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher also going forward.

The Godolphin-owned pair of Barney Roy (Richard Hannon) and Thunder Snow (Saeed bin Suroor), second behind Churchill at Newmarket and the Curragh respectively, also figure along with the tremendous French 2,000 Guineas and French Derby victor Brametot (Jean- Claude Rouget).

£750,000 | ONE MILE & TWO FURLONGS | Wednesday, June 21 (4.20pm)

The 10-furlong Prince Of Wales's Stakes, the richest race staged a Royal Ascot with prize money of £750,000 on offer, is for older horses over 10 furlongs.

The 26 entries going forward include Highland Reel (Aidan O'Brien IRE), already a G1 winner at Ascot following his success in the 12-furlong King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) in 2016. The five-year-old Galileo horse took his G1 tally to five when winning the Investec Coronation Cup over the same trip at Epsom Downs on June 2.

Others in the mix include last year's winner of the race My Dream Boat (Clive Cox), G1 Dubai Sheema Classic victor Jack Hobbs (John Gosden), G1 Prix Ganay victor Cloth Of Stars (Andre Fabre FR), Decorated Knight (Roger Charlton), who already has two G1s under his belt in 2017 following victories in the Jebel Hatta and Tattersalls Gold Cup, Ulysses (Sir Michael Stoute), a G3 winner on his return to action, and filly So Mi Dar (John Gosden).

£400,000 | TWO MILES & FOUR FURLONGS | Thursday, June 22 (4.20pm)

Last year's winner Order Of St George (Aidan O'Brien IRE) heads the 27 entries going forward for Thursday's highlight, the Gold Cup. The five-year-old, who was also a fine third in last season's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, is bidding to build on the trainer's formidable record in the Gold Cup.

Also among the Irish challenge is Torcedor (Jessica Harrington IRE), who got the better of Order Of St George in the G3 Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in April, while the main French hope is Vazirabad (Alan de Royer Dupre FR), successful in the G1 Prix Royal-Oak last season and a dual G2 winner already in 2017.

Entries with winning form at Ascot still engaged include Sheikhzayedroad (David Simcock), who landed the G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup in October, and this season's G3 Longines Sagaro Stakes scorer Sweet Selection (Hughie Morrison).

Other leading contenders are recent G3 King Henry II Stakes victor Big Orange (Michael Bell), 2016 G1 Prix du Cadran winner Quest For More (Roger Charlton) and the 2015 Gold Cup hero Trip To Paris (Ed Dunlop) as well as the last two winners of the St Leger - Simple Verse (Ralph Beckett) and Harbour Law (Laura Mongan).

£400,000 | SIX FURLONGS | Friday, June 23 (3.40pm)

Having produced champion sprinters in its first two runnings (Muhaarar in 2015 and Quiet Reflection in 2016), the 2017 Commonwealth Cup for three- year-olds is shaping up to be another cracking contest.

The Scat Daddy colt Caravaggio (Aidan O'Brien), successful over the course and distance in the G2 Coventry Stakes in 2016, took his unbeaten run to five when storming away with the G3 Lacken Stakes at Naas on May 21 and is one of six remaining entries for his trainer.

Wesley Ward has left in Lady Aurelia, although she is much more likely to go for the King's Stand Stakes, and is aiming Bound For Nowhere at the Commonwealth Cup. A son of The Factor, Bound For Nowhere is unbeaten in two outings, having won impressively at Keeneland over an extended five furlongs on turf at Keeneland on April 21.

The trainer remarked: "Bound For Nowhere is getting better by the day and has got a big, long stride."

The best of the British-trained entries looks to be Harry Angel (Clive Cox). Winner of the G2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury in 2016, the Dark Angel colt could not have been more impressive when landing the G2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock Park last time out - the same race Quiet Reflection won before her triumph in the Commonwealth Cup last year.

£400,000 | ONE MILE ROUND | Friday, June 23 (4.20pm)

Dual 1000 Guineas heroine Winter (Aidan O'Brien) headlines 28 remaining entries for the Coronation Stakes.

American interest in the mille contest for three-year-old fillies is set to come from La Coronel (Mark Casse USA). Hailing from the same stable as last year's Queen Anne Stakes heroine Tepin, the daughter of Colonel John has already landed two G3 contests in 2017, most recently capturing the Edgewood Stakes over an extended mile at Churchill Downs on May 5.

Other contenders include Godolphin's Wuheida (Charlie Appleby) who was unbeaten in two starts last year, including the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac, but has yet to start in 2017, and the John Gosden-trained pair, Daban and Dabyah, who are both owned by Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah and finished third in the 1000 Guineas and won a Newbury G3 respectively.

£600,000 | SIX FURLONGS | Saturday, June 24 (4.20pm)

The highlight of the final day, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes is set to be a cosmopolitan affair again in 2017. The Right Man (Didier Guillemin, FR) got the better of Long On Value (Bill Mott USA) by a nose in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March and the duo are scheduled to re-oppose at Royal Ascot.

The Right Man will be bidding for a second victory of a necessary three Global Sprint Challenge wins required to win the US$1-million bonus, having won the Al Quoz.

US Hall of Fame trainer Mott, 63, most famous for his handling of the incomparable Cigar, is yet to saddle a runner at Royal Ascot.

He said: "Long On Value travelled very well from Dubai and is back in training. He has been nominated for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and it is very exciting as I have never been to Royal Ascot before." Other overseas challengers include the consistent Signs Of Blessing (Francois Rohaut FR) and Acapulco (Adian O'Brien).

A strong domestic challenge looks set to include last year's Commonwealth Cup heroine Quiet Reflection (Karl Burke), plus The Tin Man (James Fanshawe), winner of the 2016 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, and three- time G1 victor Limato (Henry Candy).

All the G1 contests at Royal Ascot are part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, while the King's Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes are also two of the British legs of the Global Sprint Challenge.

For information on the 2017 Royal Ascot, please visit https://www.ascot.co.uk/Royal-Ascot

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OTB Schedule - Sunday, Nov 19

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Aqueduct 9:41 AM
Australia A 9:30 PM
Australia B 10:55 PM
Australia C 10:15 PM
Charlottetown 11:31 AM
Cheltenham (UK) 8:15 AM
Clonmel (IG) 2:30 PM
Cork (IRE) 7:10 AM
Del Mar 3:30 PM
Flamboro Downs 6:08 PM
Fontwell (UK) 7:20 AM
Fraser Downs 3:48 PM
Golden Gate Fields 3:46 PM
Gulfstream Park West 12:05 PM
Harrahs Philly (Chester) 12:43 PM
Laurel Park 12:34 PM
Los Alamitos (QH) 8:19 PM
Mountaineer Park 7:01 PM
Mullingar (IG) 10:17 AM
Naples-Ft Myers Mat 12:17 PM
Naples-Ft Myers Twi 2:26 PM
New York Double 9:44 AM
Northfield Park 6:27 PM
Orange Park Mat 1:33 PM
Palm Beach Mat 1:03 PM
Parx Racing 12:25 PM
Pocono Downs 7:36 PM
Pompano Park 7:28 PM
Punchestown (IRE) 7:00 AM
Rideau Carleton 6:33 PM
Rosecroft Raceway 6:42 PM
Saratoga Harness 12:21 PM
Scarborough Downs 12:20 PM
Southland Twilight 5:01 PM
Tri-State Twi 5:05 PM
Turffontein (SAF) 5:03 AM
Turf Paradise 2:42 PM
Wheeling Downs Eve 5:46 PM
Wheeling Downs Mat 1:05 PM
Woodbine (TB) 1:00 PM
Yonkers Raceway 11:49 AM
Zia Park 2:12 PM

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