RACING AHEAD: Royal Ascot preview - part two

Racing Ahead with Tony McCormick
Racing Ahead with Tony McCormick
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Racing pundit Tony McCormick from www.irishbigracetrends.com beforetheoff.com and racing radio station racingfm.com looks ahead to the final two days at Royal Ascot

There is a new race at this year’s Royal Meeting, the Commonwealth Cup.

The eighth Group One race at Royal Ascot will be run for £375,000 on the Friday card, replacing the Buckingham Palace Stakes. It will be open to three-year-old colts, geldings and fillies

The Wolferton Stakes has been moved from Friday to Saturday with the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap transferred the other way, to ensure a competitive handicap is run as the fifth race on each day of Royal Ascot.

Prize money at The 2015 Royal Ascot has been increased to £5,585,000 from £5,310,000.

The Commonwealth Cup market is currently headed by the Henry Candy-trained LIMATO, trading at 7/2. The American speedster HOOTENANY is trading at 5/1, while TIGGY WIGGY drops back to six furlongs since winning the Group 1 Cheveley Park at Newmarket in September. Limato’s conqueror, ADAAY the mount of Paul Hanagan, for trainer William Haggas is a 8/1 chance to repeat the feat.

As the meeting draws to a close on Saturday here is The Royal Ascot stock-take.

1) During the event 2,400 kilos of whole sirloin beef, 3,700 rumps of lamb and 2,900 Scottish lobsters are served to guests. A further 51,000 bottles of champagne, 160,000 glasses of Pimms and 45,000 afternoon teas are consumed.

2) The race track grass is cut to four inches and three miles of bunting is erected.

3) There are 175 stable boxes at Ascot racecourse to accommodate an average of 100 runners per day but the boxes are nearly always full with runners for the next day’s racing also accommodated. 700 bales of shavings and 500 bales of paper are used for stable bedding over the week.

4) Around 300,000 guests are expected to attend the Royal Meeting this year.

5) Approximately 400 helicopters and 1000 limousines descend on Royal Ascot across the five days, while guests are greeted by 300 in-house stewards in traditional attire and a further 700 stewarding staff.

6) Ascot racecourse was established at the behest of Queen Anne in 1711. The centrepiece of Ascot’s year, Royal Ascot, is thought to have originated in the mid-18th Century and is now arguably the world’s most famous race meeting. All 30 races at Royal Ascot will be shown live on Channel 4 and Racing UK and pictures are distributed to approximately 200 countries worldwide. Such is the relevance of Royal Ascot in Australia that the meeting is shown on terrestrial television there on Channel 7.

7) And finally…The Cheese on Toast outlet on the Grandstand lawns sold the equivalent in height of the London Eye.

UNDER THE RADAR: Friday – New Providence 25/1 (Commonwealth Cup), Saturday – Kick Boxer 16/1 and Blaine 33/1 (Wokingham)