After reported to have had a setback in the spring, the now 7 year old Battaash has been hit with some doubters ahead of the King’s Stand Stakes.
On his day however, Bataash is arguably one of the worlds top sprinters and would be extremely difficult to stop.
The son of Dark Angel is a serial Group One winner and showed little signs of slowing up when winning on all 3 starts last season.
He’s looking to become just the 4th ever horse to record back to back victories in this race and has clear leading claims.
The win on her reappearance at York (Listed, 5f) was a most impressive 3 length front running victory, eased down whilst still recording a top time figure.
That run puts her will in the mix here, especially given that the well beaten 2nd placed horse home that day, Atalis Bay, has since scored in a listed race, thereby boosting the form.
Silvestre De Sousa retains the ride on board and Winter Power receives the 3 year old and fillies allowances when running here.
Tim Easterby’s enjoyed a rich spell of winners recently, however his entrant has never run at Ascot, leaving a slight question mark over her suitability to the track.
Of recent times, 3 year olds have also needed to be exceptional to win this race, making the trends fairly stacked against her chances aswell.
US entrant, Extravagant Kid was an impressive 4th in the Grade 1 Breeders Cup (5.5f) despite a bad draw.
Frankie Dettori’s mount won last time out at Meydan (G1, 6f) beating re-opposing rival Acklam Express who finished a close 3rd.
He’ll appreciate the strong pace he’s assured to aim at in the race and will be dangerous on fast, drying ground.
Does seem to be of better effect over 6f of late, although has won over 5f before.
Oxted is a former Group 1 July Cup winner (6f) however has been below par in his two runs this season.
Roger Teals entrant could only manage a well beaten 3rd last time out at York in the clipper stakes (6f) and now drops down in distance to 5f in what looks a speculative attempt of bouncing Oxted back to form.
If taking to the distance however, on his day, he is a top sprinter.
Trainer John Quinn is chasing his first win in this race and he’s done extremely well with his sprinters of late.
Liberty Beach was not at her best but still managed to ground out a game victory at Haydock (G2, 5f) upon heavy conditions on her reappearance.
The daughter of Cable Bay should strip fitter for that run and the time figure was good.
She offers a fairly solid each way option in the race she finished 3rd in last year.
Que Amoro took a huge step forward last season for Michael Dodds when finishing a length 2nd at 22/1 behind Battaash in the Nunthorpe (G1, 5f).
She failed to follow up next time out however in a Group 1 affair at Curragh (5f) on a track which isn’t sure to have suited and this will now be her first race in 275 days
Has it all to prove on her Ascot debut on the back of a layoff, however may run a big race if she’s up to it.
Wesley Ward brings a strong yearly hand from the US to Ascot, however his King’s Stand Stakes entrant Maven does remain of an unknown quality being lightly raced.
Top US jock John Velazquez also makes the trip from the States to ride but his mount will need to step up on his last UK visit which was a 10th placed finish in the Molcombe (G3, 5f).
He won on his reappearance in an allowance race at Keeneland (5.5f) and had plenty scope for improvement during the layoff period prior meaning we can be hopeful of a better effort.
Andrew Balding is yet to win the Kings Stand stakes and enters lightly raced 4yo Kings Lynn.
Kings Lynn took a step forward to score in listed company last time out over 5f at Haydock and is equipped with champion jockey Oisin Murphy on board.
Having said this, the son of Cable Bay will need to take another huge step forward in order to be competitive here in this Group 1.
The second of John Quinn’s entrants in the race, Keep Busy, is equipped with the useful Ryan Moore on board.
The 4yo filly took a big step forward to finish 2nd, just 1/2 a length behind Glass Slippers in the Flying Five Stakes (G1, 5f) at Curragh last season.
She was then subsequently seen keeping on for a respectable 5th in heavy conditions in France (G1, 5f).
Her reappearance this season was a below par effort behind Liberty Beach at Haydock under heavy conditions, however she should strip fitter for that run and will appreciate better underfoot conditions.
Nigel Tinkler’s smart 2 year old, Ubettabelieveit, was a shock 40/1 winner in the Flying Childers stakes at Doncaster (G2, 5f)
The son of Kodiac then followed up with a respectable 3rd in the Breeders Cup 2yo sprint in the States (G2, 5.5f).
He was disappointing however last time out on his reappearance finishing last of 8 and has it all to prove against the older horses.
Andrew Balding’s second entrant, Stone of Destiny, has useful form at Ascot and is a past course and distance winner.
That win was in a class 2 affair however and Stone of Destiny will need to make a huge step forward to be competitive in the race.
Having said this, the employment of William Buick on board is a slight boost to his chances .
The Nigel Tinkler trained Acklam Express enjoyed listed success as a 2yo at York before returning earlier this year at Meydan.
The 3yo gelding enjoyed a good spell in the UAE, placing in all 3 runs across Group 3 - Group 1 affairs.
He didn’t seem right, sweating up, on his UK return and subsequently finished a well beaten 8th of 8 at York thereby giving him something to prove here.
The son of Mehmas also has to reverse the form on Winter Power who beat him as a 2yo.
Trainer Adrian Mcguinness crosses the Irish Sea to try his hand in the Kings Stand sporting entrant Harry’s Bar, a serial winner on the all weather tracks.
The gelding is however a rare runner on turf, although did show promise when finishing 2nd in a listed affair last time out at Naas (5f).
The son of Exceed and Excel has some scope for improvement back down at 5f once again here and the Irish team have clearly seen enough to warrant trying their hand with him in this one.
I wouldn’t expect too much improvement however given he is now 6 years old.
Robert Cowell’s 6yo gelding has been in good form of late, winning a class 3 (5f) on his seasonal return, before stepping up once more to land a class 2 (5f) upon soft conditions last time out.
He is equipped with the tactful Jamie Spencer on board, however will need to make a huge step forward on past form in order to land this.
Glamorous Anna finished a respectable 4th in a Group 3 in September at Newbury however has failed to replicate that effort ever since.
Two well beaten efforts on the all weather were followed by a recent 7th placed beating at Newmarket back on turf in a Group 3 (5f).
Needs to find a lot to be anywhere near involved here in a Group 1 contest.
Ornate was well beaten into 12th on his last effort in the Kings Stand stakes back in 2018.
The now 8 year old gelding looks to have it up against him once more here given his poor displays the last twice 8th and then 13th in listed and class 2 affairs (5f).
Adam Kirby is employed on board and he has it all to do here.