Royal Ascot Day Two Preview 2024

The Royal Meeting is well underway and Day Two brings some more quality Group and handicap action, with the feature being the Prince of Wales's Stakes. We've picked out our selections for the Day.

Royal Ascot Day Two Betting Tips and Selections 2024

Our Main fancies for Day Two of the Royal Meeting are:

  • NAP: Auguste Rodin
  • Next Best: Illinois
  • Dark Horse: Sean

Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change, please gamble responsibly.

Group Two Queen Mary Stakes (2.30) - Enchanting Empress

Ascot - June 18 2024
Ascot 13:30
4(25)
David Egan

Enchanting Empress

J:
 
David Egan
T:
 
Raphael E Freire
Age: 2
Weight: 9-2
OR: N/A
Days: 27

Kicking us off for Day 2 at Royal Ascot is the Queen Mary Stakes, a five furlong dash for two year olds displaying the next generation of high class sprinters. A deep field comprising multiple LTO winners, the Queen Mary is always ultra-competitive.

One of these catching the eye is ENCHANTING EMPRESS for the ever-colourful Amo racing team for David Egan. Bizarrely removed from Dominic Ffrench – Davis and now registered with Norwegian based trainer Raphael E Freire, this promising type by Sergei Prokofiev is on course for a four timer. An impressive winner of the National Stakes at Sandown last time out, and a hot Ascot trial in May, this looks like a logical step for a talented daughter of an inform Sire.

One of the most significant factors in her favour is that she is one of only two course winners in this race, with only three horses ever having run at Ascot. This, backed up by the Dam’s Sire and bloodline producing an optimal stamina index and race experience makes ENCHANTING EMPRESS look a touch overpriced. The draw of Stall 25 is also interesting, with 2019 winner Raffle Prize firing in from there.

A highly competitive field, this may be a race to look at cautiously, however the progressiveness nature and obvious pace of ENCHANTING EMPRESS makes her a smart bet at a bigger price, look out for extra each way places.

Ascot - June 18 2024
Ascot 14:05
4(5)
Ryan Moore

Illinois

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 106
Days: 39

The first staying race of the day, the Queen’s Vase is a contest for three year old horses that relish a step up in trip, or have got stronger over the winter and are waiting to be unleashed. This was certainly true in the case of 2023 winner Gregory, who was a highly impressive Ascot winner last year for Frankie Dettori.

ILLINOIS is the pick of the three year old crop this year, opening as a strong favourite in the market for the formidable partnership of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. Yet to win as a three year old, ILLINOIS was an impressive second of a Lingfield Derby Trial running in behind Epsom Derby second Ambiente Friendly. Although beaten by four and a half lengths, it was clear for all to see that further was needed and this extra 2/3 furlongs could be crucial for squeezing the best out of him.

Most significantly, the pace set in the Lingfield Trial almost broke the course record meaning that performance looks better than initially expected. Joint top rated and coming from a yard with three of the top four in the betting big things are clearly expected. Being the choice of Ryan Moore can only be a positive as well, whilst the Ballydoyle team have won four of the last ten renewals. The chance of ILLINOIS giving O’Brien more success could not look more promising.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/06/24ASC14GF9-21
11/05/24LIN11.5Gd9-22
07/04/24LEO10Hy9-53
22/10/23SAI10VSft9-03
07/10/23CUR9Sft9-71

Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.45) - Laurel

Ascot - June 18 2024
Ascot 14:45
6(1)
Ryan Moore

Laurel

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
John & Thady Gosden
Age: 5
Weight: 9-2
OR: 110
Days: 396

The third and final Group 2 contest of the day is the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, run over a traditionally stiff Ascot mile. The 2024 renewal looks strong, with defending champion Rogue Millennium looking to go back to back for the Irish raiders whilst Ocean Jewel and Breege are coming here off the back of Group 2 and Group 3 success respectively.

Staying at the top of the market, it is LAUREL, returning from a 396 day break for John and Thady Gosden who is of interest here. Last seen well down the field at Newbury in the 2023 Lockinge, this lightly raced five year old daughter of Kingman has been set a tricky, but passable task.

Market support and the confidence of Juddmonte to trust in the Gosden team to pull off such a feat must instil punters with confidence, as will her best form as an impressive and valiant runner up of the Sun Chariot Stakes. A horse with clear Group 1 potential, this assignment looks manageable given LAUREL returns and shows her old ability.

Trend analysis shows that the top-rated horses generally go well here, as do winners over the distance with eight of the last ten winners landing success over 1m6f. If the race turns into a battle of attrition, LAUREL should take it in her stride and return with a bang for her highly respected team.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/05/23NBY8Gd8-1310
10/04/23KEM8St/Slw9-21
01/10/22NMK8GS9-22
21/09/22KEM8St/Slw9-61
29/07/22NMK8GF9-21
Ascot - June 18 2024
Ascot 15:25
2(3)
Ryan Moore

Auguste Rodin

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-2
OR: 123
Days: 24

The feature race of Day 2 at Royal Ascot 2024, the Prince of Wales Stakes is a chance at Group 1 glory for the best horses at 1m2f. A race the top yards of John Gosden, Aidan O’Brien and Sir Michael Stoute have enjoyed great success in over recent years, this race is sure to be a fine renewal.

2023 hero AUGUSTE RODIN tops the market for the Ballydoyle team, and the Irish raiders horse looks a very good bet. The obvious dangers here are the Gosden trained Inspiral and French talent Horizon Dore. AUGUSTE RODIN however, was impressive in defeat at the Curragh just losing out to White Birch who is no longer running. This reappearance was promising, although a mercurial talent on his day he is prone to the odd shocker. The five-time Group 1 winner however has full backing from his trainer, with O’Brien stating afterwards “Even though he was beaten, the run was always going to bring him on. Royal Ascot has been a big part of the plan with him, and we couldn’t be happier with where he is at the minute.”

Nine of the last ten renewals of this race have been plundered by one of the top three in the market, whilst six of the last ten were the top-rated horse in this race. Clearly class matters, and AUGUSTE RODIN is the equine embodiment of this. Whilst Inspiral and the French raiders should be respected (especially if the rain comes) AUGUSTE RODIN should be adding a 6th Group 1 success.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/05/24CUR10.5Gd/Y9-52
30/03/24MEY12Gd8-1312
04/11/23SNA12Fm8-101
09/09/23LEO10Gd9-31
29/07/23ASC12GS8-1210
Ascot - June 18 2024
Ascot 16:05
2(16)
Saffie Osborne

Sean

J:
 
Saffie Osborne
T:
 
Jamie Osborne
Age: 7
Weight: 9-10
OR: 108
Days: 18

Moving into handicap company, the Royal Hunt Cup is one of the most intriguing and competitive handicaps in the whole racing calendar. The very definition of a cavalry charge, thirty runners go to post with the hope of landing the prestigious race. With the field SP at the time of writing 10/1, caution is advised.

One angle for success in a race of this nature is going for the class angle, and the Jamie Osborne trained SEAN is the favoured choice here. One of twelve horses rated over 100 (OR – 108), the Osborne team will be filled with confidence after an intriguing winter campaign in the UAE. SEAN was unlucky to not land a Group 3 pot in Meydan, underlying the clear and obvious pedigree of this horse. If the ground remains good, SEAN has a great chance of hitting the frame.

Another angle to look at in a race of thirty is trends. Jamie Osborne for one is a previous winner of this race when seven-year-old Field of Dream flew the flag for Lambourn in 2014. SEAN also handles a big field, placing in fields of 15 or upwards, whilst also finishing in the top 3 in the 2024 season. The rough nature of this race should not faze the chosen mount of Saffie Osborne, who herself is operating at an impressive 16% strike rate this season.

With an SP of 40/1, SEAN is an intriguing Each Way play who promises a good run for your money.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/06/24EPS8.5GS9-84
16/03/24JEB10Fs9-46
23/02/24MEY9Gd9-03
02/02/24MEY10Gd9-22
05/01/24MEY8Gd9-04
Ascot - June 18 2024
Ascot 16:40
5(15)
Oisin Murphy

Vetiver

J:
 
Oisin Murphy
T:
 
Andrew Balding
Age: 4
Weight: 9-8
OR: 96
Days: 39

One of the newest races in the Royal Ascot calendar, the Kensington Palace stakes is a handicap race exclusively for Fillies ran over one mile. A race that has not yet produced a winner with odds under 12/1, the Kensington Palace Stakes assures punters good each way value.

The Andrew Balding trained VETIVER is the horse of choice here, threatening to dethrone Villanova Queen as the 2023 champion who returns to defend her crown. A horse that has flattered to deceive so far this season, VETIVER is a Listed winner on her very best form and is now on a decreasing mark of 96 (started 2024 at 98). The booking of Oisin Murphy is also significant, operating at an SR of 19% in the past fourteen days. A horse that will handle the course, she finished fifth on her last start here in the Balmoral Handicap.

Only four pounds lower than last year’s winner, at her best VETIVER should be too hot to handle, and is now at a very backable each way price. Murphy is in scintillating form and a very accustomed jockey booking for the Balding team who enjoyed a great May – winning the Musidora Stakes and Sagaro Stakes both with Murphy in the saddle. Huge Each way chances.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/05/24LIN7Gd9-66
23/03/24DON8Sft9-016
21/10/23ASC8Sft8-115
17/09/23DON7GS9-13
28/06/23CRL7Sft9-21
Ascot - June 18 2024
Ascot 17:15
16(23)
Charles Bishop

Pont Neuf

J:
 
Charles Bishop
T:
 
Eve Johnson Houghton
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: N/A
Days: 34

Rounding off Day 2 at Royal Ascot is a blisteringly quick Windsor Castle Stakes ran over five furlongs. With an intended 28 runners, the Windsor Castle is another big field race on Day 2 where caution is advised. A race that is used as a launchpad, boasting previous winners such as Big Evs and Little Big Bear, the Windsor Castle requires a progressive and speedy champion.

PONT NEUF is the chosen horse for the 2024 renewal, looking to replicate the glory of Chipotle in 2021 for Eve Johnson Horton. One of the finest (and most underrated) trainers of a sprinter anywhere in Britain, Johnson Houghton’s horse unseated Charles Bishop in the paddock on debut and still won the race. This demonstrates what a precocious talent is on display here. Next time out, PONT NEUF won a hot novice race at Salisbury whose form has been franked several times.

Second place Kassaya has come out and won NTO at Nottingham, with third place Megalithic running a mighty race behind Teej A at Epsom finishing second. Fifth place at Salisbury Blinky also came out strong, winning next time out. It is early days to gauge the strength of the Epsom form line, however with many horses in that race reappearing here or coming from the Chester Cup meeting, there is some talented horses who PONT NEUF has bested.

Being by Cotai Glory, PONT NEUF has an ideal stamina index profile based off breeding, and as a dual distance winner over five furlongs already possesses good experience for a race of this calibre. PONT NEUF has the speed and stamina to upset the big boys, being one of Eve Johnson Houghton’s best chances at 2024 Ascot glory.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/06/24ASC5GF9-526
16/05/24SAL5Sft9-81
01/04/24KEM5St/Slw9-51