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Royal Ascot 2014: Jamie Lynch's Day 1 Preview

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Jamie Lynch takes you through the card on day one of Royal Ascot 2014

Superstars of the present in three Group 1 races and superstars of the future in two prestigious juvenile events are what make the Tuesday of Royal Ascot the single best day's racing anywhere in the world. Forget Cheltenham, forget Dubai, forget the Breeders' Cup - Ascot is where it's at, and it starts with a bang.

The opening Queen Anne Stakes is a truly international contest, featuring the best of British in the shape of Toronado, the sexy transatlantic challenger named Verrazano, and South Africa's finest, Soft Falling Rain. Verrazano is a problem racehorse, because he has a problem being a racehorse, at least that's the way it looked several times in his up-and-down days in America.

After transfer to Ireland, he made a satisfactory start for Aidan O'Brien when third in the Lockinge, and the conventional wisdom is that he'll leap forward from it, but Verrazano simply doesn't do conventional. If, like me, you're dead against him, then the way is paved for an exacta on the other two, with Toronado taken on top of Soft Falling Rain.

The Night of Thunder - Kingman clash is being billed as Froch vs Groves grudge-ladened re-match, after Night of Thunder won narrowly on points at Newmarket in the Guineas, despite a wild late swing. Don't forget, though, that the St James's Palace Stakes will in fact be the third installment in their series, remembering that Kingman knocked him out cold in the Greenham back in April. There's no doubt in my mind that Kingman packs the bigger punch, as suggested in the Irish Guineas, a contest that could have been stopped long before the end.

The undercard bout - for third place - is Toormore against War Command, neither of whom boxed clever in the Guineas, finishing seventh and ninth respectively. War Command has more to prove out of the pair, as Toormore had previously shown all his powers were intact in the Craven. Kingman beats Night of Thunder in the main event, with Toormore winning the bronze-medal bout.

As for the best win bet on the first day, look no further than the new kid on the sprinting block: Hot Streak. There's fast, and then there's Hot Streak. It's a long time since Britain has produced a speedster as exciting as him, and his awesome win in last month's Temple Stakes at Haydock tells me that he has the legs on the older guard, including Sole Power and Shea Shea, who were first and second in the King's Stand last year.

One of the favourites for the premier two-year-old race at the meeting, the Coventry Stakes, is Adaay, whose quality also serves as a pointer towards the other juvenile event on the first day. That's because Mind of Madness made Adaay work hard when the pair fought out the finish of a conditions race at Yarmouth a fortnight ago, and he'll be more at home in the shallower waters of the Windsor Castle Stakes.

Mind of Madness had impressed above all with his speed with his striking winning debut over five furlongs, and reverting to that trip at Ascot will be right up his street. In a big field, he'll need luck and the right ride incorporating expert timing to pounce late, but there's no better man for that particular job at Ascot than Jamie Spencer. The risks attached means it's good idea to have the place part on your side, too, making him an each-way play. If things drop right for Mind of Madness and Spencer, then it could prove a very rewarding end to the first day of a unique week.     

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NEWBURY 4:00

Friday 22 September
7. SECOND THOUGHT (IRE) 128p
Robert Winston silk Robert Winston
William Haggas
6. DREAM OF DREAMS (IRE) 127+
Ryan Moore silk Ryan Moore
Sir Michael Stoute hot trainer
8. GOLDEN STUNNER (IRE) 126
Pat Dobbs silk Pat Dobbs
Ralph Beckett
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9:15 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Callum Shepherd silk 4. ESTIBDAAD (IRE) 12/113
2nd David Probert silk 2 9. CALIFORNIA CLIFFS (IRE) 12/113
3rd Martin Harley silk 2 7. TOMMY'S SECRET 3/14
J: Callum Shepherd (3)  
T: Paddy Butler  
11 ran. NRs: 1  6 
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8:45 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Josephine Gordon silk 8. ARCADIAN SEA (IRE) 5/23.5f
2nd Tom Marquand silk 1. FANTASY GLADIATOR 5/16
3rd Paddy Bradley silk 7. MASTER OF HEAVEN 10/111
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8:15 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Joshua Bryan silk 1. CHETAN 3/14f
2nd Richard Kingscote silk 13. PRINCE JAI 6/17
3rd Rhiain Ingram silk nk 14. DUKES MEADOW 8/19
4th Josephine Gordon silk ½ 6. CAPTAIN HAWK 10/111
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7:45 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Dougie Costello silk 3. ENIGMATIC (IRE) 14/115
2nd Danny Brock silk ½ 6. SWISS VINNARE 50/151
3rd David Egan silk nk 11. YOGIYOGIYOGI (IRE) 6/17
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1st Paddy Pilley silk 8. GOLD HUNTER (IRE) 16/117
2nd Jimmy Quinn silk nk 11. ROUGE NUAGE (IRE) 20/121
3rd Luke Morris silk 1 15. CAINHOE STAR 5/16
J: Paddy Pilley (5)  
T: Steve Flook  
14 ran. NRs: 6 
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6:45 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Robert Winston silk 9. HARLEQUIN STORM (IRE) 6/17
2nd Charlie Bennett silk 2 14. BAHAMIAN PARADISE 6/17
3rd Joshua Bryan silk ½ 12. BILLYOAKES (IRE) 10/111
T: Dean Ivory  
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6:15 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Ryan Tate silk 12. MACKSVILLE (IRE) 14/115
2nd Silvestre De Sousa silk 8. NURSE NIGHTINGALE 5/16
3rd Robert Tart silk 11. UPTOWN FUNK (IRE) 9/25.5
J: Ryan Tate  
13 ran. NRs: 6 
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5:55 BALLINROBE

1st Miss N. Carberry silk 1. CASK MATE (IRE) 9/43.25cf
2nd Mr J. J. Codd silk 12 2. ELUSIVE EXCLUSIVE (IRE) 9/43.25cf
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5:50 YARMOUTH

1st Pat Cosgrave silk 4. BIG TOUR (IRE) 6/42.5f
2nd James Doyle silk 1. MOUNTAIN RESCUE (IRE) 5/23.5
J: Pat Cosgrave  
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