Director of International Racing and Communications at Ascot Racecourse, Nick Smith, looks ahead to the exciting opening day of the meeting.
I hope you enjoy reading a little bit about how the main races on Tuesday are framed, about the star names running, and how our races fit into the racing calendar around us.
Uniquely in Flat racing, Royal Ascot opens with a Group One - the Queen Anne Stakes, one of three top level races on the day.
The Queen Anne Stakes is run over a mile and open to four-year-olds and upwards.
This year's race sees the champion American filly Tepin trying to add a Royal Ascot win to her Breeders' Cup Mile victory in the autumn. She is undefeated since then, has form on soft ground and stays a bit further than a mile. However, racing in America is very different and whilst she would be odds on if this field lined up in her country, she will encounter different challenges here, for example racing on a straight track for the first time.
Recent Lockinge Stakes winner, Belardo, last year's Coronation Stakes winner, Ervedya, from France, and Japan's A Shin Erwin are others to note in what is a very open race.
The King's Stand Stakes is a Group One Global Sprint Challenge event over five furlongs, open to three-year-olds and upwards.
The likely favourite, now that the rain has come, is the Michael Dodds-trained Mecca's Angel, who beat Acapulco into second in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August. Past winners of the King's Stand, Goldream and Sole Power, also line up.
One of the most important races of the week, and indeed the racing calendar these days, is the Group One, one mile St James's Palace Stakes for three-year-old colts. Simply, victory here makes the winner one of the most valuable and sought after future stallions in the world.
This year's renewal will have purists licking their lips as it sees the three European Guineas winners lining up - Galileo Gold, successful at Newmarket, The Gurkha, the winner in France, and Awtaad, who won Ireland's version.
The job of the St James's Palace Stakes is to define Europe's top three-year-old colt before he goes on to take on his elders, usually in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. As often as not, the Queen Anne winner will also line up in that race.
Also on the day one card is the Coventry Stakes, Ascot's most important two-year-old race. It is run at Group Two level as the European Pattern does not allow Group One two-year-old contests so early in the season but that does not stop in being the early season championship race for up and coming horses. Generally it is for colts, but this year Wesley Ward, seeking Royal Ascot win number seven, runs the filly Silvertoni, which is quite a statement.
It remains to be seen, however, whether the American two-year-olds will be as effective on slower ground than they are used to at home.
Tickets for the opening two days of Royal Ascot are available on the gate on the day.Click here for more details.