The Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and three Group 2 prizes are the highlights on a fabulous Friday at Royal Ascot.
It’s been a wonderful week so far at Royal Ascot 2020 and there will be no let-up in the quality and excitement on the track as we move into day four of the meeting.
Another top class seven-race card is headlined by the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup (race five, 15:35), with three-year-olds from the UK, Ireland and the USA lining up in an intriguing contest. Roger Varian’s amazing treble on Thursday means that his unbeaten Pierre Lapin will have plenty of supporters but he faces a host of high quality opposition in what looks like one of the most competitive Group 1s of the whole meeting.
Wesley Ward’s US challenger Kimari was narrowly beaten by a head in The Queen Mary Stakes last year and is sure to be popular with punters under Frankie Dettori. Guineas form from Ireland and the UK is well represented here, including Irish 2000 Guineas third Lope Y Fernandez for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
A trio of Group 2 contests underpin the schedule, with prestigious prizes on offer for two-year-olds, three-year-olds and older horses.
The Hardwicke Stakes (race four, 1500) is always one of the Group 2 highlights of the week and this year it’s no different. Last year’s winner Defoe is joined by the 2019 Epsom Derby victor Anthony Van Dyck and Elarqam, who finished third in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York last season.
US trainer Wesley Ward seeks a third win in The Norfolk Stakes (race three, 14:25) with Golden Pal, while there is a royal runner in the shape of Her Majesty The Queen’s Punctuation in the Queen’s Vase (race six, 16:10). With three more fascinating contests on the card, including the Group 3 Albany Stakes (race two, 13:50), it promises to be a fantastic start to the weekend at Royal Ascot.