By Simon Jackson at Royal Ascot.
Royal Ascot takes centre stage in world horse racing this week where many of the best thoroughbreds in the world contest some of horse racing’s biggest prizes.
The Royal meeting combines five days of high-quality racing and glamour, which is staged at the Berkshire racecourse from Tuesday June 14 to Saturday June 18.
The six-race card on the opening day is highlighted by the St James’s Palace Stakes which has attracted a boutique field of eight runners that includes Galileo Gold and Awtaad, the respective winners of the English and Irish 2000 Guineas.
The stellar field also includes Charlie Appleby-trained Emotionless – who was forced to miss the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket – his intended first target of the season, after taking longer than expected to come to hand.
The son of Shamardal impressed last season when winning the first two of his three races as a juvenile. He followed up on an impressive win in a maiden race at Newmarket on his debut with an emphatic victory in a Group 2 at Doncaster.
Yet at his next start the Godolphin runner disappointed when finishing down the track in the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes and later required surgery for a chipped bone in his knee.
Tuesday’s big-race jockey William Buick, who has won 14 races at the Royal Meeting, eased the colt heavily in the Dewhurst when sensing all was not well and anticipates a big run in the £400,000 contest at Ascot today.
“He’s had long time off and it’s a very, very hot race but the horse has come right, he looks good and it’s at the right time of year for him,” Buick said ahead of the one mile race that is scheduled for 4.20pm.
“We still think he retains all the ability he had last year. He’s in at the deep end but we are looking forward to getting him back.
“He will do himself justice, and more, but it will be a building block. It is his first run of year and whatever he does on Tuesday you would think he will be better next time.”
“He seems savvy and I would not worry about that,” he added. “It’s quite nice to be going in under the radar on a horse like him. I think he handles fast going and cut in the ground too.”
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.