Royal Ascot Preview 2023

To raise anticipation ahead of the biggest Flat meeting in the racing calendar, Weatherbys Racing Bank hosted their annual Royal Ascot Preview Night on Wednesday, 14th June.

Clients of the bank were treated to expert analysis and insight from industry heavyweights William Haggas, Kevin Blake and Richard Hoiles

Watch the recording

My Prospero and Sacred lead the line for Haggas

Haggas, a multiple Group 1-winning trainer, nominated My Prospero in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Wednesday) and Sacred in Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee (Saturday) as his main hopes in the Group races.

Speaking about My Prospero, the Newmarket-based trainer said: “We’ve been very happy with him since the Lockinge. It was a mistake running him at Newbury with hindsight, but actually it’s done him a lot of good.

“A mile and a quarter should be right up his street. He’s a big, strong, powerful horse and I don’t think [any] ground will bother him.”

Sacred has run well at the Royal meeting twice before and Haggas is hoping she can make it third time lucky, despite the trip being a slight concern: “She’s a brilliant filly with a great turn of foot, but she’s a seven furlong specialist.

“We’ve taken the decision to give her run beforehand, which she didn’t have last year, and I just hope she’s sharp enough to take them on. I don’t think it’s the strongest race and I think she’s got a chance.”

The Somerville Lodge maestro has had a quiet start to season but the yard showed signs of hitting form at the opportune time by registering an across-the-card treble at Haydock and Yarmouth on Tuesday.

Lumiere Rock a lively outsider in the Ribblesdale

Kevin Blake, a leading racing journalist and race planner for Joseph O’Brien, believes Lumiere Rock can outrun her odds in the Ribblesdale (Thursday) for which she was a 16/1 chance at the time of writing.

Blake commented: “This has been the target since she ran well in the Blue Wind [at Naas]. Throughout her whole career she has looked like she wants middle distances and there’s definitely scope for her to improve stepping up in distance.

“I think the ground will be fine and I do like this filly. She’s rated 105 but I think there’s potential for a nice bit of improvement over this stiffer test of stamina.”

The Sky Sports Racing pundit also confirmed Joseph was targeting the Kensington Palace Handicap (Wednesday) with three intended runners. He latterly went on to nominate Yerwanthere as his dark horse for the meeting.  Adelaise and Indian Wish are the two others being aimed at the mile contest.

Hoiles hopeful Free Wind can land the Hardwicke

Proceedings were expertly hosted by ITV Racing’s lead commentator, Richard Hoiles. The man behind the mic selected Free Wind in the Hardwicke (Saturday) as his NAP of the meeting and Cash in Queen Anne (Tuesday) as his Dark Horse.