3.40 King’s Stand Stakes: The dashers go to post for the 5f charge that is the King’s Stand Stakes on Day One of the Royal Ascot meeting and the race looks a wide open contest with 12 declared including Battaash for Charlie Hills, Charlie Appleby’s Blue Point, Sergei Prokofiev for Aidan O’Brien and Michael Dods’s popular Mabs Cross.
BATTAASH (Trainer: Charlie Hills, Jockey: Jim Crowley) 2-1: Has won Group 1 races in the past but beaten by Blue Point in this last year. Not entirely convincing favourite.
BLUE POINT (Charlie Appleby, James Doyle) 3-1: Excellent campaign over 5f and 6f in Meydan, but this trip seems to be the best.
SERGEI PROKOFIEV (Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore) 6-1: Youngster continues to improve and not far off Mabs Cross last time.
MABS CROSS (pictured; Michael Dods, Paul Mulrennan) 8-1: Close enough in previous defeats to top two in market to suggest the tables could be turned.
IMPRIMIS (Joseph Orseo, Frankie Dettori) 10-1: Good form in America and trip is perfect; one to watch.
SOLDIER’S CALL (Archie Watson, Daniel Tudhope) 14-1: Slightly disappointing seasonal bow but just touched off by Mabs Cross in a Group 1 at Leopardstown last year so has a chance.
EQUILATERAL (Charlie Hills, James McDonald) 16-1: Almost always gives a good account over 5f and has EW claims.
FAIRYLAND (Aidan O’Brien, Wayne Lordan) 20-1: Tried up at Guineas distance in England and Ireland nw down at the minimum. Definitely of interest.
HOUTZEN (Toby Edmonds, Kerrin McEvoy) 20-1: Has come up short at the highest level in Australia, no reason to think that will change here.
JUDICIAL (Julie Camacho, PJ McDonald) 33-1: Winner of a Group 3 and not beaten far by Mabs Cross last time but this is probably too big a test.
SIGNORA CABELLO (John Quinn, Oisin Murphy) 33-1: A fine 2yo campaign but not reached those heights this season.
ENZO’S LAD (Michael Pitman, David Egan) 50-1: Twice a Group 1 winner in Australia but well beaten at Sha Tin last time and a fair price for this.