Frankel may have come the closest to becoming a household name of any Flat horse in the modern era but he will be challenged for the headlines during Royal Ascot by the Australian superstar Black Caviar, who is set to arrive in Newmarket on June 7 ahead of her first UK appearance.
The Peter Moody-trained mare holds entries for the King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes, as does recent Al Quoz Sprint winner Ortensia, who has been sent straight to the UK from Dubai and is a more likely starter in the King’s Stand.
Fastnet Rock was struck down by travel sickness when he arrived in the UK for Royal Ascot in 2005, but his absence from that meeting could be avenged by his Group 1-winning son Foxwedge, who will also be joined by Temple Of Boom, a son of shuttle stallion Piccolo and recent winner of the Group 1 Galaxy Stakes at Randwick.
It’s not only Australia issuing a strong challenge in the sprint races at the Royal meeting. Japanese raider Curren Chan, a dual Group 1 winner in her native country, is set to make the trip, as is the Bahrain-trained Krypton Factor following his successful campaign during the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
Hong Kong fields sprinters Joy And Fun, Little Bridge, and Captain Sweet, along with the former British-trained duo of Xtension, who could run in either the Queen Anne Stakes or Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, and Collection, an entrant in the latter. Now seven, the Peter Savill-bred Collection won the Hampton Court Stakes at the Royal meeting in 2008 before being sold to Hong Kong by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
American owner Ken Ramsey plans to send two high-profile raiders over for the meeting: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten, who is entered for the Coronation Stakes, and fellow three-year-old Gung Ho, whose target is the St James’s Palace Stakes.