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Guineas winners remain on Royal Ascot collision course

8 Jun 2016

Winner of the English, French and Irish 2000 Guineas stand ground for the St James's Palace Stakes

Connection of Galileo Gold are hoping for better ground at the royal meeting. Picture:

An exciting clash between the winners of the English, French and Irish 2000 Guineas remains on the cards in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Hugo Palmer’s Newmarket winner Galileo Gold, his Curragh conqueror Awtaad and Aidan O’Brien’s Deauville hero The Gurkha are set to light up the opening day of the meeting, which features no fewer than eight QIPCO British Champions Series races.

Faster conditions are expected to help Galileo Gold and connections will be hoping there is not too much rain between now and then

Harry Herbert, racing advisor to owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: “All racing fans are looking forward to the opening day of Royal Ascot.

“If everything goes to the St James’s Palace Stakes sound and well, a cracking race will be in store and it is what the race is all about. It will be a proper championship race.

“He has the right to improve as he is only lightly raced but it will be a different race on better ground.”

O’Brien has also left in Air Vice Marshall, Bravery, Claudio Monteverdi and Long Island Sound among a possible field of 15. Clive Cox’s Zonderland, Richard Fahey’s Ribchester, Michael O’Callaghan’s Blue De Vega, Simon Crisford’s First Selection and Charlie Appleby’s Emotionless are other notable contenders.

American mare Tepin is among 17 horses remaining in the Queen Anne Stakes following the confirmation stage for the mile Group One that opens the five-day meeting.

The five-year-old, trained by Mark Casse, has been under consideration for this race since winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland last October, despite concerns about her not being able to run with her usual Lasix and nasal strip.

The prolific mare’s possible rivals include Jean-Claude Rouget’s Coronation Stakes scorer Ervedya and Lockinge Stakes winner Belardo, trained by Roger Varian.

Others in the mix include Clive Cox’s Kodi Bear, Andre Fabre’s Esoterique, Henry Candy’s Limato, the Richard Hannon-trained Toormore and David O’Meara’s Amazing Maria.