Once more the pace appears to be on the near side in the usually favoured high numbers, so with this part of the track appearing to hand an advantage to runners we’ve taken that into account when chipping away at this field and coming up with the following six for our Britannia shortlist:
John Gosden’s Scat Daddy colt has done all his racing on genuinely quick ground, so connections will be hoping the early rain at Royal Ascot doesn’t stay around all week.
Having won a valuable handicap at Haydock last time he fully deserves his place in this field, but he has gone up 7lbs for a narrow win and so will need to pull out a little extra to go on and win this.
King Power are building a reputation for buying very good horses and in Hero Hero they have one with an decent profile for this race.
Having his handicap debut here, he may have been underestimated by the assessor and he has been improving in very big lumps since his debut. He’s already got close to Jubiloso (was actually favourite) and simply cruised to victory at Chester last time out to earn an opening mark of 95.
It seems he is way better than that, so a lot depends now on whether he can handle the rough and tumble of this race but that shouldn’t be a problem and on the clock he has to be one of the main contenders under Silvestre De Sousa.
Although this colt is improving, three second places in a row isn’t really what you want to see at this stage as it becomes harder and harder to believe he is bumping into exciting horses.
King Ademar is however improving steadily, if a little slowly for a horse at this stage, and that means he may yet be a little bit ahead of the handicapper. He has a good enough draw and the assistance from the saddle of Oisin Murphy so retains a fair chance of grabbing a place.
Joseph O’Brien’s colt, by Holy Roman Emperor out of a High Chaparral mare, is rare among the chief contenders here in that he may carry a little bit of stamina and over this stiff mile with the ground not as quick as it could be that may prove to be very useful.
His form overall isn’t the best in this race, but as a placed horse in a Listed race coming here off a mark of 89 he may well be able to stay on late in the day and get into the money.
Charlie Hills must have felt like he’d been kicked in the chest when Battaash’s agonising defeat having conceded ground was followed by a slightly disappointing run from Phoenix Of Spain on Tuesday, but he may be due some luck.
His Pogo is bred to go very quick but his best performance was over a tough enough mile at Newmarket where he saw it out well to score in a handicap off a 6lb lower mark than today and natural improvement would mean a strong chance here.
Having mentioned the potential importance of needing just a touch of stamina as well as speed in this race, that brings in Dubawi colt Turgenev into things who may eventually get to race in his own environment.
Second to subsequent Group 1 winner Royal Marine on debut, John Gosden’s colt was only beaten 4¾ lengths in the Futurity before trying out his skills as a classic horse.
He hated Epsom and didn’t truly stay the mile-and-a-quarter in the Blue Riband Trial before being sacrificed for Too Darn Hot when setting a ridiculous pace in the Dante Stakes, but this race is entirely different.
He can sit back now off a strong pace over a trip more suitable to him and let’s not for get that this horse is the choice of Frankie Dettori over Beatboxer who, at the time of writing at least, is a shorter price.
Hero Hero is interesting but may yet be caught out by the hustle and bustle of it all, while Pogo has a great each-way chance at a price.
John Gosden remains in great form and his Beatboxer is solid, but Frankie has gone for TURGENEV and there’s every chance that he can yet prove to be a Group performer making him well handicapped here.