Day one of Royal Ascot: Circus Maximus in line for Queen Anne

Wed 10 Jun 2020

Circus Maximus heads 20 entries for the Queen Anne Stakes, the first Group One event of Royal Ascot 2020.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge won the St James’s Palace Stakes at the fixture last year before adding the Prix du Moulin and was last seen finishing a creditable fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in November.

He could be joined by stablemate Lancaster House, while French interest could come from Francis-Henri Graffard’s Plumatic, who was second on his return at Chantilly last month.

 Circus Maximus edges home at Royal Ascot last year (Focusonracing)
Circus Maximus edges home at Royal Ascot last year (Focusonracing)

Accidental Agent, a shock winner of the Queen Anne in 2018 could be back for more, and Fox Chairman is in the running to make the leap to top-level company having last been seen when winning a Listed race back in July.

Weekend winners Terebellum, who is also entered in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, and Lord North represent John Gosden. Others to note include Mohaather, Marie’s Diamond, Billesdon Brook and One Master.

The Ribblesdale and King Edward VII Stakes have both been rescheduled to the first day this year to give contenders more time to recover ahead of any possible Derby or Oaks challenge at Epsom on July 4.

Mogul is one of the standouts among 14 in the King Edward VII, with the Group Two winner one of six possibles for O’Brien along with Arthur’s Kingdom, Nobel Prize, Santiago, Serpentine and Tuesday’s Derrinstown winner Cormorant.

Roger Teal’s Kenzai Warrior is in line to make a swift reappearance after fluffing the start in the 2000 Guineas, while Pyledriver finished second in the Classic Trial at Kempton on his return to action last week.

Gosden could hold the key to the Ribblesdale with Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Miss Yoda and Newcastle maiden victor Frankly Darling among the 14 possibles.

Lingfield second and third Golden Lips and West End Girl could reoppose, while O’Brien has three possibles in Elfin Queen, Ennistymon and Passion.

Born With Pride disappointed on her return but looks set to be given another chance to shine.

The Group Two Duke of Cambridge has 15 contenders including Lingfield winner Nazeef, Charlie Appleby’s Magic Lily and O’Brien’s Magic Wand.

The card opens with the seven-furlong Buckingham Palace Handicap and closes with the near two-and-a-half-mile Ascot Stakes.

Grade One-winning hurdler Verdana Blue is entered for Nicky Henderson, with Ryan Moore booked for the ride.

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