Emma Spencer

Royal Ascot 2017: Emma's day one preview

Get your Royal Ascot off to a thunderous start by backing Lightning Spear to turn over hot favourite Ribchester in Tuesday’s curtain raiser, the Queen Anne Stakes.

Backing odds-on favourites at the big festivals is the easiest way to run into trouble, and while Lockinge winner Ribchester, who beat Lightning Spear into a three length second at Newbury, has the best form in the race, his best efforts have come on softer ground.

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With conditions set to be quick, David Simcock’s colt can turn the tables - he looks a mighty each-way bet.

Richard Hannon loves nothing more than training two-year-old winners at Royal Ascot and he looks to have a great chance with one such colt, De Bruyne Horse, in the Coventry Stakes at 3.05pm.

The colt looked very smart when winning the Woodcote at Epsom and looks to have a solid favourite’s chance again.

American raider Lady Aurelia is all the rage in the King’s Stand but I think she’s worth taking on with my each-way NAP of the day, Signs of Blessing.

The French runner scored at Group 1 level in 2016 and was a winner last time out at Deauville; he has all the tools to mount a mega challenge, with Prix de L’Abbaye winner Marsha the main danger.

Plenty fancy Barney Roy to get the better of Churchill in the St James’s Palace but I’m not one of them. The latter is a superstar, winning 2,000 Guineas on both sides of the Irish Sea and he can improve still further – he is the banker bet of the day.

The Ascot Stakes at 2m 4f is the longest race in the calendar and, as you might expect, jumps trainers have an outstanding record in it.

Willie Mullins’ Thomas Hobson is the favourite but I prefer Alan King’s Who Dares Wins, who warmed up for this with a close 4th in the Chester Cup, having previously come third in a big handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

New 888sport customers can get a huge 6/1 on Churchill winning the St James’s Palace Stakes – see here for TCs!

Did you know 888sport is price boosting EVERY Frankie Dettori runner at Royal Ascot and EVERY Group 1 favourite?