William Buick says he has never ridden a miler with better acceleration than Notable Speech and he can’t wait to get back on Godolphin’s exciting QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner in a St James’s Palace Stakes that features a rare clash between the winners of all three of the main colts’ mile Classics.

Racing greats Brigadier Gerard (1971) and Frankel (2011) are among the 16 winners who have completed the Newmarket and Royal Ascot double, and while it’s far too early to suggest that Notable Speech might reach their level he has yet to be beaten and there is no question he has come a very long way since making his racecourse debut as recently as January.

He was produced late with a devastating run on his first turf start at Newmarket, where he beat the subsequent Irish Guineas winner Rosallion by a length and a half, with Alnayaabi in fifth. When Buick talks in such glowing terms we should take note, as the top-class milers he’s ridden before include Coroebus, who achieved the Guineas/Royal Ascot double, Modern Games, Native Trail and Ribchester.

Buick said: “I don’t like to compare horses but I’ve never ridden one before who can do what Notable Speech can do. He’s an extraordinary horse, and the way he won the Guineas was impressive.

“He’d had an unconventional preparation, but he’d shown a very good turn of foot in his last win at Kempton and he’d worked on the grass at Newmarket since then. He’s a very uncomplicated and laid back character who does what he needs to. So far he’s shown no chinks.

“It’s obviously going to be a tough race, possibly tougher than ever, but he’s done everything right and the Guineas form looks incredible. It’s a deep race, but he’s in good form. Hopefully he can put in another performance like it.”

Rosallion got up late to beat his stable-companion Haatem, the Newmarket third, at the Curragh, and connections can argue that he might have made more of a race of it with Notable Speech if he had been held up for longer.

Trainer Richard Hannon has a great record with milers in particular, but he was unequivocal when he insisted “Rosallion is the best horse I’ve ever trained.”

“What Notable Speech did at Newmarket was extremely impressive. I couldn’t believe another horse could travel as well as our lad, but when I looked across at him he never looked like getting beat. But that was our first run of the season, whereas he’d had three, and Rosallion is a big horse and there was natural match fitness to come from him, which he showed in Ireland.

“What a race it’s going to be. It’s what we go to Royal Ascot for – to take on the best with a chance of proving ourselves the best. We have nothing to lose.”

Shamardal back in 2005 was the most recent French 2000 Guineas winner to win here, but that has not deterred connections of Metropolitan, who was a shock winner when beating the Derby sixth Dancing Gemini at Longchamp and was a supplementary entry.


Henry Longfellow finished only eighth when a red-hot favourite in the Longchamp race, but Aidan O’Brien has described that race as “a bit of a mess” and promised that we would see “a completely different horse” here.
O’Brien, who also saddles the Irish Guineas fourth Unquestionable, has won this nine times already and having, as promised, produced a completely different City Of Troy at Epsom to the one we saw at Newmarket we should perhaps listen to him.

Darlinghurst, another French challenger, is an exciting prospect who has risen rapidly through the ranks this year and is unbeaten in four starts, including the Group 3 Prix de Guiche at Chantilly, the form of which was boosted when runner-up First Look was second in the French Derby.

Trainer Jerome Reynier said: “It will be a very hard contest with the three Guineas winners, and it will be very interesting to know probably who is the best three-year-old colt miler in Europe. This will be his Arc, as we say in France, and we are really looking forward to it. He has a huge turn of foot and I think that’s his main quality.

“He’s got one furlong really, really fast, and If he can use it in the final stages he will run well for sure. If he gets his good ground and a good horse to follow he could be very impressive.”

Tom Marquand partners the highly progressive Almaqam, who last month landed the Heron Stakes at Sandown, a proven trial for this race. He said: “He’s a strong Listed winner up against three Guineas winners, so he’ll have to step up on what he’s done, but he’s very much on an upward curve.

Roger Varian believes he has Charyn in the form of his life for Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes, the one-mile Group 1 which is the first of eight QIPCO British Champions Series races at another star-studded Royal Ascot.

The Queen Anne has attracted its usual high-class field and there is a strong French challenge headed by Big Rock, the six-length winner of last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day, and Facteur Cheval who was second there and also in the Sussex Stakes.

In the circumstances Charyn might seem vulnerable, having been beaten in all his six Group 1s, but he has improved this year and was better than ever in last month’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, so hopes are high in the Varian camp.

The grey could never quite get to grips with outsider Audience, but the winner enjoyed a ‘solo’ up the middle of the track and Charyn kept on strongly to finish a widening six and a half lengths clear of third-placed Witch Hunter and the rest. Hi Royal, Big Rock, Poker Face, Royal Scotsman and Flight Plan were all further back, not to mention the classy Inspiral, a one-time favourite for this race who runs instead on Wednesday.

Varian could not be happier with Charyn. He said: “He is very complete now. He’s a big, strong horse and very uncomplicated. You could say that at Doncaster and Sandown he didn’t perform any better than he had done at his peak as a three-year-old, when he was bumping into Paddington fairly regularly, but I think his Lockinge run tells you he’s a better horse this year.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Audience, who is a good horse in his own right, but he raced on his own and Charyn destroyed the others, which included some jolly nice ones. For me that was a career best and marked him out as a genuine Group 1 horse.

“I don’t think he could be any better. He’s thriving at the moment. His condition since the Lockinge has been good and his work in the last fortnight has been very on point. It will be slightly different ground by the look of it and there are some nice French horses he hasn’t seen before but I couldn’t be more pleased with him.”

02:30 PM

The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)



Straight Mile

03:05 PM

The Coventry Stakes (Group 2)



Six furlongs

03:45 PM

The King Charles III Stakes (Group 1)



Five furlongs

04:25 PM

The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1)

3 colts


Old Mile

05:05 PM

The Ascot Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-100)



Two miles, four furlongs

05:40 PM

The Wolferton Stakes (Listed)



One mile, two furlongs

06:15 PM

The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)



One mile, six furlongs

Wednesday, June 19

14:30: Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2)
15:05: The Queen’s Vase (Group 2)
15:45: Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)
16:25: Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1)
17:05: Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap)
17:40: The Kensington Palace Stakes
18:15: Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed)

Thursday, June 20

14:30: Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
15:05: King George V Stakes
15:45: Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)
16:25: Gold Cup (Group 1)
17:05: Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
17:40: Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3)
18:15: Buckingham Palace Stakes

Friday, June 21

14:30: Albany Stakes (Group 3)
15:05: Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)
15:45: Coronation Stakes (Group 1)
16:25: Duke of Edinburgh Stakes
17:05: Sandringham Stakes
17:40: King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2)
18:15: Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes

Saturday, June 22

14:30: Chesham Stakes (Listed)
15:05: Jersey Stakes (Group 3)
15:45: Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
16:25: Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (Group 1)
17:05: Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
17:40: Golden Gates Stakes
18:15: Queen Alexandra Stakes