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"He was impressive at Chester and to be beaten a head in a race like this is agony, but it's great for the Royal Ascot Racing Club that they got to have a shout here and they've got a very good two-year-old".

Aidan O'Brien's runner is unquestionably a top performer at 12 furlongs, but he has yet to really establish his Group One credentials over a mile and a quarter.

Royal Ascot is quite gloriously unique, a vignette of England as it once was and as it seemingly remains. Then you have the proven Group 1 form of Qemah and last year's victor Usherette, not to mention the improving Mix And Mingle, who I rode to beat the Rouget Filly at Lingfield last time.

A rather bigger sum awaits Alan Spence, who bagged last year's King's Stand with Profitable but has since sold him to Godolphin.

And, for the first time, women will be allowed to wear jumpsuits to the royal meeting as Ascot looks to shed some (if not all) of its haughty-taughty image by allowing ladies to don one-pieces as they bow to fashion trends of the 21st century.

Ward has amassed an impressive seven Royal winners since 2009 and rates this year's raiding party as his best yet, with 2016 runaway Queen Mary Stakes victor Lady Aurelia back to tackle 17 rivals in Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes, in which the past two winners Profitable and Goldream both line up.

Another courageous new dawn could be launched right from the outset of the meeting with Ribchester - trained in Yorkshire by Richard Fahey - the warm favourite to take the Queen Anne Stakes especially after his eye-catching win in the Group One Lockinge Stake.

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Those who thought there may have been a bit of a fluke in that were put back in their box when she defied a massive penalty to win the Palace House on her return this season. Of the two preference is for last year's Queen Mary victor for American handler Wesley Ward. Regular jockey Ryan Moore returns.

He has won four Group One races in a row and will be a tough nut to crack, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Barney Roy reverse the English Guineas form from Newmarket.

Ward has 10 entries at the prestigious meeting staged just outside London, as part of the largest contingent of USA runners - 14 - to compete at Royal Ascot.

Formidable Kitt's dam Ceiling Kitty won the Queen Mary Stakes in 2012 and Tom Dascombe's charge can keep up the family tradition in this year's renewal. She had a good winter off.

These are troubled times, successive terrorist tragedies have made the mood "sombre" in the words of our longest reigning monarch, Elizabeth 11, whose stoicism has been the feature during the last few weeks.

The William Haggas-trained Rivet returns to action after a couple of decent runs in the French Guineas (GI) and French Derby (GI).

Richard Fahey's will saddle Forest Ranger and the Richard Dow-trained Mr Scaramanga complete the eight-runner field. The St James's Palace showdown should be a humdinger.