What's on this week: quality on Thursday and Friday as royal excitement builds


It is a busy start to the week with five meetings in Britain and Ireland on Monday along with Group-race action from Longchamp in France.

Royal Ascot winner Arthur Kitt is the star name in Britain as he takes a drop in class at Leicester in the Sharnford Conditions Stakes (3.30) to try and get his season back on track.

The race of the day, however, is the Group 3 La Coupe at Longchamp (4.00), with Spotify, Danceteria and the popular grey Success Days taking on the home team. 


It is a Flat feast in Britain on Tuesday with Salisbury and Lingfield supplying the afternoon action before Thirsk and Carlisle take over in the evening. 

Ireland's only meeting of the day is also the only jumps card on offer, with Roscommon also racing in the evening.


Haydock takes centre stage among three afternoon fixtures on Wednesday, while there is some potentially smart jumping action from Punchestown to look forward to during three evening meetings. 

The latest qualifiers for the London Middle Distance Series and the Grassroots Series should be worth tuning in for at Kempton later in the day as well.    


We are set for an upgrade in quality on Thursday, with a Listed contest at Newbury in the afternoon followed by a Group 3 at Leopardstown in the evening.

Arc runner-up Sea Of Class won the Abingdon Stakes (3.00), run as the Johnnie Lewis Memorial British EBF Stakes, at Newbury last season and a host of smart-looking fillies are among the entries, including Antonia De Vega, who scored at Group level last season. 

Golden oldie Gordon Lord Byron is among the possible starters for the Ballycorus Stakes (7.40) at Leopardstown later in the day, a race in which Aidan O'Brien has given himself nine to choose from.


The action comes thick and fast on Friday, with Flat racing from Chepstow, York, Sandown, Goodwood and Cork, and jumping at Newton Abbot and Aintree. 

York's afternoon fixture includes the Listed Ganton Stakes (4.05), won last year by Sovereign Debt, while the highlight of Cork's evening card is the Group 3 Munster Oaks (7.25), for which Four White Socks is an intriguing entry for Harry Fry. 

Competitive handicaps are the order of the day at Sandown and Goodwood. 


Despite nine meetings in Britain and Ireland, there is not a single race at Group level on Saturday in anticipation for Royal Ascot next week, although there is little time to dwell with a jam-packed schedule. 

The Listed Scurry Stakes (2.05) is the feature of Sandown's afternoon card, while York stages the Listed Grand Cup Stakes (3.00), a stepping stone towards the track's prestigious Ebor Handicap later in the season.

Chester, Bath, Hexham, Downpatrick and Limerick also race in the afternoon, while Worcester and Leicester provide the evening entertainment.  


Four meetings bring the week to a close, with Doncaster, Salisbury and Gowran Park racing on the Flat and Downpatrick providing the action over jumps as excitement builds for the royal meeting.