Polishing the silk topper, borrowing aunt Mary's pearl choker and collecting a big hat from your favourite milliner's – these are just some of the activities sweeping rural Kensington as Royal Ascot beckons. The best-dressed object in my preparation is the crab bought at the local market for lunch before Thursday's Gold Cup.
So, on to a quick tour of the Group One races, of which there are three on Tuesday. In the Queen Anne Stakes for hardened milers the French-trained filly Darjina (7-1 generally) can prevail over domestic challengers. The King's Stand often goes abroad too, but Fleeting Spirit (11-4 Ladbrokes) can land a home win. The St James's Palace Stakes looks nailed on for the dual Guineas winner Henrythenavigator (1-2 mostly).
Wednesday's biggie is the Prince of Wales's Stakes (1m 2f) and Henry Cecil's Phoenix Tower (5-1, Bet 365, Paddy Power) may improve past Duke of Marmalade but Aidan O'Brien can take the Gold Cup with Septimus (5-1 Skybet). Friday's Coronation Stakes can reward 1,000 Guineas runner-up Spacious (no odds yet).
In Saturday's Golden Jubilee Sprint an each-way chance is taken on Fat Boy (33-1 Coral). In the two big handicaps, the Hunt Cup (Wed) and the Wokingham (Sat), try Flipando (33-1 William Hill) and Fullandby (25-1 Totesport) each-way (£10 stakes all round).
Last week's wagers
The three horses nominated for the Derby finished as the first three, but not in the right order. The Trifecta paid £167-10 but we didn't do it (£15 lost). Rafael Nadal thrashed Federer in the French Open, but winnings were blanked by backing the wrong Serb, Jankovic not Ivanovic.Reuse content