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Royal Ascot

Superfecta has been away tending to mending cats and wheezy toddlers, so there’s no real weekend roundup this week except to comment on the real toughness Chelokee displayed in the Northern Dancer — he looked like he was about to settle for second after Zanjero passed him, then he fought back to win. Nicely played.

The real news this week is across the pond; Royal Ascot begins today. This year’s installment features the 200th running of the 2 1/2 mile Gold Cup — wouldn’t it be nice if we had such a fixture? While there is always a major European element, there promises to be a strong contingent from Australia shipping in for the King’s Stand Stakes (a G2 sprint) — Miss Andretti is favored (obviously there are no qualms about girls-against-boys here) but will have a tough race against fellow Antipodean (and last year’s winner) Takeover Target.

The St James’s Palace Stakes features Cockney Rebel and the Queen Anne Stakes heralds the return of George Washington. Of Gorgeous George, the BBC remarks:

His ability cannot be questioned but his quirky behaviour can cause some moments of concern which trainer Aidan O’Brien hopes will not be the case here, especially with filly Red Evie among his rivals.

If you are lucky enough to get some TV coverage for it, enjoy – the closest I’ll get is having a Pimm’s in hono(u)r of the occasion.

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