Royal Ascot 2023

Royal Ascot Friday Favourites

It’s that time of year again when the racing public mixes with royalty at Ascot Racecourse. Royal Ascot is one of the world’s most famous flat racing meetings and attracts the greatest horses from around the globe.

Each year there are highly fancied and short-priced favourites for some of the major races of the week, but Royal Ascot has proven to be a graveyard for those favourites from time to time, but sometimes the jollies do prove too strong and they can create some memorable racing moments.

Friday’s Favourites In 2023

Once again, at Royal Ascot 2023, there is a mixture of fancied favourites and big-priced challengers, but on Friday, in particular, there are a collection of horses that are considered to be unbeatable in the big races. Little Big Bear (11/10), Tahiyra (4/7), and King Of Steel (6/4) have been well-backed ante-post, and their prices continue to shorten as the races get closer. 
Let’s take a closer look at these ‘sure things’ and judge their chances.

Little Big Bear

Having won five of his seven starts to date, it is no surprise to see Little Big Bear being so popular in the 2023 Commonwealth Cup. Aidan O’Brien’s star colt had been well-fancied for this season’s 2000 Guineas earlier in the year, but he put in a horrific performance that really was too bad to be true.

Thankfully, he returned to form with a bang in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last time and a similar performance to that win over 6 furlongs, should see him record another Group 1 success here. 

Tahiyra

At a price of 4/7, Dermot Weld’s filly, Tahiyra, is the banker of the Royal Ascot meeting for many. Beaten in just one of her four racecourse starts, Tahiyra’s only defeat came when she was turned over by Mawj in the 1000 Guineas earlier in the season.

She put that defeat behind her with a superbly impressive win in the Irish equivalent, and she should arrive here in top order in a bid to record the biggest win of her young career. Her chances have greatly improved with the withdrawal of the aforementioned Mawj, with Aidan O’Brien’s, Mediate, now being the main danger to the well-backed favourite.

King Of Steel

King Of Steel was within 1/2 length of shocking the racing world in the Epsom Derby earlier in the year, but there will be no 66/1 price about him in the King Edward VII Stakes. That shocking Derby run was his first start for the Roger Varian stable, and with more progression likely, this race looks well within his range.

6/4 is a short price for any horse in a race of this nature, however, particularly given the quality of opposition that King Of Steel is set to face. Arrest, Continuous, and Castle Way are talented horses in their own right, whilst a victory for the late Queen’s horse, Circle Of Fire, would be a poignant result.

KING OF STEEL looking picture perfect 😍@amoracingltd‘s Derby runner-up holds an entry in Friday’s G2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal @Ascot 🎩 pic.twitter.com/anVOoEfHv8— Roger Varian (@varianstable) June 19, 2023

Whether you are a favourite fancier, or you prefer to fish in the bigger-priced pond, Royal Ascot will have all options open to you. In 2023, Friday could prove to be the best day of the week for favourite backers.

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