"The hardest favourite to justify on the first day is Persian Force 4.216/5 in the Coventry at 15:05. So much so, that it would be no surprise if Aidan O'Brien's Blackbeard was the jolly at the off.
"Ryan Moore has ridden Blackbeard in all his races, and made all in the Group 3 Marble Hill at the Curragh last time, putting the favourite Tough Talk to the sword and winning by over three lengths.
"Rossa Ryan is likely to track Blackbeard, if he uses the same tactics on Persian Force that won him his races at Doncaster over five and Newbury over six. This is a significantly stronger race, though, and the Richard Hannon-trained colt will do well to go past.
"As layers of Persian Force, we have 16 running for us, including Blackbeard's stablemate Age Of Kings, Bradsell, Royal Scotsman, Rousing Encore and Scholarship. The more I look at the race, the more appealing Persian Force looks as a lay."
Lay Persian Force @ 4.216/5
"Blackbeard made it three from three with an impressive success in the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh last time, quickening clear from two furlongs out to win by three and a half lengths with plenty in hand.
"The step up to six furlongs clearly played to his strengths and the manner of his victory suggests he will have no issue with the slightly stiffer test which Ascot provides, still appearing full of running at the line. This looks a red-hot edition of the Coventry Stakes, but Blackbeard has the strongest form as things stand and he remains open to improvement for Aidan O'Brien, who is seeking his tenth success in this race since 1997."
Back Blackbeard @ 4.03/1 in the 15:05 at Royal Ascot
"I do think I have picked up a very good ride on Twilight Calls (Ascot, 15:40). I rode his sire Twilight Son to win the Diamond Jubilee here a few years back and there are similarities between him and his son, as both rose quickly from the handicap ranks to Group 1 company. Of course, he needs to improve markedly on his narrow defeat to King's Lynn at Haydock last time, but I thought he shaped like the best horse in that race and he is improving fast.
"There will be a lot of pace in here, and I can certainly see a strongly-run race on a stiff 5f suiting him. He has a good each-way chance, and hopefully something more. But it's a tough assignment, and, for the closers from off the pace, luck will obviously play a role with such a big field."
Back Twilight Calls @ 8.615/2
"Existent improved in leaps and bounds over the winter and a strongly run 5f is right in his ballpark. While I'm not convinced he's good enough to win a race of this magnitude, he's more than capable of picking up some late pieces given a favourable set-up.
"It's not a massive price, but 5.14/1 about him being in the first 5 places on the Exchange makes plenty of appeal."
Back Existent to finish in the first 5 @ 5.14/1
"Bayside Boy has to be the premier bet (in the 16:20 at Ascot) on price grounds alone, and he remains a 66/1 poke. Back him at 66s each way with the Sportsbook. Any 40/1+ remains acceptable. That price is an absolute insult when you look at his juvenile form - he was beaten just 2 ½ lengths in the Dewhurst, 1 3/4 lengths in the Vertem, as well as beating Reach For The Moon in the Champagne Stakes - and you can forgive him his comeback run in the French Guineas as he was drawn 14 of 15."
Back Bayside Boy each-way, three places, Betfair Sportsbook, 16:20 Ascot @ 67.066/1
"His connections threw him into the deepest of waters for his seasonal return in the 2000 Guineas, but he acquitted himself very well in difficult circumstances. Dropped in last and stumbling early, he was still in last position two furlongs out. Jamie Spencer decided to take him near side to follow Native Trail, but that side of the track seemed to be unfavoured on the day compared to the far side where Coroebus delivered his challenge."
"Despite this, Light Infantry produced one of the faster closing sectionals in the race to come home strongly and be beaten just 6¾ lengths. That run should bring him on both in terms of fitness and professionalism and it wouldn't surprise to see him produce a career-best effort here which might be enough to get him involved in the finish."
"It's hard to pick holes in what Coroebus has achieved, and he looked excellent when scoring in the 2,000 Guineas over subsequent Irish 2,000 Guineas winner and stablemate Native Trail. The form of that race tends to work out every year, but there is a slight query about whether he was on the favoured side of the track and slightly flattered? Either way, this is the first test away from Newmarket, and he has some unexposed improvers to take on today which will provide a stern test.
He is rock solid, but not one punters should be running scared of.
"German 2,000 Guineas winner Maljoom looked right out of the top draw when scoring in Cologne and did remarkably well to run down the runaway leader from an impossible racing position. He looks top-class and has been slightly underestimated by the market, considering he has achieved a rating two pounds higher than Coroebus did at this stage of his career."
Back Maljoom each-way in the 16:20 at Ascot @ 15.014/1
"Coroebus is probably unfortunate not to be unbeaten and he looked a miler out of the top drawer when seeing off stablemate Native Trail in 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in April. Sets a clear standard and can't oppose."
Back Coroebus @ 1.784/5