We're off and running! By the time you read this, day one of Royal Ascot will have rolled along, hopefully with favourable results for this column!
Day two looks to be a particularly tough card to try and pull a couple of winners, but that certainly won't stop us trying.
Cox's fast one Kontent to run a big race
The Queen Mary Stakes (14:30) kicks off the day with a speed-focused cavalry charge and the one I've liked for it for the last few weeks is the Clive Cox-trained Katey Kontent. The daughter of Havana Grey isn't very big, but she is very fast. Her winning debut at Salisbury wouldn't have blown anyone away, but she was much improved on her second start in a novice race at Windsor.
Carrying a penalty against more experienced rivals, she jumped smart and made the running. Despite showing her inexperience by hanging left in the closing stages, she powered away in the final furlong to prevail by 4¼ lengths.
What makes the performance so impressive was the strength of the final time and the closing sectional. The time was one of the fastest produced by any two-year-old at Windsor in recent years and stamps her as an exciting prospect. This race should play to her strengths and it wouldn't surprise to see her run a big race.
O'Brien may be in line for another Vase
The Queen's Vase (15:05) is the other race of interest and the one that makes most appeal is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Anchorage. O'Brien has built a tremendous winning record in this race over the years and the fact he relies on this son of Galileo from a multitude of entries is fascinating.
The three-year-old acquired plenty of experience as a two-year-old and, while that may make him look exposed to some, he has long been shaping like a stayer in the making.
As well as that, there was substantial promise in his seasonal reappearance in the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh. In the context of Aidan O'Brien's three-year-olds tending to need their first run of the season, he ran a race full of promise, getting outpaced over the mile-and-a-quarter trip prior to finishing off eye-catchingly well.
This much longer trip promises to suit him well and it wouldn't surprise to see him produce a much-improved effort on the day that matters most.