Queen’s Royal Ascot runner King’s Lynn prepares for shock race change to meet star Battaash
The Queen’s horse King’s Lynn is vying for a shock race change at Royal Ascot, trainer Andrew Balding has revealed.
Favorite of the Wokingham Stakes in the ante-post lists, the Kingsclere coach is tempted by a possible clash with one of the stars at the top.
King’s Lynn, 10-1 with Paddy Power for the handicap option, could become another opponent for Battaash in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes.
Doubling the chances of this contest with some bookmakers, the goal of the four-year-old will be confirmed in the coming days.
If King’s Lynn takes on Group 1 it would be a big blow to his Wokingham supporters – but Ladbrokes said he was the only horse they feared winning throughout the week.
“We have not yet decided which race he will participate in,” said Balding.
“He’s in Wokingham where he got a penalty after his win at Haydock, so he’s theoretically fine at 7 pounds.
“However, the King’s Stand has grown in importance as there are obviously question marks about Battaash and beyond it it feels like a pretty open race.
“So it’s interesting to aim for the King’s Stand despite a good jump from a Listed to a Group 1.
“He’s a little raced horse and I think there are a lot more improvements in him.
“I don’t think the soil conditions are negative either. It’s a decision that John Warren and the Queen will be involved in making.
“If I were to bet on that, I think King’s Stand is the most likely scenario at the moment.”
In 2020, the Queen celebrated her first winner at the big summer event for four years when Tactical won the Windsor Castle Stakes.
Balding, an ambassador for Betway, said he was also making a late decision regarding the colt’s race 12 months later.
“We’re just going to wait for the moment,” he said.
“Tactical is a very good horse, he has already won a Group 2 and he would be competitive in the Jersey Stakes.
“However, St James’s Palace is also interesting as there are question marks over some of the main players on the ground.
“It will improve his prospects as a stallion if he finishes in the top three at St James’s Palace.
“Yes winning a Group 3 would be great, but it’s not as essential for him. If you felt he could finish in the top three at St James’s Palace, you would think about it, but I think the jersey is more likely , but we’ll see what’s likely to happen on Tuesday. “
The coronavirus pandemic meant the 2020 reunion was the first the Queen missed during her 69-year reign.
The royal procession, usually a big feature of the week, is on hold this year as the track welcomes 12,000 spectators every day.
The reigning 95-year-old monarch did not attend the Epsom Derby last Saturday, for only the fourth time.