Toronado leads perfect ten in Queen Anne opener

Toronado leads the way for Richard Hannon in the opening race of Royal Ascot tomorrow as one of 10 horses declared in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Hannon expectedly withdrew several of the other prominent members of his stable, Olympic Glory and Sky Lantern but still saddles two runners as he also has Producer.

Toronado, the mount of Richard Hughes, lost a thrilling battle with Dawn Approach in last year’s St James’s Palace Stakes on the card before taking revenge in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood but was disappointing in his final outing in the Juddmonte International over 10 furlongs.

His main rival will be the Aidan O’Brien-trained Verrazano, who showed promise on his European debut when third in the Lockinge at Newbury, and his trainer has not declared Magician, who is likely to wait for the Prince of Wales’s later in the week.

Lockinge runner-up Tullius is also in the field along with Freddy Head’s interesting French raider Anodin who was supplemented and smart South African runner Soft Falling Rain.

Ansgar, Glory Awaits, Mull Of Killough and Side Glance complete the line-up.

Toronado is odds-on with Coral to start his season with a win.

“Although we’ve not seen Toronado in action since his flop in the Juddmonte International last summer, connections could hardly be more bullish about their charge, suggesting he will take all the beating on his reappearance,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

Queen Anne Stakes – Coral bet: 4-5 Toronado, 7-2 Verrazano, 6-1 Soft Falling Rain, 10-1 Tullius, Anodin, 25-1 Mull Of Killough, 33-1 Side Glance, 50-1 Producer, 66-1 Glory Awaits, 150-1 Ansgar.

War Envoy meanwhile is Aidan O’Brien’s only representative as the trainer looks to win tomorrow’s big Royal Ascot two-year-old event, the Coventry Stakes, for the third time in the last four years.

Stablemate The Great War is likely to run instead in the Norfolk Stakes, but there are 15 other horses lining up against War Envoy, who was third in the Listed Rochestown Stakes at Naas last time.

They include the winner of that event, Richard Hannon’s Kool Kompany and his stablemate Dr No plus a host of other juveniles to have impressed already.

Ryan Moore has been snapped up by David Elsworth for the prolific Justice Good, William Haggas has declared Adaay, who looked smart in beating Mind Of Madness at Yarmouth, while John Quinn’s runaway Ayr winner The Wow Signal, a new purchase of Al Shaqab Racing, is also in the mix.

Irish interest is also held by Ger Lyons’ triple scorer Cappella Sansevero and Case Statement for Michael O’Callaghan but other unknown quantities include Kasb, Portamento and Jungle Cat.

Coventry Stakes – Coral bet: 4-1 War Envoy, 5-1 Adaay, 6-1 The Wow Signal, 8-1 Kool Kompany, 9-1 Cappella Sansevero, Justice Good, 12-1 Portamento, 20-1 Cock Of The North, Dr No, Kasb, Kodi Bear, 22-1 bar.

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