Tote Ten To Follow’s Royal Ascot mini game is here, giving punters the opportunity to bag a big prize by picking their 10 horses to flourish at Berkshire over five days in June.
To help players whittle down their shortlist, we’ve taken a look at the biggest scorers from 12 months ago.
Five of those top 10 had run no more than once already that term, so it might pay to ignore any recency bias when planning your squad.
Here’s is the ultimate Ten To Follow from Royal Ascot 2020...
Nando Parrado - Coventry Stakes - 157.45 points
There are no prizes for guessing the top scorer of the 2020 Royal meeting, with Clive Cox’s colt causing a massive shock in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. Arriving off the back of just a maiden success, the son of Kodiac went on to twice finish second at Group 1 level in France. This term he’s finished fourth on both starts most recently at Listed level and holds an entry in the St James’s Palace Stakes this year, though it wouldn’t be a massive shock to see him drop back to 7f for the Jersey.
Scarlet Dragon - Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes - 71.3 points
A drop back in trip seemed to work wonders for Alan King’s veteran as Hollie Doyle gave the gelding a cracker to swoop late at Ascot. He couldn’t quite live with his new improved handicap rating after, although he continued to run well. Back over hurdles, he was last seen finishing a good fifth in the Swinton Hurdle. His mark’s down 101, 4lb above last year’s winning rating, so he could be back to defend his crown.
Golden Horde - Commonwealth Cup - 59.15 points
Another one for Clive Cox, the 2019 Richmond Stakes winner lined up at Ascot on his seasonal debut last year and duly proved himself to be the best 3yo sprinter in the field. That was to be his final win, as he was retired to stud after three more runs, having been placed in both the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup.
Hello Youmzain - Diamond Jubilee Stakes - 57.85 points
The first of our bonus race winners, Kevin Ryan’s sprinter is another who we won’t see at the Royal Meeting this year, having been retired at the end of the campaign. Like Golden Horde, he arrived at Ascot without a prep run and dug deep to just get up from the lunging Dream Of Dreams on the line.
Lord North - Prince Of Wales's Stakes - 57.55 points
In hindsight, it mightn’t have been the deepest renewal of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, runner-up Addeybb aside. With Japan out of form for much of the season and Barney Roy not what he once was, it was nonetheless a cracking performance from John Gosden’s charge. He looks likely to be back in the hunt for bonus race points again, though he could have a certain Love to take on.
Circus Maximus - Queen Anne Stakes - 55.45 points
Aidan O’Brien’s son of Galileo becomes the third horse in our list to now stand at stud with his Royal Ascot success the final victory of his career. Having won the St James’s Palace Stakes the year previous, Circus Maximus certainly showed a liking for Berkshire in June - a pointer towards previous course performers for your Ten To Follow stable this time, perhaps?
Battaash - King's Stand Stakes - 52.8 points
Charlie Hills’ speedster has been subject to chatter as to whether he’d make the 2021 Royal meeting, but Hills has swatted away any speculation saying the ‘Batmobile’ will be ready. On his day, Battaash is almost impossible to cope with, and since undergoing wind surgery two years ago, only one horse has beaten him on home soil. Viable opposition looks thin, so he might be a shoo-in for most stables.
Stradivarius - Gold Cup - 52.7 points
Three times John Gosden’s horse has lined up for the Gold Cup with a small section of punters looking to get him beat, and three times, the chestnut has silenced the doubters and then some. Stradivarius’ 10-length triumph in 2020 was probably a career best performance. He disappointed on Champions Day but looked back to his best when returning in the Sagaro Stakes.
Pyledriver - King Edward VII Stakes - 47 points
A great story which saw William Muir’s horse, bred more for jumps, and unwanted at the sales, take a surprise victory at the expense of Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul. Disappointing in the Derby, the colt went on to finish third in the St Leger last term, and returned this time with a solid second at Newmarket. The Hardwicke Stakes could be on his agenda in 2021.
Onassis - Sandringham Stakes - 45.55 points
Retired at the end of the season following her surprise win under Hayley Turner, a campaign that saw her go well on Champions Day, Charlie Fellowes’ mare is back in training this term. Her handler has been talking of Group 1 prizes for her in 2021, though it looks more likely that the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes is where we’ll see her next.
With the top 10 from last season outlined, now’s the time to start planning your Ten To Follow stable for this year’s Royal Ascot fixture.
The competition opens on Monday 7th June, with the opportunity to add stables running until Monday 14th June. Remember, entries cost £5 and we’ll have prizes down to 500th place, with all entry fees going back into the prize pot.