Two decades have rolled by since Andrew Balding took over the licence at Kingsclere from his father Ian and the Classic-winning handler is long-established amongst the best of Britain's trainers.
2022 was another great year with almost £4.6 million in prize money won domestically, making it his best season yet on home soil, and victory for Chaldean in the 2000 Guineas this spring means 2023 is off to a flying start.
Here we take a look at some of his possible contenders in 2023, with a reminder that every race across the five days from Tuesday 20th June – Saturday 24th June can be watched via the bet365 Sports Live Streaming service.
|What||Royal Ascot 2023|
|Where||Royal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse|
|When||Tuesday 20th June – Saturday 24th June|
|How to watch||bet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV, Sky Sports Racing|
Berkshire Shadow won the Coventry Stakes at this meeting over six-furlongs in 2021 and was an honourable sixth – beaten less than two-lengths – in a red hot St James's Palace Stakes last summer.
He went winless in five starts last year, seemingly losing his way a touch, but opened this year with a Listed win over 7f on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in March and then took out the AW Mile at Newcastle on Good Friday.
Those were two excellent efforts and he has since outrun odds of 33/1 to finish third behind Modern Games in the Lockinge at . That Group 1 effort puts him in good stead and it seems his immediate future lies at the mile distance. He's a likely contender in the Royal Ascot curtain-raiser.
No doubting where the main focus of the Balding team is likely to be on Tuesday 20th June as 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean is set to try and follow up in the St James's Palace Stakes.
Britain's champion juvenile last season, the Dewhurst winner had a blip in the Greenham at Newbury on his comeback as he deposited Frankie Dettori soon after leaving the starting stalls. He has bounced back in tremendous fashion with that Classic success on the Rowley Mile and, as of now, is the leading miler amongst the 3YO crop.
Greenham winner Isaac Shelby (11/2) and Irish Guineas winner Paddington () could be amongst those bidding to give him a run for that title.
It is perhaps the most open Gold Cup in a number of years but, at the time of writing, the Andrew Balding-trained Coltrane is the ante-post favourite for the blue riband.
He has taken that mantle courtesy of his impressive success in the two-mile Sagaro Stakes at the track in early May, where would-be Gold Cup rival Trueshan (14/1) was only fourth and once more showed signs of decline.
With reigning champ Kyprios seemingly set to miss out and another Aidan O'Brien-trained contender in Emily Dickinson (5/1) fluffing her lines at Leopardstown recently, connections of Coltrane will rightly be fancying their chances of landing this iconic summer prize on Thursday 22nd June.
Another wide open contest on paper is the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, the Group 1 sprint on the final afternoon of the meeting.
Sandrine is an outsider of note in that field. The Bobby's Kitten filly won the Albany at this meeting in 2021 and looked a non-stayer in the Coronation Stakes last summer over the mile distance.
Victory in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes over 7f at Glorious Goodwood was the 2022 highlight, though runner-up Kinross would have revenge at York and Longchamp afterwards.
Second to Sacred in a Polytrack Group 3 at Lingfield in her comeback, Sandrine was an underwhelming third since at in their Listed Cathedral Stakes, but a possible return to Royal Ascot and the stiff six-furlong test of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes could be ideal.