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Ascot - Horse Racing: Five to Follow for Next Year

Another scintillating Royal Ascot is in the books with some standout performances to recall from the sun-kissed 2022 meeting.

As the dust settles on the latest instalment, we pick out five possible contenders for glory at Royal Ascot in 12 months' time.

Baaeed

Comparison to Frankel continues to become the norm for Baaeed, the easy winner of Tuesday's curtain-raising Queen Anne Stakes. The great horse saw his career span three seasons, winning all 14 starts, with five wins at Ascot, including both the St James's Palace Stakes in 2011 and the Queen Anne a year later.

Baaeed is but two starts into his second season and has already won eight times in as many starts. His second Ascot course success was his fourth Group 1 win on the spin, all of them at a mile. He's 1/2 to add another in next month's Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on 27th July.

After that, trainer William Haggas is eyeing a step up in trip for the Juddmonte International at York in August. If Baaeed gets through this season unbowed, it's possible we may see him again in 2023, possibly in a Prince of Wales's Stakes if he takes that step up in distance in his stride.

Perfect Power

The 2000 Guineas was the early-season target for Perfect Power but Richard Fahey's colt looked all speed when winning the Greenham at Newbury on this seasonal return and he didn't quite get home in the Rowley Mile Classic afterwards.

The Commonwealth Cup on Friday was his latest stopping point and the Ardad colt proved far too strong under Christophe Soumillon. The brief dalliance with a longer trip is perhaps now consigned to memory as he looks a really high-class sprinter.

Winner of the Norfolk over five furlongs at Royal Ascot in 2021, he's now a perfect two-from-two at the course and appears to have plenty more to offer. More will be revealed in the coming months, but Perfect Power could be back here in 12 months looking to win a Platinum Jubilee Stakes for himself.

Kyprios

Much was made of Stradivarius' quest for a record-equalling fourth Ascot Gold Cup win but, as he did 12 months ago, the John and Thady Gosden runner came up short, finishing third. Questions were asked – quite publicly – by connections in the aftermath in regards to the ride Frankie Dettori gave Stradivarius. That inquest may go on for some while.

Let it not be lost amidst that story just how good the winner Kyprios was for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.

On his first attempt at the marathon Gold Cup trip, the Galileo colt excelled himself and as both Mojo Star and Stradivarius piled the pressure on him late on, Kyprios very much appeared to be finding extra as required.

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O'Brien has safely protected the record of four-time winner Yeats in this race. Given the rate of progress Kyprios has made this season, and how well he adapted to the rise in trip/class at Ascot, the next danger to Yeats' record haul could be under O'Brien's own care. At four years old, he might have the tools to dominate the stayers division.

Inspiral

Frankie Dettori didn't have a week to remember at Royal Ascot but the veteran Italian still enjoyed the box seat on one of the most impressive winners of the entire meeting as unbeaten filly Inspiral put her Coronation Stakes rivals to the sword on Thursday.

Having missed the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, John and Thady Gosden's Cheveley Park Stud-owned filly seemingly had a question to answer with Rowley Mile winner Cachet and her French Guineas conqueror Mangoustine present in a high-quality field.

Despite missing the break and racing in rear, Inspiral came through and dispatched them all like modest handicappers for a deeply impressive win.

An exciting season lies in store for this talented filly. Who knows the depth of her ability – could it be possible we'd see a clash with Baaeed over a mile down the line? That's a mouth-watering prospect.

Pied Piper

The Ascot Stakes went the way of Coltrane for Andrew Balding, with the two-and-a-half-mile handicap seeing Willie Mullins and Ryan Moore come up just short with favourite Bring On The Night.

Back in sixth spot was Pied Piper for Gordon Elliott with Jamie Spencer on board. The smart juvenile hurdler was given a typically patient ride by Spencer and they didn't get the clearest run through when seeking to come with a challenge.

He'll surely go back hurdling over the winter months and may do well but connections are clearly willing to be versatile with him and he could end up back here next June, in one of the marathon handicaps or even in the Queen Alexandra Stakes, the longest race of the Flat season in Britain.

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