Royal Ascot 2014: Kingman & Night Of Thunder in rematch

Night Of Thunder (second from right) beats Kingman (right) to win the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May
Night Of Thunder (second from right) won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May

The Royal Ascot meeting begins on Tuesday with an opening day rematch between Kingman and Night Of Thunder.

John Gosden's Kingman won the Irish 2,000 Guineas after a shock defeat by Night Of Thunder in the English version, and they clash in the St James's Palace Stakes (16:25 BST).

Night Of Thunder's trainer Richard Hannon also saddles Toormore, while War Command leads Irish hopes.

Hannon's Toronado heads runners in the opening Queen Anne Stakes (14:30).

Irish champion trainer Aidan O'Brien, who trains War Command, has Verrazano in the first race while Anodin is a supplementary entry.

It is one of three top-level Group One contests on day one of a five-day meeting, where the going is good and a total of 250,000 racegoers expected.

The King's Stand Stakes (15:45) has last year's victor Sole Power with rivals including Hot Streak, who won the Cornwallis Stakes at the 2013 meeting.

Thursday will see Estimate, owned by the Queen, bid to follow up her memorable Gold Cup success from 12 months ago.

The Queen arrives in the Royal procession each day before the racing, which provides a mix of high-quality action on the track and colourful fashions off it.

Some of the other highlights during the week include:

  • Wednesday - Brilliant Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, the mount of Frankie Dettori, runs in the Prince of Wales's Stakes while Certify, one of several horses banned from racing for six months last year in the Godolphin doping scandal, is in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes
  • Thursday - Ladies' Day where the Gold Cup is the feature race. Leading Light, trained by O'Brien, is favourite to thwart the Queen's horse, Estimate, while Brown Panther is owned and bred by former England striker Michael Owen
  • Friday - My Titania is among the leading fillies in the Coronation Stakes and Snow Sky, forced to miss the Derby at Epsom with an injury, returns in the King Edward VII Stakes
  • Saturday - Top sprinters, including Slade Power and Gordon Lord Byron, compete in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, while punters try to work out the big-field Wokingham Handicap

For the big race on Tuesday, Kingman is rated favourite by bookmakers despite his reverse against 40-1 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder at Newmarket in May.

"The front two are two very nice colts, but it is definitely not just between them and I'm also not sure how the bookmakers have it priced up as it is," said trainer Gosden. "I would have it as even between them.

"It's nice when you get two horses who keep meeting. It's good for racing."

O'Brien, top trainer in four of the last seven meetings, is odd-on favourite to have the most victories again, while Ryan Moore looks to become the fixture's leading jockey for the fourth time in five years.