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Ward excited about Lady Aurelia ahead of titanic clash with Battaash

A scintillating clash of speed awaits racegoers for day one of Royal Ascot with 14 sprinters declared for the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes on Tuesday.

Battaash and Lady Aurelia head the field with Wesley Ward bidding to claim the race with the filly for a second consecutive year.

Lady Aurelia is herself bidding for a third straight Royal Ascot win after taking the Queen Mary in 2016, and Ward has been typically bullish about her chances in the build-up to the race.

Speaking on Luck On Sunday on Racing UK, Ward again described Lady Aurelia's recent pieces of work as "eye-opening", and he was also pleased with what he saw from some of his other contenders on Sunday morning.

Bound For Nowhere (Diamond Jubilee) and Undrafted (Wokingham) breezed at Newbury, after which Ward said: "Bound For Nowhere ran an explosive race on his last start in the Shakertown at Keeneland. He's lightly raced and bounded away from the best sprinters in the United States. I think he's going to be tough."

Undrafted, who was partnered by Raul da Silva on Sunday, also pleased Ward, along with Albany runner Stillwater Cove, about whom the trainer said: "Her breeze today was very, very good. She worked with Moonlight Romance and I'm really excited."

Rest of Tuesday

Hydrangea, who has entries for the Duke of Cambridge and Prince of Wales's Stakes, was the only absentee from Tuesday's opening race, the Queen Anne, with 15 runners declared for the Group 1.

The third top-level event on Tuesday, the St James's Palace Stakes, has attracted a field of ten as Without Parole attempts to extend his unbeaten record to four.

John Gosden's runner will face the 2,000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win, and the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Romanised.

Flying juveniles Calyx and Sergei Prokofiev will clash in the Coventry Stakes, with the pair featuring among 24 declarations.

Ascot, picture Liesl King

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