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Royal Ascot Racing Club hoping to crown 20th anniversary in style with Headway

The Royal Ascot Racing Club is hoping to celebrate its 20th anniversary in style next week when there will a full turnout to watch Headway run in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes.

The 200-strong club has enjoyed success at its signature fixture once but you have to go back a long way back to find it, as organiser Harry Herbert explained.

He said: "We have had one winner before at the royal meeting which was Revenue in the Windsor Castle in 2002, although we nearly had a double last year when Headway [Coventry Stakes] and Projection [Wokingham] were both just touched off."

Headway, who was on Tuesday cut into 6-1 third favourite (from 8) by Paddy Power for the seven-furlong contest, the last race on the second day, has had a return to Royal Ascot on his agenda ever since his impressive victory on his seasonal reappearance in the Listed Spring Cup at Lingfield in March.

The William Haggas-trained three-year-old then fared less well when beating only two home behind Saxon Warrior in the Qipco Guineas at Newmarket but has been freshened up since.

Herbert said: "Running Headway in the Guineas didn't work. It was the wrong race to run him in and it looked as if he didn't quite get home. The Jersey has always been his main summer target this year and coming back to seven furlongs on fast ground should be ideal. The horse worked this morning and William was very happy with him."

The Royal Ascot Racing Club will have another runner to cheer later on in the week as Projection is back for a crack at Group 1 level in the Diamond Jubilee on Saturday.

The Roger Charlton-trained gelding is a 25-1 chance for the six-furlong speed test, but Herbert expects a decent showing.

He said: "Projection is a tough horse and his form when he finished third to The Tin Man at Windsor is already working out as runner-up D'bai has since won at Haydock. All in all it looks an exciting week for our members who will be hoping to celebrate our 20th anniversary with a win."

The ground at Ascot was on Tuesday changed to good to firm, good in places, from good, good to firm in places, as the dry spell continued.

The course was watered on Monday and will be watered again on Wednesday to maintain the current going. Other than the possibility of an occasional light shower on Thursday and Saturday there is currently a generally dry forecast through to early next week.

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