Sir Michael Stoute: runners to note for Royal Ascot's leading trainer

If there is one trainer you want on your side at Royal Ascot it's Sir Michael Stoute.

No-one has had more winners at the royal meeting than Stoute, whose tally of 79 is 14 more than Aidan O'Brien, who sits in second among current trainers.

Stoute had four winners at last year's meeting and his superb record at the course extends beyond Royal Ascot: putting £10 on all of Stoute's 135 runners at Ascot over the last five seasons would have given you a £235.70 profit.

Here we have a look at his leading candidates for the royal meeting . . .

Crystal Ocean winning the Hardwicke Stakes, photo Liesl King

Crystal Ocean
Prince of Wales's Stakes/Hardwicke Stakes
6-1/7-4 generally

This consistent son of the great Sea The Stars has notched up seven wins from 14 starts, including a commanding victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at the meeting last year.

An elusive Group 1 success is the only missing piece from an excellent CV and Stoute's team will be hoping Crystal Ocean can right that wrong this month.

Stoute has won the Prince Of Wales's Stakes three times, including with Poet's Word last year, and should Crystal Ocean be set that Group 1 mission he could face last year's Arc runner-up Sea Of Class. 

Queen Anne Stakes
5-1 generally

Stoute is renowned for his patient handling of slow-maturing types and Mustashry demonstrated the trainer's undoubted brilliance with a clearcut win in last month's Lockinge Stakes.

The six-year-old gelding ran creditably to take third behind subsequent Prix d'Ispahan scorer Zabeel Prince in the Earl of Sefton Stakes on his reappearance, but stepped up considerably on that to fend off Laurens at Newbury.

The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned runner is the general 5-1 second favourite behind Le Brivido for the Queen Anne and could take the opening race to give Stoute a landmark 80th triumph at the meeting. 

Coronation Stakes
5-1 generally 

Jubiloso looks to have it all. The pedigree, the talent and the looks. Out of Joyeuse, a half-sister to the exceptional Frankel, Khalid Abdullah's filly could be anything after two easy wins from as many starts. 

Despite looking green on debut the Shamardal filly won by two and three-quarter lengths at Chelmsford before turning a novice stakes at Newbury into a procession, winning by seven lengths.

She might clash with dual 1,000 Guineas heroine Hermosa in the Coronation Stakes and, given her power-packed performances so far, could give the Ballydoyle runner plenty to think about. 

Queen Power
Ribblesdale Stakes
6-1 generally

Connections have not hidden the regard in which they hold King Power Racing's talented filly.

A straightforward winner on debut for Ralph Beckett last year, the daughter of Shamardal was beaten only a short-head on her seasonal reappearance and first start for Stoute, before holding off the highly regarded Lavender's Blue in a Listed contest at Newbury last month. 

It is significant Stoute chose to skip the Oaks and instead head to Ascot for the Ribblesdale Stakes, for which she is a 6-1 chance with Ladbrokes. With only three starts under her belt, she looks a potent force to be reckoned with for the season ahead. 

Royal Hunt Cup 
20-1 generally

Elector performed admirably when appearing not to get home in the King Edward VII Stakes last season and has since raced over shorter distances.

The son of Dansili won on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket in May but then disappointed in a 1m2f handicap on Oaks day at Epsom this month, suggesting a drop back to a mile in this competitive handicap should suit.