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Racing royalty preview Ascot at Kingsclere pub

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On Sunday, 12 June the Bel and Dragon in Kingsclere hosted a Royal Ascot preview evening.

It was attended by trainer Andrew Balding, jockey Oisin Murphy, Racing TV presenter Jess Stafford and Betway's Bill Esdale.

Murphy joined Balding's Kingsclere yard in 2012, aged just 17, and has been crowned Champion Jockey on three successive occasions – in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

From left: Andrew Balding, Oisin Murphy, Jess Stafford and Bill Esdale
From left: Andrew Balding, Oisin Murphy, Jess Stafford and Bill Esdale

The quartet previewed Royal Ascot, which begins today, June 14.

The event has raised around £1400 for the Hampshire Medical Fund.


Baaeed, who stormed to victory at Newbury's prestigious Lockinge Stakes last month, made it eight wins from eight in the meeting's first race, the Queen Anne Stakes.

Hollie Doyle, who lives in Berkshire with her husband and fellow jockey Tom Marquand, won Aboard Bradsell in the afternoon's second race, the Coventry Stakes.

Andrew Balding has 32 entries throughout the week.

Kingsclere-based trainer Andrew Balding
Kingsclere-based trainer Andrew Balding

He made a fantastic start – Coltrane, at 14/1, won the Ascot Stakes for the Kingsclere-based trainer.

Foxes Tale looks set to be competitive for Balding in this afternoon's Wolferton Stakes – the colt won at Ascot last year.

He was, however, fourth last time out at Newbury over a mile and a half but is tipped to thrive over the shorter trip on Tuesday.

Racing is famously unpredictable but Balding will be hoping he'll be raising a glass to an Ascot winner this week – perhaps he'll even be back in the Bel and Dragon.

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