You’ll be hard pressed to find a better day’s racing than Tuesday’s opening card at Royal Ascot with six top-class races to kick off a superb week.

The Group One King’s Stand Stakes (3.40) is the highlight, and Battaash is taken to get the better of American speedball Lady Aurelia, who is bidding to win this race for a second successive year.

Wes Ward will have Lady Aurelia fully primed for Ascot, but I’d be concerned that she’s suffered three defeats since then including in the Nunthorpe at York, a race where Battaash got way too anxious in the preliminaries and blew his chance of ending the season unbeaten.

However, Charlie Hills’ four-year-old was back to his best at Chantilly with a blistering performance to win the Prix De L’Abbaye and there was lots to like about his reappearance win at Haydock following wind surgery, nailing Washington DC and Kachy in the dying strides.

Hills felt Battaash would improve plenty for that run, and with Jim Crowley taking over in the plate I’m very hopeful of a huge performance from the best sprinter around. Drawn nine (Lady Aurelia is in stall seven) he should be able to take dead-aim at Ward’s filly. At 9/4 he rates the bet.

The Group Two Coventry Stakes (3.05) is an incredibly difficult puzzle to solve with 24 unexposed two-year-olds in the field, but I’ll take a chance with The Irish Rover for Aidan O’Brien.

A son of No Nay Never, The Irish Rover was beaten on his previous trip to Ascot in early May, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He blew the start, having been hammered into 1/7 at the off, and rattled home to lose by half a length in a blanket finish of four.

Stepped up to six furlongs a fortnight later at Newbury, he broke well and travelled like the winner before picking up in tremendous fashion to quicken clear entering the final furlong and won with plenty in hand.

The extra furlong and rattling quick ground seemed to really suit and I wouldn’t have much between The Irish Rover and O’Brien’s first-string in this year’s renewal – Sergei Prokofiev – who did look potentially high-class when winning at Naas last time out.

However, he’s too short at 9/4 in a very competitive event, while there’s 12s about The Irish Rover, who has Seamie Heffernan on his back. If the selection breaks well from stall 23 and settles slightly better, I think he’ll prove hard to beat.

Royal Ascot day one race-by-race selections:

2.30: Rhododendron – Top class filly who took another step up when landing the Lockinge last month. This tougher, but she’s extremely resolute.

3.05: The Irish Rover (see above).

3.40: Battaash (see above).

4.20: US Navy Flag – Highly-tried for a three-year-old but thrived on his racing last year, winning the Middle Park and the Dewhurst. Tough as anything and expect Ryan Moore to bounce out and try to make all.

5.00: White Desert – Godolphin gelding who sneaks in at the bottom of the handicap courtesy of a facile win at Wolverhampton three weeks ago. Unexposed and a big price in an albeit tricky race to call.

5.35: Scarlet Dragon – Alan King’s flat string are running well of late and while this is competitive, there’s nothing of Crystal Ocean’s quality in this field, who the selection bumped into at Newbury. Take a chance at 25/1.