Cracksman may prove the headline act but it's in day two's only handicap – the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) – where we go to for the best bet, where Zhui Feng can make a bold bid to win the race for a second successive year.

Amanda Perrett has her string in fine form of late and her lightly-raced five-year-old produced a superb performance to land this contest 12 months ago off a mark of 100.

He ran credible off 6lb higher at Goodwood on unsuitably soft going, before showing he’s still in fantastic form when almost making all in the Victoria Cup back here in May, just collared late on by the well-treated Ripp Orf, who was carrying 20lb less.

Granted, a 31-runner cavalry charge isn’t the easiest of races to pick out the winner, and there’s several high-quality and potentially well-handicapped rivals in this field. But the unique challenge of Ascot’s straight mile often finds a few out, whereas the selection is tried and tested, and conditions have fallen just right, on rattling good-to-firm ground, plus he’s well drawn away from the carnage of the central reservations in stall two. At 20-1 (Coral, ¼ odds 4 places) he rates a proper each-way bet.

The Group Two Queen Mary Stakes kicks off the action (2.30) on day two and Clive Cox’s exciting two-year-old Shades Of Blue is taken to prove the best of the two-year-old fillies.

The daughter of Kodiac made a hugely impressive debut over course and distance back in May, well-backed into 9/2 and squeezing her way through a gap to lead approach the furlong pole, before show an electric turn of foot which put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Adam Kirby and Cox were both very complimentary about Shades Of Blue in post-race interviews and that race is working out well, with third-placed Come On Leicester bolting up since at Windsor.

This will prove much tougher for Shades Of Blue, and Wes Ward’s hyped-up Chelsea Cloisters may prove in a different parish to these, but I’m backing Cox’s starlet to prove she’s top class and Kirby should be able to bag the stand’s rail from stall 22.

In the Group Three Jersey Stakes (5.35), Emaraaty can confirm the promise of his recent excellent run at Goodwood.

John Gosden’s three-year-old looked a serious animal when bolting up at Newbury as a juvenile but faltered in the Dewhurst behind US Navy Flag, before getting back on track in a weak maiden at Newcastle in April.

Life looked tough for Emaraaty off an allotted mark of 109 for his handicap bow at Goodwood last month but he ran a huge race off top weight, just nudged out of it by Society Power, who was in receipt of 10lb.

That looked a really good handicap and back in Group company, he should take plenty of beating under Jim Crowley.

Royal Ascot day two race-by-race selections:

2.30: Shades Of Blue (see above).

3.05: Stream Of Stars – Looked impressive when breaking his maiden at Ascot last month and should make a bold bid under Dettori.

3.40: Hydrangea – Winner at Ascot on Champions Day and should take a big step forward from reappearance at The Curragh.

4.20: Cracksman – Not a betting proposition but will take all the beating. Probably the best horse currently in training anywhere in Europe.

5.00: Zhui Feng (see above).

5.35: Emaraaty (see above).