The coronavirus outbreak has decimated horse racing, leaving many fans wondering when their favourite sport will return to normal.
The Grand National and Dubai World Cup are amongst the major events that have already been cancelled and more are expected to follow over the coming weeks.
However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, with the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting in June still scheduled to go ahead.
The Berkshire course is set to stage the event from June 16-20, so read on as we look at three horses who will be worth watching at Royal Ascot.
Stradivarius on course for three-in-a-row
There are likely to be plenty of punters searching for Ascot sign-up offers in order to back Stradivarius to win the Gold Cup for a third successive year.
John Gosden’s charge has been the dominant force in the staying division over the past couple of seasons and will be tough to beat this time around.
He suffered a narrow defeat by Kew Gardens in his last race in the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot back in October.
However, Stradivarius didn’t like the soft ground that day and is fully expected to exact his revenge in more suitable conditions at Ascot.
Enable aiming to make history
Gosden will be eyeing more success as stable star Enable attempts to become the first horse to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes for a third time.
The six-year-old’s campaign is being built around a return trip to France in October where she will try to claim a third success in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Enable won a thrilling King George last season, beating Crystal Ocean by a neck, but came up just short behind Waldgeist in the Arc at Longchamp.
Gosden will undoubtedly be eager to see Enable cement her status as the greatest filly of all-time and it would be no surprise to see her achieve that feat this season.
Battaash out to set the record straight
Top class sprinter Battaash is on a recovery mission this season after ending the last campaign with a dismal run in the Prix de l’Abbaye.
The six-year-old wasn’t helped by either the draw or the ground in France and punters can probably draw a line through that run.
Battaash has twice finished second in the King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot behind Blue Point, but with that horse now retired to stud he looks a good bet to go one better this year.
Trainer Charlie Hills has said that Battaash has wintered extremely well and a victory in the King’s Stand would be a great way to start the campaign.