The addition of International runners is always a massive boost for Royal Ascot as a whole with the organisers scouring the world in a bid to bring some of the best horses in training to Berkshire each June.
The five day meeting is of course dominated by the British and Irish trained horses but there is a strong International contingent making their way to the track amid dreams of claiming a famous win. Travelling half way round the world to race in front of the Queen at one of the best tracks on earth is a dream for any overseas owner or trainer and once again we can look forward to a strong battalion of International runners to take on the home team.
We have picked out five horses to watch at Royal Ascot from outside of the UK and Ireland...
Lady Aurelia - There is only one way to start a list such as this and that is with the brilliant Wesley Ward trained American sprinter. A winner at the Royal meeting for each of the last two years, the Scat Daddy filly is bidding to make it a hat-trick in 2018 with the defence of her King's Stand Stakes crown. The 2016 Queen Mary victory remains one of the most remarkable performances in recent memory at Ascot and a clash with Battaash on Tuesday is a mouthwatering prospect.
Wind Chimes - The legendary Andre Fabre is always to be respected if he sends a horse to Royal Ascot and Wind Chimes is one that falls into that category. A daughter of Mastercraftsman, the Coolmore filly was a narrow 3rd in the French 1000 Guineas on her last start and is sure to be a player in the Coronation Stakes if as expected she continues to show a sharp level of improvement.
Chelsea Cloisters - The aforementioned Wesley Ward always brings a strong team to Royal Ascot and it tends to be dominated by red hot juveniles. The American trainer has won the Queen Mary twice in the last three years and many believe that Chelsea Cloisters is the horse to add to that tally in 2018. The two-year-old filly scooted clear to win on debut at Keeneland back in April and reports from the stable suggest this is another exciting prospect. One to watch.
Redkirk Warrior - There is a long history of Australian sprint stars heading to Royal Ascot and Redkirk Warrior is the latest from down under to make the long journey to the other side of the world. A two-time Group 1 winner at home, the seven-year-old is reported to have made the trip over in good health and will be a major player in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of action.
Vazirabad - A multiple Group 1 winner who is well known to British and Irish racing fans. Trained by Alain De Royer-Dupre, the six-year-old has won his last two starts, both in Group 2 company, and looks to have every chance of being in the mix for what looks like a fantastic Ascot Gold Cup. Order Of St George will be tough to beat but Vazirabad is a classy animal with plenty of stamina, and could run a massive race for France.