PUNTERS will now have become used to the annual invasion of international runners at Royal Ascot.
Each year, horses from America, Australia and Asia travel to the UK to take part in the most famous Flat racing festival in the world – but who are they and are they worth a bet?
Getty Images – Getty Redkirk Warrior has been transformed into a top-class sprinter in Australia
Australian sprinters have a brilliant record at Royal Ascot, with the likes of Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and, of course, Black Caviar making their mark on the meeting in recent years.
Redkirk Warrior will attempt to add his name to that famous list for the training partnership of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, who operate under the banner of Lindsay Park Racing.
The gelding started his career in the UK in 2014 with William Haggas, winning his first two starts including a mile and a quarter handicap at Ascot.
He was then sold to Hong Kong and ran in the Hong Kong Derby, but his career was almost cut short by persistent foot problems.
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The seven-year-old was transferred to Australia and reinvented as a top-class sprinter by Lindsay Park.
He has won five races and over A$2,000,000 in prize money Down Under, including back-to-back victories in the historic Group 1 Newmarket Handicap.
In his second win in the Newmarket in March this year, he defied a huge weight and a track bias to beat, among others, fellow Diamond Jubilee contender Merchant Navy.
He has also been successful in Group 1 company over five furlongs in the Lightning Stakes.
Redkirk Warrior – Career record and latest odds for Royal Ascot
Big-race wins: Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (2017, 2018), Group 1 Lightning Stakes (2018), Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Handicap (2017)
Ascot target: Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Latest odds: 6-1
Co-trainer Ben Hayes said that the horse had taken the 36-hour journey to the UK in his stride.
Hayes told Sunracing: “He travelled over really well. He is a good traveller and has been on and off planes quite a bit.
“He came to us pretty much retired in Hong Kong because they couldn’t get his feet right.
“Our farrier did a great job with him and he has been sound ever since.”