There is not much left for Japanese horses to win in their quest for global domination but victory at Royal Ascot is still right at the top of their hit list.

In the past 12 months alone Japan has conquered a significant part of the racing world with victories at the Breeders’ Cup in the United States and the Hong Kong International Races, as well as a dominant display at the world’s richest meeting in Saudi Arabia and success on World Cup night in Dubai.

But the closest the Land of the Rising Sun has come to winning at the royal meeting was when crack sprinter Agnes World finished second in the King’s Stand Stakes in 2000, with their latest runner Deirdre failing to make much of an impact when sixth in the Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2,000m) last year.

And it’s that race that will again be the focus of Japanese attention on day two of Royal Ascot as the globetrotting Shahryar attempts to make history.

Winner of the Japanese Derby last year, he beat 2021 Hong Kong Vase quinella pair Glory Vase and Pyledriver when easily coming out on top in the Group One Sheema Classic in Dubai in March.

On the back of that victory, it may surprise some to see that British bookmakers price him up as second-favourite at around $4.15 for Wednesday’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

Baaeed and Nature Strip out to light up day one of Royal Ascot

But that is largely due to the stunning performance produced by the local favourite Bay Bridge to win a Group Three at Sandown by an impressive five lengths on his last start.

He is trained by this year’s Derby winner Michael Stoute, who has won a record 82 races at this meeting, and his three-year-old has improved through the ranks at a remarkable rate, winning a Newbury handicap off a mark of 90 four starts ago and now competing in Group One company for the first time off a rating of 121.

He will be ridden by a face familiar to Hong Kong punters in Ryan Moore, who has a host of chances for Aidan O’Brien and Stoute in the remainder of the week.

While the big race of the day looks to be a match race, the remainder of the card appears to be highly competitive.

The Group Two Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (1,600m) has betting more akin to an open handicap and this could be a big day for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam as she takes on some of the country’s biggest trainers with Saffron Beach.

A Group One winner at Newmarket in October, the four-year-old filly ran really well when fourth against the boys in the Group One Dubai Turf in March and reverts to racing against her own sex here. Clear on ratings, she could well be the best bet of the day.

Glory for Japan as class prevails in the Hong Kong Vase

The race that attracts most punters on the card will probably be the 30-runner Royal Hunt Cup (1,600m) and it’s well worth taking notes from the first day’s racing as the draw can play a big part with the field occupying the whole of the Ascot straight.

With 10 of the last 12 winners priced at 10-1 or bigger and no winning favourite since Forgotten Voice in 2009, it often pays to think outside the box when tackling this race from a punting perspective.

Those who could go well at big prices are Etonian, who reverts to handicap company after being out of his depth against Baaeed last time, and Aratus, who may show improvement stepping up to a mile for the first time.