Royal Ascot Day 5
2.30 Chesham Stakes 7f (Class 1 Listed Race)
The Chesham kicks things off on the final day of this year’s Royal Meeting and it’s headed by September for AP O’Brien. AP won this last year with Churchill and as September is his solitary two year old winner of the season he’s strongly fancied to win it again. The market leader won her first start in taking style and a repeat of that run would see her very hard to peg back here. The main danger looks to be Masar for Godolphin and the in form William Buick. He won a pretty hot contest on his debut run at Goodwood and looks massively open to progression. Another one at a price might be Westerland for John Gosden and Pat Smullen, he got his nose in front at Leicester last time out in a maiden albeit it was a close call, but he could just come on for that run and put in a big run at a big price.
Selections: September 5/4 – Masar 15/2 E/W – Westerland 14/1 E/W
3.05 Wolferton Handicap 1m 2f (Class 1 Listed Listed Race)
The Wolferton this year is headed by a Sir Michael Stoute charge Khairaat following his victory in a handicap at Chester’s May Festival. I actually put this horse in my ‘Horses To Watch’ post at the start of the year and he’s done nothing wrong to say otherwise so far, i’m still of the impression that he’s a potential group horse and I think there’s another big showing on the cards. A couple of alternatives at bigger prices might be firstly Central Square for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni, he’s a fairly lightly raced 5 year old and turned into a decent handicapper last year, he made a promising return to action at Newmarket last month and he might just put in a bold bit to make the frame. Another one to consider might be Pacify for Ralph Beckett and Pat Smullen. He’s got form over this distance and if getting a decent run he could be a big price here.
Selections: Khairaat 4/1 – Central Square 8/1 E/W – Pacify 12/1 E/W
3.40 Hardwicke Stakes 1m 4f (Group 2)
Group 2 contest now in the Hardwicke Stakes and it’s certainly a tasty renewal. It’s headed by Dartmouth for The Queen, Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore. I was at York when this one won the Yorkshire Cup coming up the stand side with a late surging run and I think he gives her majesty a major chance of a Royal winner. If it does rain it will be welcomed for Dartmouth but he has won on fast ground before albeit in handicaps as a three year old. Idaho is AP O’Brien’s raider and if returning to his strong classic form he’ll sure to be a player. One I think might be a decent each way player is Wings Of Desire for John Gosden. He won the Dante last year before finishing fourth in the Derby and second in the King George. He was well down the field in his final start of last year in the International at York but there could more progression to come from this one as a four year old.
Selections: Darmouth 9/4 – Wings Of Desire 15/2 E/W
4.20 Diamond Jubilee Stakes 6f (Group 1)
The final Group 1 of the meeting comes in the form of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and it is headed by one of my personal favourite flat horses in Limato for Henry Candy. He has been massively unlucky when going in search of his beloved quick ground and it even lashed it down in Dubai when he was last seen when well beaten out there. If we don’t see any rain throughout the day and the surface stays as quick as it has been all week then he will be a huge player here and will take the world of beating on the form of his Group 1 July Cup win. I’m also a big fan of Magical Memory and he seemed to regain a bit of form at York, I was there that day and it was on ground that he really wouldn’t of appreciated yet still put in a very impressive run behind Tasleet in second. The Tin Man looks to be the main danger to Limato, he won over course and distance here on Champions Day and if there is any rain it will be a massive disadvantage to Limato and a massive advantage to The Tin Man.
Selections: Limato 11/4 – The Tin Man 13/2 E/W