Saturday 23rd June 2018 – Day Five
Chesham Stakes (Class 1) (Listed) (7f)
The Chesham kicks things off on the final day of Royal Ascot 2018 which is a Listed contest that’s ridden over a distance of seven furlongs.
This year’s renewal is headed by Natalies Joy for Mark Johnston on the back of her dominant display the last day at Goodwood, connections think very highly of her and she should come on again from that win and put in another bold showing here. She trades at around 6/4 and is the mount of Joe Fanning.
There’s a whole host of representatives from big yards queing up behind her in the market with the likesof Beyond Reson for Charlie Appleby, Cardini for Aiden O’Brien and San Donato for Roger Varian. These currently bet from around 7/1 to 10/1 respectively.
I think NATALIES JOY will go very close here as her debut run is hard to ignore, it was a great performanceand I think she can go close again here. One as an each way alternative for me comes in the form of CARDINI, he hasn’t shown much so far but this yard have a good record in this with smart sorts so they clearly think he’s got a bit of a locker and could show that here.
Natalies Joy – (6/4)
Cardini – (8/1) (E/W)
1st: Natalies Joy – (6/4)
2nd: Cardini – (8/1)
3rd: San Donato – (10/1)
Hardwicke Stakes (Class 1) (Group 2) (1m 4f)
The Hardwicke is the second race on Saturday at Ascot and it’s a Group 2 contest that’s ridden over a distance of a mile and four furlongs. Only five runners in this year’s renewal with Crystal Ocean the very hot favourite for that man again Sir Michael Stoute.
Ryan Moore takes the ride on this Stoute hotpot and Crystal Ocean comes here in great form, he was last seen when demolishing a Group 3 field at Newbury before knuckling down to win over an inadequte trip on his reappearance run a couple of starts ago.
The Balldoyle representitives make up for nearly half of the field with both Idaho and Cliffs Of Moher taking their places here. We last saw Idaho when he was down the field in the Coronation Stakes at Epsom behind Cracksman. He did win a Group 3 at Chester’s May Festival the time before that and is a more than capable player on his day. Cliffs Of Moher ran here a couple of days ago when finishing fourth in the Prince Of Wales Stakes behind another Stoute horse in Poet’s Word, he trades at around 12/1 here and is the mount of Seamie Heffernan.
Barsanti might well be the main threat to the market leader here for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni. He was runner up in this last year and has been progressing nicely since, he won well on his reappearance the last day and could build on that again here and give the short priced favourite a bit to think about.
It’s very tough to see past CRYSTAL OCEAN here and with there only being five runners in the field its tough to look at the race from an each way angle. He should be winning here and putting up a bold show.
Crystal Ocean – (8/13)
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
1st: Crystal Ocean (8/13)
2nd: Barsanti (11/2)
Windsor Castle (Class 1) (Listed) (5f)
Moonlight Romance – (11/2) (E/W)
(Wesley Ward won this in 2009 and 2014 and if powering out of the stalls this one could well be hard to peg back, the American raider was also behind Shang Shang Shang on debut who won the Norfolk on Thursday, could well be a big player.)
Soliders Call – (16/1) (E/W)
(I was at Haydock when Soliders Call despatched of his Maiden tag in comfortable style and he should come on for that, he’s in much deeper waters now in this but he’s a nice prospect and could well get involved.)
Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Class 1) (Group 1) (6f)
The Diamond Jubilee takes centre stage on the final day of this year’s Royal Meeting and of course it’s a Group 1 affair that’s ridden over the distance of six furlongs and was won last year by The Tin Man for James Fanshawe.
This year’s renewal is headed by the fantastic Harry Angel for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby. He comes here of the back of a comfortable reappearance victory in a Group 2 contest at York last month and comes here presumably better than ever. It is well known he doesn’t seem to get on with this track all that much though suffering four defeats here which would be a slight concern if your planning on getting involved with the market leader.
The International challenge comes from the very smart and talked up Redkirk Warrior from Australia, he actually started his career off on these shores for William Haggas over longer distances but established himself as a sprinting star down under. He’s sure to have a big say today and he’s got the services of the man who’s been on fire this week and that’s of course Frankie Dettori.
Ballydole recently aquired a very smart sprinter from down under and that comes in the form of Merchant Navy who lines up here, he’s faced off against Redkirk Warrior before and finished third behind when they last met. He wasn’t beaten that far that day and this very talented sort is likely to have a lot more to offer now teamed up with this all conquering set up. Ryan Moore is on board today and he’s around a 7/2 chance.
Other UK challengers to note look to be last year’s winner The Tin Man who’s around 8/1 to retain his title here again with Tom Queally on board and also Librisa Breeze who won here on Champions Day in Group 1 company, he can be found trading at around 11/1 respectively.
Very tough race to call this but i’m going to take a chance on MERCHANT NAVY for Aiden O’Brien. Harry Angel & Redkirk Warrior are likely going to be very hard to beat but despite Merchant Navy giving his Australian counterpart a lot of weight when getting beat the last day I think there could yet be more to come from him now with Ballydoyle, and with there still being question marks over Harry Angel and this track, I like Merchant Navy, he’s 7/2 and could well play a part.
Merchant Navy – (7/2)
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: Aiden O’Brien
1st: Merchant Navy (7/2)
2nd: Harry Angel (11/4)
3rd: Redkirk Warrior (4/1)
Wokingham Stakes (Hertiage Handicap) (Class 2) (6f)
Dreamfield – (4/1)
(Won a decent handicap around here in his reapparance the last day here after being off for around 18 months, has the potential to be a Group horse and could well be above this lot. Will need luck in running in this but will likely race promininetly from the off to obtain a decent position. Huge Player.)
Gilgamesh – (16/1) (E/W)
(Stong traveling type that won well the last day in a decent Class 2 handicap at York, he’s down in trip here but handles the track as shown in his Victoria Cup effort. Could well play a part at a decent price.)
Queen Alexandra Stakes (Class 2) (2m 5f)
Thomas Hobson – (11/8)
(A very likeable yardstick for Willie Mullins who’s put up smart performances on the level for a few years now, was second in this last year on the back of a quick turn around following a win in the Ascot Stakes. Ryan Moore back on board today and a bold showing is more than likely.)