ROYAL ASCOT 2019 PREVIEW
Author: Jordan Yates
Image: Jordan Yates
Graphics: Logopit Plus
Chesham Stakes (Class 1) (Listed)
It’s the Chesham that’s the curtain raiser on the final day of the Royal Ascot Meeting of 2019 which is a listed contest that’s ridden over seven furlongs and my selection here comes in the form of Aidan O’Brien’s LOPE Y FERNANDEZ who’s the mount of Ryan Moore. This two year old colt by Lope De Vega was a 950,000 yearling and made the perfect start to his racing career when winning very well on debut and it’s likely there’s a lot more to come from this exciting colt for his top connections.
The main danger looks to be Godolphin’s Pinatubo here who was last seen when winning the Woodcote at Epsom. He won well that day after picking up the early pacemaker who went off very fast, it’s likely that he also has more to offer for his equally as powerful connections.
WIN: LOPE Y FERNANDEZ (5/4)
Jersey Stakes (Group 3)
The second race on the card is the Group 3 Jersey Stakes which is also contested over seven furlongs and I’ve had two bets in the race. The first of these comes in a horse I’ve become a big fan of this seasonand that’s Charlie Appleby’s SPACE BLUES who’s the mount of James Doyle here. He really seems to of come into his own since being dropped back in trip and was last seen when winning a listed event at Epsom pretty cosily. Another bold showing is likely by this Dubawi colt.
My other bet in the race is Andrew Balding’s HAPPY POWER who arrives here in good form having won a listed race himself at York just last week. He was well backed that day and put the race to bed comfortably in the closing stages and despite it not being King Power’s week so far I think this is another smart colt of theirs that can do himself justice on the big stage.
WIN: SPACE BLUES (11/4)
EACH WAY: HAPPY POWER (15/2)
Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
We now turn the attention the Hardwicke Stakes which is a Group 2 affair that’s contested over just shy of a mile and four furlongs and it’s a race that I have changed my opinion on several times over before coming to a conclusion. Masar would be obviously be bang there if turning up in the same form as when we last saw him when winning the Derby but your taking that on chance. Southern France looks a very interesting contender now he’s been switched to this race, he ran a mighty race behind Stradivarius last time at York and looks a solid outfit going forward for Aidan O’Brien. He might want further than this though.
I’ve stuck with Lah Ti Dar throughout most of her career so far, I really hope she bounces back here after a poor effort at Epsom last time but for me there still lies a few questions about when around top company, albeit this is a Group 2 but a hot one at that. I’ve decided to go with a personal favourite of mine in DEFOE for Roger Varian. He looked a proper Group 1 horse the last day when getting the better of Kew Gardens in the Coronation Cup and if turning up in that form here he’s got to be a massive player. I think he could well of progressed past a few of these. Mirage Dancer could well be the each way play in the race, a horse I’m also a huge fan of and it would be nice to see him go well at this level which would be no surprise given his yard.
WIN: DEFOE (7/2)
Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1)
The feature race on Saturday is the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs and a race which I’ve sided with Tuesday’s King’s Stand winner BLUE POINT to the business once again for Charlie Appleby and James Doyle. He proved when in Dubai that it’s no problem for him over five or six furlongs and he comes here looking the best horse in the race by some way. If he hadn’t ran on Tuesday his price would certainly be a lot shorter than it is currently and that looks the only question mark over him to see how much his King’s Stand win took out of him. I think we’ll see another big performance.
I’ve seen both of Invincible Army’s wins this season at Doncaster and York and he looks better than ever going in to this and looks a chief threat to the market leader for James Tate and P.J McDonald. French raider City Light looks another player and not to be ruled out is 2017 winner The Tin Man who will be a popular each way play with punters.
WIN: BLUE POINT (2/1)
Wokingham Stakes (Class 2) (Heritage Handicap)
The penultimate race of the meeting is the Wokingham Stakes which is another heritage handicap over six furlongs and I’ve had two arrows here and the first of these comes in the form of Michael Appleby’s DANZENO. He was ultimately disappointing throughout the duration of last season but bounced back to form with a win in a five furlong Nottingham handicap last time out on reappearance. Returning to Ascot often brings out the best in him as he enjoys it around here as does his booked jockey that is none other than Frankie Dettori.
My second pick comes at a much bigger price and that’s Jim Bolger’s SOUTHERN HORSE. He arrives here very much an unknown entity to punters however he was a runner up in a Group 1 in Argentina formerly, and they appear to think a lot of home back home. It’s interesting that they are taking their chance with him in a contest like this and he could well be one worth chancing at a big price.
EACH WAY: DANZENO (8/1)
EACH WAY: SOUTHERN HORSE (20/1)
Queen Alexandra Stakes (Class 2)
Concluding this year’s Royal Ascot as ever is the Queen Alexandra Stakes, a Class 2 race over two miles and four furlongs and the one I’ve taken a chance on here is Andrew Balding’s CLEONTE who’s the mount of Silvestre De Sousa. He’s a course winner who ran big races throughout the season last year and none more so than when finishing third in the Cesarewitch on his final outing of the campaign. He’s put in a couple of solid efforts since returning this time around and he looks as though he’s set for a big run in this.
The obvious players look to be Willie Mullins’ Max Dynamite who’s the mount of Ryan Moore and John Gosden’s Corelli who could well prove a different proposition at this distance, Dettori takes the ride on him.
WIN: CLEONTE (9/2)