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Royal Ascot Day Five Preview

Royal Ascot Day Five Preview

It's the final act of Royal Ascot on Saturday afternoon and the swansong is headlined by the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, the last Group 1 race of the meeting. With the Jersey Stakes and Hardwicke Stakes preceding, it is another day of quality racing. They go once more from 2.30pm-6.10pm on day five and the Racing Post previews all the action for the final day of Royal Ascot.


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2.30pm - Chesham Stakes (Listed, 7f)

With six wins, Aidan O'Brien has won the Chesham more than any other trainer and he's looking to take the prize for the fifth time in seven years.
Battleground and Point Lonsdale won the previous two and Alfred Munnings is odds-on to give the Ballydoyle chief a hat-trick. He was very impressive on his Leopardstown debut five weeks ago and is a major player, but there are plenty of talented opponents and the price looks short.

John & Thady Gosden fire a trio at this opening race. Faisal Road (Jack Mitchell) and One World (Colin Keane) made winning starts at Yarmouth and Haydock recently, the former seeing his form boosted since, while Alzahir (Frankie Dettori) was just inched out at Yarmouth on his debut three weeks ago and will have learned plenty from that. All three can be given a chance with improvement likely.

Epsom's Woodcote winner Legend Of Xanadu cannot be overlooked in haste as he was well on top in that race, but DARK THIRTY could be the one for Richard Hannon and Sean Levey.

The son of Starspangledbanner really knuckled down when asked to in his winning debut at Newbury, fending off next-time-out winners in second and third, with two more subsequent winner in the pack. That was a promising start.

Selection: Dark Thirty

Next Best: Faisal Road

 

3.05pm - Jersey Stakes (Group 3, 7f)

German Guineas second Rocchigiani and French Listed winner Tommy Son are valid contenders to bring some continental success to the meeting, but the Jersey has a strong cast from Britain and Ireland for them to compete against amongst a field of 15 runners.

The standard-bearer looks to be Noble Truth after the Kingman gelding bolted up in a Listed race at Newmarket on his return in April. He's a player for Charlie Appleby again, albeit that form has taken several knocks since.

A Royal Ascot runner for Henry De Bromhead is a relatively rare thing but STAR GIRLS AALMAL is one to note. She had wins at Dundalk and Gowran Park either side of a winter break and travelled eye-catchingly well in the Irish 1000 Guineas last month before finishing fourth as Homeless Songs eventually butchered the field.

Second and third, Tuesday and Concert Hall, have since finished first and fourth in the Epsom Oaks, while Purplepay won a Group 2 at Chantilly since after finishing sixth and History ran well in the Ribblesdale here this week after finishing seventh.

A stiff 7f around here can prove ideal for Billy Lee's mount and they can take advantage of this drop in class.

Last month's C&D handicap winner (off 102) Alflaila is a contender too for Owen Burrows, while unbeaten three-time winner Monaadah certainly hasn't maxed out his potential for Saeed bin Suroor and filly merits this rise in class today in the Shadwell colours with Jim Crowley staying faithful to him.

Selection: Star Girls Aalmal

Next Best: Monaadah

 

3.40pm - Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2, 1m4f)

We've seen already this week there are no 'penalty kicks' at Royal Ascot, but this does looks a glaring opportunity for HURRICANE LANE on his reappearance.

The Frankel colt won the Irish Derby, the Grand Prix De Paris and the St Leger last season (as well as the Dante in May) and was only beaten three-parts of a length when third in the Arc at Longchamp on his final start.

He's won five times in seven appearances, his only other defeat being third in the Derby at Epsom. He has won fresh and looks to have too much for these rivals on all form.

Broome was second in this contest a year ago behind Wonderful Tonight and should run his race for Aidan O'Brien after a prep in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (fifth) last month, though perhaps first-time cheekpieces will be a positive and see Mostahdaf emerge as second-best for Jim Crowley and the Gosden team.

He bumped in Bay Bridge at Sandown when second in his comeback run and looks ready to tackle this longer trip now.

Selection: Hurricane Lane

Next Best: Mostahdaf

 

4.20pm - Platinum Jubilee Stakes (Group 1, 6f)

The concluding Group 1 of the meeting and what a race in prospect as a field of 27 were declared for a mouthwatering Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

As we saw in Tuesday's King's Stand, a good Aussie sprinter really is something to reckon with. Chris Waller resisted the temptation to run Nature Strip again here and one wonders if that was largely down to the fact he's got HOME AFFAIRS to rely on.

The 4YO actually beat Nature Strip at Flemington in February and he could be very hard to stop for Waller and James McDonald as they seek a second major sprint prize this week.

Creative Force won the Jersey here last summer and added the Champions Sprint in October, with Glen Shiel and Minzaal behind. That duo will fancy their chances of a different outcome unless we see some rain falling (there's chance of thunderstorms).

Dragon Symbol ran some cracking races in major sprints last season, placing in the Commonwealth Cup here, the July Cup at Newmarket, Goodwood's King George and York's Nunthorpe. For all that promising form, he's 2-10 turf now.

A Case Of You didn't fire in a Group 2 last month at the Curragh, but he beat a good field in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March, including Creative Force, and Ado McGuinness' charge could bounce back now.

Campanelle lost the Commonwealth Cup in a head-bob last summer and is a winner at this meeting from 2020 so she could yet give Wes Ward something to take out of this week.

Selection: Home Affairs

Next Best: A Case Of You

 

5.00pm - Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap, 6f)

Onto the final pair of handicaps of the meeting. Lots of regulars in big-field sprints here and this will be helter-skelter stuff.

Fresh loves this place and was second-best in this race 12 months ago, James Fanshawe's charge looks one of the most reliable in the field and rider Danny Tudhope has enjoyed a brilliant meeting so far.

Silver Samurai carries a 5lb penalty after wins at Newbury and Haydock last month but should go well, and his proven stamina is an asset at this venue. Marco Botti will hope he can challenge.

Blackrod made it three wins in his last four starts when reappearing at Newmarket for a decisive score in April and Michael Dods' charge is a contender from this 5lb higher mark.

Handicap debutant Quarantine Dreams needs a second look for Irish trainer Ken Condon, but LAMPANG is one for each-way players in a tough field. Tim Easterby's gelding had a hit and miss time of it in 2021 but returned to action in winning style at Ayr in April, dominant in seeing off four rivals.

This is clearly a tougher assignment, but he's got claims and the booking of James McDonald is a positive for him.

Selection: Lampang

Next Best: Silver Samurai

 

5.35pm - Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap, 1m2f)

The final handicap of the week and it's one for three-year-olds over a mile-and-a-quarter with a maximum of 16 runners engaged - a small field by some standards here!

FALLING SHADOW is fancied to come out on top. He's one of four Godolphin runners - two apiece for Charlie Appleby and Team Gosden - and has plenty going for him on his handicap bow.

He won a Wolverhampton novice in December but was subsequently disqualified, ensuring he came back last month to land a Newbury maiden with lots in hand upped to 1m2f journey. He travelled especially well under William Buick in that race and, having been gelded since, his mind should be very much on the job at hand now.

Stablemate Blue Trail rises in trip and is a player, while the Gosden pair Honiton (first choice) and Aldous Huxley are also open to improvement.

Martyn Meade's Chairman is going the right way but requires a smidge of improvement here, while dual 1m novice winner Phantom Flight could easily have more to come now upped in trip and sent handicapped by trainer James Horton.

Selection: Falling Shadow

Next Best: Chairman

 

6.10pm - Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions Race, 2m5½f)

The Royal Ascot curtain-call and the longest race of the entire meeting.

Willie Mullins landed his third win as Stratum scored last summer on soft ground. He's won since over hurdles and fences in Ireland and while last of 12 in 1m2f Listed race at the Curragh last month, a bounce-back showing here wouldn't be any sort of shock.

Falcon Eight was beaten favourite in that race, never really looking a threat. He ran well in last month's Chester Cup, finishing fifth after having raced in rear, and those that finished around him have advertised the form strongly here this week so Dermot Weld's charge is a player.

If Trueshan runs it surely would be his race to lose, but Alan King will be relying on those thunderstorms to appear.

Wordsworth has the class to be a major player for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore, albeit he's not noted for consistency and struggles to land wins. The trip is also an unknown.

NATE THE GREAT was fourth in this race in 2020 as Who Dares Wins scored for King. That was a 4YO and he did wilt a little late on, but he's a more mature performer now comes back here after a good second in the 2m Henry II Stakes at Sandown last time.

At double-figure odds, he's got his chance and he could help Danny Tudhope round off an excellent week. He gets the nod, assuming Trueshan bails out.

Selection: Nate The Great

Next Best: Falcon Eight

 

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