The final day of what has been a fantastic Royal Ascot is upon us but there is still some great racing to come with the highlight being the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Ireland might be numerically low on runners today but can be very hopeful of bagging another winner for the week.
The Chesham Stakes is the opening race and is a fascinating clash. Aidan O’Brien’s Churchill was very well-touted before his debut at the Curragh but was undone by a lack of experience. He was third that day behind Van Der Decken who was subsequently 5th in Tuesday’s Coventry Stakes but he should prove much better for that experience. Cunco is another interesting contender. From the first crop of Frankel he showed a smart turn of foot to win on debut at Newbury.
Maleficent Queen has run up quite a winning sequence and could be hard to stop in the Wolferton Handicap. Unbeaten in her last five she will handle the conditions and it often pays to follow fillies in form. She faces a good group of hardened handicappers here and maybe Best Of Times can give her most to do. He looks to be the pick of the Godolphin runners who have had a good Festival already.
Exosphere was massively impressive putting away some highly rated rivals at Newmarket last time and is the one to beat in the Hardwicke Stakes. His trainer Sir Michael Stoute has a magnificent record in this race and Exosphere can take this on his way to Group 1 company. A horse that already is proven in Group 1 company is Highland Reel and he must be respected returning to Europe.
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is a race that has gone outside Europe twice in the last four years and Eastern raider Gold-Fun could make it three in five. He has some solid form in Hong Kong where the quality of sprinting is probably the best in the world. The unknown is how he will handle the ground but his pedigree suggests that he has a fair chance on that front. Undrafted won the race last year and must have his chance again but conditions will be radically different to last year. Magical Memory looks best of the home team.
The Wokingham Stakes is a typically difficult Royal Ascot handicap and maybe last year’s winner Interception can go well again. Not every horse can handle this sort of test so having a battle tested horse on side is a big plus. In truth there are plenty in here with the ability to go well on their day and Jack Dexter appeals as being well handicapped if he can put his best foot forward. Brando has been in good form of late and his claims are obvious.
The Queen Alexandra Stakes brings the curtain down on Royal Ascot 2016 and Irish Champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins has a strong chance of bagging a winner. Clondaw Warrior was a winner at the meeting last year and comes into this race as the joint top rated. He has been in fine form over hurdles and can be expected to run a big race. Simenon hasn’t been seen in a while and was out of form at that point but he must be respected on his two length defeat in last year’s Ascot Gold Cup. Oriental Fox is a course and distance winner and looks sure to be in the mix on form.
Today’s recommended bets:
£1 Tote Placepot
Leg 1: 2. Churchill, 3. Cunco
Leg 2: 4. Maleficent Queen, 6. Best Of Times
Leg 3: 5. Exosphere
Leg 4: 1. Gold-Fun, 4. Magical Memory
Leg 5: 6. Interception, 17. Jack Dexter, 20. Brando
Leg 6: 1. Oriental Fox, 5. Clondaw Warrior
Total Cost: €48
£27 Tote Win 5. Exosphere – 3.40
£15 Tote Place – 17. Jack Dexter – 5.00
£10 Tote Win – 1 Gold-Fun – 4.20