Royal Ascot 👑🐴🎩☂ Day 5
Chesham Stakes 14.30: 1 – #4 Point Lonsdale 2 – #1 Great Max
The listed race for 2yo over 7f for which the contestants sire or dam must have won over 10f. And the last juvenile contest of the week.
The easy starting point here is the much touted Point Lonsdale who made a striking impression over 7f at The Curragh just over 2 weeks ago. He looked in a bit of bother 2f out but kept finding more and was a ready winner. O’Brien has a good record in this race and he will be a strong top pick.
I will have a saver on Great Max at a price who should relish the conditions and made a nice debut over 6.5f in Newbury just 9 days ago. Wootton Bassett usually gets them going in the soft and I think he will outrun his odds.
Jersey Stakes 15.05: 1 – #18 Light Refrain 2 – #4 Creative Force 3 – #14 Spycatcher
This is a wide open race with lots of chances.
Light Refrain will adore this ground. Her form stacks up with the best of them (just a length behind the Commonwealth Cup first past the post yesterday) and she should stay the 7f. It would be great to see the Queen get a winner!
I like the form of the Newbury race that Creative Force beat Spycatcher and want to keep both on side. Creative Force has kept improving this year and really looks like there is more to come. I think Spycatcher over 7f on this ground may surprise a few people and the trainer is confident of a big run. They are both drawn high which may not suit as the near side rail appears to be where you want but that will be factored into the price and with the further rain, it should become less of an issue (I hope).
Hardwicke Stakes 15.40: 1 – #6 Ilaraab 2 – #5 Hukum 3 – #12 Thunderous
The market has changed substantially over the past 36 hours for this and presents a real betting conundrum now.
Wonderful Tonight is likely the horse to beat with conditions in her favour but she may not be fully cranked up on her seasonal appearance and is tight enough in price so I will reluctantly leave her off here.
Top pick is Ilaraab who isn’t the type of horse I usually go for but I think the race dynamics may play into his favour and he looks a relentless stayer who keeps finding more and more. He may be a long way off coming into the straight but think he will stay on better than most.
Next best is Hukum who should travel strongly for Jim Crowley and as we know he stays further than 12f and he doesn’t mind the ground, he should be there at the finish.
Final pick is Thunderous in first time blinkers. He has improved with each run this year and I think he is underrated on his last run behind Al Aasy as he was on the slower part of the race track. He may not be good enough but he should go on the ground and think there is juice in his price.
Diamond Jubilee Stakes 16.20: 1 – #2 Dream of Dreams 2 – #6 Happy Power 3 – #5 Glen Shiel
The big race of the day and now without one of the potential favourites Starman due to the deteriorating conditions.
Top pick is Dream of Dreams who has been so close the last 2 years and faced with arguably a weaker field should get his nose in front here. His prep race was perfect and no real negatives other than a short enough price.
Secondly, I think there is a massive race in Happy Power and will be one of the few plug-in on at the finish – he was tried over a mile this year without luck but I like this step down in trip. His ran OK over this course / distance in October and I think he can really improve on that with ground in his favour. This is his second time up in a sprint G1 and once they show they are competitive, I like this betting angle, albeit he comes in from a scenic journey back to sprinting.
Finally, Glen Shiel who showed last year over this course and distance that he is a serious 6f horse. He was only OK in his comeback run in Ireland but trip / course / ground all fine and likely that he may need an extra run to come on.
Wokingham Stakes 17.00: 1 – #27 Fresh 2- #18 Punchbowl Flyer 3 – #3 Indigo Balance 4 – #5 Danzeno
One of my favourite handicaps of the week – pure carnage and I get such a great thrill finding the winner here as so many strands of form to work out.
I really top pick Fresh to keep improving for the shrewd James Fanshawe who carefully prepares his horses for big targets. He has only 2 runners at Ascot this year, Audarya and Fresh, so bring it on!! He has course and distance form and looks highly progressive. He is likely to be in Group sprints after this.
Next best is Punchbowl Flyer who with the conditions as they are, it would be criminal to leave off your tickets. He should be up near the lead on the stands side and will keep on going.
At a massive price, Indigo Balance is dropping in class, has a draw in 24 near the rail and will like the ground – trainer is bullish and top class Irish jockey Shane Foley is looking for his 1st Ascot win – it could happen here.
Lastly, Danzeno is drawn well, loves soft ground, trainer / jockey had Fantasy Master yesterday and can run well off the layoff – he is 10 but we take our chance.
Golden Gates Stakes 17.35: 1 – #2 Pythagoras 2 – #6 Alfaadhel 3 – #14 Irish Legend
Top pick and a confident choice is Pythagoras – I really liked him earlier this week in a Group race so competing here off 101, he looks sure to run well. Trip and ground are fine and there should be pace to run into for him.
Second choice is Alfaadhel who has only had the 3 runs but has improved each time and still looks raw enough that there is more to come – I want him on side.
Lastly, Irish Legend isn’t a horse that wins by much but he’s 3 out of 4, gets Irish champion jockey Colin Keane, has form on soft and gets blinkers first time so lots to like at a price.
Queen Alexandra Stakes 18.10: 1 – #15 The Grand Visir 2 – #14 Stratum 3 – #8 Falcon Eight
The 35th and final race of a wild Royal Ascot 2021.
The longest race of the week and with the current conditions, it will take some getting. As we saw from the Gold Cup earlier this week, horses that can stay 2m don’t always stay much past it. You can comfortably rule out about 70% of the field instantly.
Top pick is The Grand Visir who stays this far (2nd in race last year), will love the ground, in good form this year and trainer is in form (with a staying winner earlier this week). Out of the fancied horses, he is a lovely price.
Next best is Stratum for Willie Mullins and Ryan Moore who look to get compensation for their narrow defeat of M C Muldoon earlier this week. He wont mind the conditions and should stay this trip. He is the chief threat to The Grand Visir.
I will use Falcon Eight for exacta purposes.
Thanks to all of you who have gotten a few winners from this and roll on 2022!