The final day of Royal Ascot is already upon us as a week of top quality racing draws to a close. We had a return to form with three winners yesterday and will be looking to finish strongly with a few winners on the final day to bring our total for the meeting into double figures.
The obvious highlight of yesterday was Caravaggio who must rank up there as the most exciting flat horse in training in Britain and Ireland.
There are six races as usual today and we’ve got picks for every one of those.
2:30 Chesham Stakes (Listed Class 1) 7f
The opening race of the final day at Royal Ascot and we have a short priced favourite in SEPTEMBER for Aiden O’Brien. September is impeccably bred (Deep Impact x Peeping Fawn) and was a brilliant winner on her debut, the first O’Brien two year old to win on debut this year which must be something in itself. If she can repeat that form and improve as expected it’s hard to see her being beaten; the only concern would be if she is as quirky as her brother Wisconsin showed yesterday.
If in search of a bit of each way value Westerland should challenge the places at 12/1 and Bartholomeu Dias could be worth a chance at a whopping 80/1.
3:05 Wolfreton Handicap (Listed Class 1) 1m2f
I’m finding it hard to get excited about this race, it looks distinctly average and seems a bit of a comedown from the quality of the racing we’ve seen throughout the week. KHAIRAAT was a comfortable winner at Chester in May and despite the 13lb rise still probably has room for progress, particularly in a race without any standout quality.
3:40 Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f
Dartmouth offers the last chance of a royal winner at the meeting when trying to win the Hardwicke for the second year running. His defeat of Highland Reel in this last year looks very strong given how well that one has gone on to perform since and Dartmouth has also since won the Yorkshire Cup. However, despite his consistency there are cases to be made against the depth of the form and at 9/4 he just looks too short for me. With that in mind I am going to take a chance on WINGS OF DESIRE for John Gosden. It is his seasonal reappearance so could potentially need the run, but he is the equal highest rated, has a good level of form on quick ground and could be one to progress from three to four, so at the prices looks the value bet to me.
4:20 Diamond Jubliee Stakes (Group 1) 6f
The final group one of the week and despite the presence of a clear favourite has a very competitive look to it. Limato is the favourite and given his previous sprint form on quick going you can see why, however, I am going to go against him. It might just be because of the poor performance in Meydan, under unsuitable conditions, and the ridiculous reaction of the owner after that, but I just feel he could be vulnerable and there is potentially better value elsewhere. Tasleet and Magical Memory are interesting but the selection is going to THE TIN MAN. A six furlong specialist, he has form at the course, has won under quick conditions and is the type James Fanshawe can patiently progress into being top class.
5:00 Wokingham Stakes (Class 2 Hcap) 6f
Another of the super competitive handicaps over the straight course and as has been proven over the week, it’s tough enough to find a horse to place let alone find the winner. As with the other handicaps this week, you could make a realistic case for over half of the field and the rest could also figure on their day if recapturing form or if everything falls right for them.
There are a number of interest here, with Outback Traveller sure to be well backed given he won this last year off just 2lbs lower, but the pick goes to PROJECTION for the in-form Roger Charlton yard. At 8/1 there isn’t a massive amount of value left in him in such a competitive race, however, he would have been aimed at this race, being owned by the Royal Ascot Racing Club, is on a potentially workable mark and has Kieran Shoemark taking off a valuable 3lbs.
It’s always worth chucking a few darts at races like this and looking for potential at bigger prices. Donjuan Triumphant would need to show more than we’ve seen recently but Andrew Balding has a good record in this type of race and he is 9lb lower than his peak mark, so could figure at a big price.
5:35 Queen Alexandra Stakes (Class 2) 2m5 ½f
The closing race of the royal meeting and perhaps one of the least glamourous races of the entire week. US Army Ranger is of obvious interest given his profile and he is sure to be well supported in the market. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him win considering the high expectations connections have always had but I couldn’t back him with any confidence at this point. With the money that is likely to come for US Army Ranger, there could be a bit of value in the price of THOMAS HOBSON. He was a very impressive winner earlier in the week and wouldn’t be the first Willie Mullins to do the double at the meeting; at the current prices he looks a cracking bet.
2:30 September @ 5/4 (Bet365) & Bartholomeu Dias e/w @ 80/1 (Bet365, ¼ Odds first 3)
3:05 Khairaat @ 5/1 (Paddy Power, Bet365, Betfair)
3:40 Wings Of Desire @ 15/2 (Paddy Power, Bet365, Betfair)
4:20 The Tin Man @ 11/2 (Various)
5:00 Projection @ 8/1 (Various) & Donjuan Triumphant e/w @ 40/1 (Bet365, BetVictor, ¼ Odds first 5)
5:35 Thomas Hobson @ 5/2 (Betfair)