The Diamond Jubilee Stakes which the legendary Black Caviar famously won last year is the feature race once again on the final day of a fabulous Royal Ascot meeting.
Society Rock is currently the 9/2 favourite with Stan James to repeat the feat that the Australian phenomenon achieved last year, although it was his shortest ever winning margin. The James Fanshawe trained 6-year-old is no stranger to Group One racing, with two of his 6 career wins coming in this company.
The question is whether Fallon’s ride can bring his best performance on the day, which will put him in with a great chance, however a few moderate efforts lately are the main concern. Gordon Lord Byron was just behind him at Haydock and the 8/1 odds Paddy Power offer for him seem tempting for a horse that tends to run consistently.
Sea Siren is another well in contention in this difficult betting heat; she has proven quality at the highest level and together with the success of Australian horses here in the last few years, she is in with a real chance. Jockey Ryan Moore is booked, so the 9/1 (Coral) odds are generous.
Krypton Factor was pushed aside by Fallon, allowing Luke Morris the chance to ride him, whilst Maarek will partner with Jamie Spencer. Both of these are decent value and warrant respect.
Spencer mounts the favourite in the second race of the day, the Hardwicke Stakes. Him and Mount Athos are currently 11/4 (BetVictor) favourites for the fantastic renewal which is sure to puzzle punters. Every horse has reasonable winning claims and this could be one of the tightest races of the day.
Sir John Hawkwood gives Ryan Moore chance of more success; he has won two decent handicaps this term and is improving, giving him every chance at generous 8/1 odds with Stan James. Ektihaam could be the major threat to the favourite. He was beaten just over a length by the fantastic Al Kazeem in the Gordon Richards Stakes and that form could see him win this.
Dandino and Universal meet again for the first time since Mark Johnston’s colt came out on top at Newmarket, but Dandino had not ran since December so things could be different this time. They are both 10/1 with Boylesports which seems decent value on the talented pair.
The first race of the day is the Chesham Stakes which is guaranteed to be a wide open contest; many of these running for only the second time. Bunker is the market leader for Hannon/Hughes partnership following a slightly comfortable 2 ½ length victory over Nathr at Haydock. More is certainly needed here but he could well have what it takes, whilst he is the yard’s only entry.
Somewhat is the pick of Mark Johnston’s entries, on the back of a maiden win at Musselburgh last time. Although this will be massively harder, the 2-year-old looked very classy when blowing her challengers away by 7 lengths.
Autumn Lily and Ihtimal are both serious contenders from the Saeed bin Suroor yard and with Buick and De Sousa riding them respectively, they warrant serious respect.
Freedom Square and Bureau look the best of the outsiders and symbolise good value in this wide contest that is sure to present us with some quality horse racing.
Duke Of Firenze is favourite to claim victory in the 4.25 after a shining performance over 5f last time under jockey Ryan Moore. The pair will have to defy a penalty if they are to repeat that though, whilst Ryan Moore continues in his bid to become top jockey for the meeting. He is currently 4/1 third favourite with Ladbrokes.
Nocturn and Gabriel’s Lad are two more that warrant respect and should run big races here.
The penultimate race of the day is no easier for punters, as Ryan Moore again leads the betting for the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap; this time at 6/1 with Bet365 on the impressive Rye House. He steps back to 1m4f here which should help, therefore he has a serious chance. Ustura is another who should really run well and may be the pick here.
Shahwardi is the one to beat in the Queen Alexandra Stakes, which looks a fantastic race to round up the superb meeting. He will need to ignore recent results and find the form that he shown in this last year, when finishing second to the brilliant Simenon. Chiberta King and No Heretic will both need to improve, while Mad Moose could sneak into the places at 16/1 (Coral).
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