If the final day of Royal Ascot 2017 is as good as the first four, then we’re in for a real treat. Here’s Nick Luck on Day 5…
My choice for the Chesham Stakes is stunningly, stunningly unoriginal, but I do think September will take all the beating here, in part, because there wasn’t too much expected of her when she made her debut at Leopardstown. She is very well related, out of a mare who appreciated very fast ground and looks like a two year old with plenty of galloping strength, so I think she’ll win. Saying that, she won’t be any sort of price.
If you’re looking for one which could be a huge price in this it might be Bustam, who I definitely think needs a step up to 7f. This was quite an expensive breeze up horse, so I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet and it’s likely that he wasn’t suited by the all-weather last time.
I think Ayrad might win this for Roger Charlton and Ryan Moore. He’s a good, solid horse who lines up in a slightly weak edition of this race. He has run well fresh, the stable form is good, the jockey booking is eye catching. Added to that the trip and ground look fine. We know he doesn’t have much in hand with the handicapper but he’s got plenty of class and the market could well be made by Khairaat.
Although Khairaat was impressive at Chester, I wasn’t massively enthused by the way he moved in the latter part of the race and I just wonder whether the ground will be on the quick side for him.
Elbereth might be a bigger danger to the selection: 10f should suit her well, she ran a good race in the Coronation Cup, and I have a lot of respect for her but she’s had a tough season already and I quite like Ayrad’s freshness advantage.
Dal Harraild is a horse that I like in the Hardwicke. OK, he went up in trip last time to win at York, but looked a completely different proposition in two out of his last three starts and I think there’s more to come with this one.
1m4f is possibly the minimum trip for him now but I think they’ll go a decent gallop and he must have fast ground so I hope the showers don’t arrive.
The standard set here is not all that high, but you have to respect Idaho on bits and pieces from last year’s form. Dartmouth is a very good horse who made a good comeback in the Yorkshire Cup, but I don’t think he’s a brilliant horse.
Of the others, I think Western Hymn wants the ground a bit softer and Wings of Desire will be quite interesting going on the best of last season’s form, but I’m not sure any of those middle distance three-year-olds from last season were the greatest bunch to be honest.
Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Magical Memory can strike in the next – he made a really taking move into this race last year but the way the race was run just went against him. He put in a huge, huge performance at York on ground he didn’t like and I think this is a relatively winnable race for a Diamond Jubilee.
Limato is a cracking little horse, I’ve got a lot of time for him, he’ll be well found in the market and still needs everything to trot perfectly for him.
Tin Man is clearly an interesting runner, he didn’t look ready at York, it was a tough ask with the penalty, and he’s got some cracking course form – James Fanshawe has a great record in sprints at Ascot, so I think he could be the main danger here and one you can rely on to run his race.
This is a very tough Wokingham to solve. Last year’s winner, Outback Traveller, you’d have to give a fair amount of respect to: he runs off a very favourable mark and is drawn on one of the flanks which is better than the middle, so I’d probably side with him here.
On the other sider of the track, I think Amazour could run a big race; it was a good performance last time out at Haydock, he’s back on turf and is pretty well handicapped.
Queen Alexandra Stakes
The intriguing horse in the Queen Alexandra is obviously US Army Ranger. If he stays he should win but there are lots of strong stayers up against him and that could include Thomas Hobson who won the Ascot Stakes the other day in very impressive fashion. He will be looking to emulate Simenon who did the double a few years ago so the yard has history for such an attempt. Either way it looks a pretty strong renewal.
I’d be quite tempted by Qewy who did really well in Australia, having had a spell jumping and has probably been kept back for this, so I think he’s got a pretty good chance to add to a very good meeting for the Godolphin Blue.
3 for Saturday:
3.05 -Wolferton Handicap – Ayrad
3.40 – Hardwicke Stakes – Dal Harraild E/W
4.20 – Diamond Jubilee Stakes – Magical Memory
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.