And so we say farewell to another year of Royal Ascot, with probably the most difficult day of the five – or maybe not.
This, hopefully, is the day when the perceived ‘good things’ actually win, so let’s go through them.
The Listed Chesham Stakes at 2.30 has a field of 11 2-y-os slugging it out over 7f and the hot favourite at 5-4 is the Mark Johnston trained filly Natalie’s Joy. This young lady made a stunning racecourse debut at Goodwood 4 weeks ago, winning by an eased down 6 lengths and it will take something really special among the opposition to lower her colours today. A win bet is recommended.
The Hardwicke Stakes at 3.05 has just five runners, with Crystal Ocean a top priced 4-7 – we can’t oppose or back this one, so on to the 3.40.
The Windsor Castle Stakes is a simple matter of 28 youngsters having a charge down 5f of the track, but we think 27 of them will get a good view of the pretty backside of Moonlight Romance as she disappears into the sunset. Wesley Ward‘s charge was second on racecourse debut to Shang Shang Shang, which won the Norfolk here on Thursday, before destroying her field next time at Belmont. With 4 places on offer, we suggest an each way bet at 6-1.
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 4.20 brings us to the headline horse in Redkirk Warrior, all the way from Oz and in with a cracking chance. Winner of two Group 1s in February & March, RW had today’s second favourite Merchant Navy behind it on the latter occasion and is 12lbs better off today.
Harry Angel is favourite for the race but, virtually unbeatable elsewhere, ‘Harry‘ is 0 from 4 at Ascot so the bet must be Redkirk Warrior each way at 9-2.
The Wokingham Stakes at 5.00 is usually one of the most fiercely contested handicaps of the season, but, despite a field of 28, that may not be the case today. This will be the last time Dreamfield runs in a handicap, before moving onwards and upwards to greater things and this unbeaten Godolphin 4-y-o should be backed with confidence at 3-1.
The curtain comes down with the Queen Alexandra Stakes at 5.35, over a marathon 2m 51/2f and Willie Mullins will win it.
At last year’s meeting, Thomas Hobson won the Ascot Stakes over two & a half miles and then turned out again for this race, in which it finished a gallant second. Just the one race is in the trainer’s sights this year and you can bet your bottom dollar the 8-y-o is trained to its life. Get on at 11-8.
Another of Willie‘s is also worthy of an each way punt and that is the 147 rated hurdler Meri Devie, which did not have a hard race on Tuesday in the aforementioned Ascot Stakes and might do a lot better today. 16-1 are the odds of reward.
And so we say farewell – hopefully with an enhance bank balance.
Natalie’s Joy 2.30 Ascot win @ 5-4
Moonlight Romance 3.40 Ascot e/w @ 6-1 (4 places)
Redkirk Warrior 4.20 Ascot e/w @ 9-2
Dreamfield 5.00 Ascot win @ 3-1
Thomas Hobson 5.35 Ascot win @ 11-8
Meri Devie 5.35 Ascot e/w @ 16-1 (4 places)