Royal Ascot started in glorious sunshine on Tuesday and finishes on near sodden ground on Saturday. Here is your guide to the fifth and final day of one of flat racing’s finest meetings.
Royal Ascot 2021 tips and best bets for today
2.30pm Chesham Stakes
POINT LONSDALE shaped like a colt of Group 1 potential earlier this month, having put up one of the 2-year-old performances of the season when romping away with a 7f maiden at the Curragh, with the clock backing up the deep impression left visually speaking. With improvement forthcoming, he looks set to take all the beating this afternoon as he bids to give trainer Aidan O’Brien his 4th win in the race in 6 years. Sweeping made his debut in what looked a warm maiden; he can relish the step up to 7 furlongs and give the favourite the most to think about.
3.05pm Jersey Stakes
The 2000 Guineas form held up well in the St. James’s Palace Stakes earlier this week, with the 1-3-5 from Newmarket finishing 1st, 2nd & 5th respectively in the Group 1 on Tuesday. Having finished 4th in Newmarket’s Classic, NAVAL CROWN can capitalise on both a step down in grade but, perhaps more pertinently, this step back in trip to 7 furlongs, having raced freely throughout the Guineas and struggling to see out the final furlong to good effect. As the chosen mount of William Buick and, from a potentially favourable draw in stall 15, he can go very close.
3.40pm Hardwicke Stakes
BROOME (NB) has had a busy enough time of it this season but has looked a different horse this campaign, winning 3 of his 4 starts in Stakes company and coming very close to Group 1 glory when beaten a nose in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. Having raced exclusively over 1m2f this season, Broome finally steps up to 1m4f, a move that is likely to eke out further improvement and, with soft ground holding few fears, Broome looks a most solid option and has to be in the mix this afternoon. Ilaraab is chasing a remarkable 7-timer and is greatly respected in this context, despite the sizeable step up in grade.
4.20pm Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Art Power: Two of the best runs of his career have come at Ascot. Ran well enough on seasonal reappearance; can take a big step forward here and go very close, with soft ground sure to suit.
Dream Of Dreams: Beaten a head in this race for the last two years running. Reappeared with a convincing win at Windsor. Not getting any younger but has to be on the premises again.
Emaraaty Ana: Largely consistent performer at Listed/Group 3 level, but has struggled in higher grades. Had several of these rivals in front of him last time at York; unlikely to reverse the form.
Garrus: Majority of his recent form has come over 5 furlongs and struggled to lay a glove on Dream Of Dreams latest. Stiff 6 furlongs unlikely to suit; best watched.
Glen Shiel: Improved all the way through 2020 season, culminating in victory in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint last October. Solid reappearance, will like today’s conditions; good chance.
Happy Power: Has looked stretched by the distance on both starts at a mile this year. Semi-interesting dropped to 6 furlongs but might be better at 7f; place chance at best.
Nahaarr: Climbed through the handicap ranks and ran a clear career-best on his first try in Group company at York earlier this month. Rain a plus and more to come; big chance.
Namos: Useful horse at a level but has consistently struggled in the highest grades. Hard to see him getting involved in the finish here, for all that he can run another respectable race.
Royal Commando: Career-best latest when winning at Doncaster back in March, not sighted since. Soft ground a concern and still has to prove himself in a higher grade; could struggle.
Starman: Winner of 4 of his 5 career starts, his sole blip coming on soft ground in last year’s QIPCO British Champions Sprint. Looked top-class on seasonal bow; soft ground a concern however.
Summerghand: 7 year old whose form has hit its peak over the last two seasons. In as good a form as ever, but soft ground is a potential stumbling block; others preferred here.
Ventura Rebel: Shown a liking for Ascot by running two of his better races here, but this race looks his toughest assignment yet. Showing few signs of obvious improvement; perhaps best watched.
Final Song: Fruitful campaign at the Meydan Carnival earlier this year, but below-par and behind several of these rivals in the Duke Of York last time. Has a bit to prove here.
Sonaiyla: Tough, consistent mare who has been a credit to trainer Paddy Twomey. Can be slowly away, otherwise holds very solid each-way claims, with the ground likely to hold few fears.
Verdict: Last month’s Duke Of York Stakes can hold the key to this race, with ART POWER (NAP) fancied to make the breakthrough at Group 1 level this afternoon, having raced with the choke out for the majority of his seasonal reappearance at York last month. He loves the straight track at Ascot and is sure to appreciate any ease in the ground. By a sire who is having an excellent week so far at this meeting, Art Power has plenty going for him in his bid for Group 1 glory. Dream Of Dreams & Nahaarr will both appreciate rainfall and can chase the selection home.
5.00pm Wokingham Stakes
A shrewd piece of placing by trainer Andrew Balding sees KING’S LYNN racing off a particularly favourable weight this afternoon as, since the weights were released for this race, he has taken his form up a level, winning a Listed race at Haydock prior to finishing an unlucky 7th in the King’s Stand on Tuesday, when a gap against the nearside rail failed to materialise at a crucial stage. He races here “officially” 7lb well-in, but he could well be even better handicapped than that. If he can see out the stiff 6 furlongs to reasonable effect, he can take all the beating.
5.35pm Golden Gates Handicap
ALFAADHEL shaped like a Stakes class performer of the future last month at Lingfield where he toyed with Sir Rumi (who has won since and re-opposes), racing wide throughout but travelling beautifully into proceeedings and putting the race to bed in a matter of strides and looking to have plenty left under the bonnet in running out a two length winner. He will have to contend with another wide draw (and potentially a wide position) here, but it has been hard not to be impressed by the sharp progress he has made to date; he can continue his climb through the ranks this afternoon.
6.10pm Queen Alexandra Stakes
This year’s Chester Cup has already produced one Royal Ascot winner (via Reshoun in Tuesday’s Ascot Stakes) and there is every chance it can produce another, with FALCON EIGHT strongly fancied to follow up his win at Chester with another victory here. The step up to an extended 2m5f remains a small question mark on the stamina front, but Falcon Eight has the ability to travel through a race and quicken when asked, attributes that can stand him in good stead for this marathon race. Stag Horn has few stamina or ground questions to answer and can reward each-way support with a big run here.
2.30 Point Lonsdale
3.05 Naval Crown
3.40 Broome NB
4.20 Art Power NAP
5.00 King’s Lynn
6.10 Falcon Eight
3.05 Creative Force
3.40 Wonderful Tonight
4.20 Dream Of Dreams NAP
5.35 Irish Legend
6.10 Falcon Eight