We have already seen some top-quality racing at Royal Ascot, but there is plenty more to come over the next few days.
The Ascot Gold Cup is the highlight on day three, while there’s two Group Ones on day four in the shape of the Commonwealth Cup and the Coronation Stakes.
Royal Ascot draws to a close on Saturday with the Diamond Jubilee Stakes the big race, and our horse racing expert previews the big races from the three final days and gives you the best bets to look out for.
Thursday – Ascot Gold Cup
There is no doubt Stradivarius is the class horse in the field, and it is going to take a monumental effort to beat a horse who is unbeaten since back in 2017.
He is a top-class stayer and he won this superbly in 2018, a season where he defeated all what was put in front of him.
On his seasonal reappearance he again looked imperious in taking the Yorkshire Cup and he looks almost unbeatable, however, at odds of Evens, you must look at some value.
The best of the rest for me is Dee Ex Bee who will give Stradivarius the strongest test.
This season he has won both the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot and the Henry II stakes at Sandown, two races which trainer Mark Johnston recognises as the two big trials for this race.
With those wins, he certainly looked like he would relish the extra half mile, rather than struggle, and with that in mind I will back him at 5/1.
Friday – Commonwealth Cup
This renewal will be without the much-fancied Calyx who was ruled out having picked up an injury trying to defend his unbeaten record at Haydock last time out.
Ten Sovereigns is the market leader at 5/4, and deserves plenty of respect after winning all three starts as a juvenile.
He wasn’t at his best in the 2000 Guineas, but will benefit from the run and now dropping back in distance, you can see why he heads the market.
He was poor in the 2000 Guineas, but was in definite need of the run, and Martyn Meade’s yard is back in form after a barren run at the time of the Classic.
A drop back to this shorter trip should help, as well as a likely strong pace, and that can all go in his favour in a bid to land the Gold Cup.
Friday – Coronation Stakes
Hermosa, winner of both the 1000 Guineas and the Irish 1000 Guineas, will certainly be a tough nut to crack on Friday and continues to improve with every run.
With the ground is likely to be on the soft side, and having won on that as a juvenile, it is unlikely to cause her too many problems. She is Evens with Grosvenorsport.com and that is far too short to back.
Pretty Pollyanna deserves respect and only found Hermosa too strong in the Irish 1000 Guineas, and given that it was her seasonal appearance, it is even more impressive. She will come on for that run as well and is one worth considering.
Castle Lady has looked impressive in her three runs to date, especially when winning the Group Three Prix de la Grotte at Longchamp.
The third on that day, East, flopped when coming up against Hermosa in the Irish 1000 Guineas so that does raise a few question marks. However, with her there is again likely to be further improvement given her three career starts.
While they all deserve consideration, my pick is Sir Michael Stoute’s Jubiloso.
She has won both starts to date and demolished After John last time out at Newbury by seven lengths, so at the risk of sounding like a broken record she is another who can only improve further from that run.
Stoute’s charge won her maiden at Chelmsford, and although that form hasn’t been franked, she still looked mightily impressive.
Jubiloso goes over a further furlong here, but that shouldn’t be a concern on this occasion and though this is a step up in class, I firmly believe she is capable of producing that at 7/2.
Saturday – Diamond Jubilee Stakes
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes brings the curtain down on Royal Ascot and there are a number in with a chance ahead of the final declarations.
Winner of the race in 2017, The Tin Man, is likely to go close again. He finished fourth last year in his attempt to make it back-to-back wins.
He always seems to be in the mix and though some feel his powers may be on the wane, he is my each-way selection at 11/1.
Others worthy of a mention are Champion Sprint winner Sands of Mali at 12/1 having got the better of the Tin Man at Haydock.
But he doesn’t seem to be the most straightforward of horses and the drying ground could prove to be a problem.
Invincible Army is the one to be feared and looked back to his best when impressively winning the Duke of York Stakes last month, and that form has been franked with the sixth and eighth in that race going on to win.
Dream of Dreams at 16/1 is another strong contender having won a Listed contest at Windsor, in which The Tin Man finished third.
The nature of that win suggests there is more to come, and he has the potential to run another big race and give Stoute a first winner of the race.