The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is the final Group 1 race of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting, gaining its Group 1 status in 2002, and for the last three renewals has been limited to horses aged four and over.
The early favourite is three-time Group 1 winner Harry Angel who has won five of his nine career runs and placed second in three of the other four. He travels strongly through his races and always looks visually impressive, yet all four defeats have come here at Ascot so there has to be some worry that he will once again find himself settling for minor honours. Add to this the dip form for trainer Clive Cox and there is enough doubt there for me to look elsewhere for the winner.
Redkirk Warrior has won over distances ranging from five to ten furlongs but has looked his best over today’s six-furlong trip, winning three from five which includes a Grade 1 win over the re-opposing Merchant Navy in March. He hasn’t been seen since but has won on return from a break on four separate occasions and with the in-form Frankie Dettori booked for the ride he could give our selection the most to think about.
Merchant Navy has switched to Aidan O’Brien following the aforementioned defeat to Redkirk Warrior and was an impressive winner on stable debut beating Spirit of Valour, Tasleet and Brando who all set the bar pretty high having all won at Group level during their respective careers. He will need to improve again if he is to win today but it would be no surprise to see him run in to the places.
Bound For Nowhere and City Light both arrive in top form and are proven over the trip, while Librisa Breeze has a good record at the course and all three are respected despite the early markets suggesting they are all likely to be fighting it out for the places.
That said, for our winner we are turning to last years’ winner The Tin Man who boasts a record of three wins from six over course and distance and can be considered a six furlong, fast ground specialist as he has won eight from eleven over this trip when racing on good-to-firm ground. This race has been his target for the season and a victory at Listed level in May, on first run for seven months, will have put him spot on for today. A big run is expected and he gets the NAP treatment today.
THE TIN MAN (WIN) – NAP
14:30 – Natalie’s Joy (WIN)
15:05 – Crystal Ocean (WIN)
15:40 – Junious Brutus (E/W)
17:00 – Spring Loaded (E/W) & Dreamfield (E/W)
17:35 – Pallasator (E/W)