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ROYAL ASCOT - DAY 5 (SATURDAY)

14:30 ASCOT – CHESHAM STAKES

Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last six runnings over the Chesham and his sole representative Alfred Munnings is the current favourite. The Coolmore homebred is a half brother to the triple Group 1 winning Snowfall and created a big impression at Leopardstown on racecourse debut. It’s difficult to weigh up the form of the opposition but he’s a worthy favourite. Curragh-based trainer Michael O’Callaghan has invested heavily in the breeze-ups in recent seasons and saw a quick return with Crypto Force. The Time Test colt was purchased by O’Callaghan for 160,000gns and following an impressive winning debut at the Curragh, he was sold on Monday for £900,000 to stay in the yard. The new owners will be hoping for a quick return on their investment and there’s every reason to believe they will.


It’s eight years since John Gosden won the Chesham but he’s got a brace of live contenders with Alzhair who only went down by a short head on debut and the unbeaten One World who won at Haydock earlier this month. The Juddmonte colt will have the assistance of Irish champion Colin Keane, which adds extra intrigue.


CRYPTO FORCE (E/W)


written by Peter Keogh 15:05 ASCOT - JERSEY STAKES


Noble Truth represents the mighty force of Godolphin, Charlie Appleby and William Buick. He was last seen cantering away from the field in a strong Newmarket field. Before that, he was narrowly denied in a Group One in France. He beat the subsequent Derby runner-up, Hoo Ya Mal, before that and was placed behind Lusail on debut. He’s won on this ground and he’s impressively bred. He stands a good chance today.


Dubawi Legend enjoyed a nice time of it as a two year-old, pulling clear of the pack on his debut. He was a tad disappointing at York, the time after, but did have the aforementioned Noble Truth behind him. His best run, however, came in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes, when he was second, beaten two lengths by Native Trail. He probably didn’t handle the mile at Del Mar and wasn’t at his best in the Guineas. He’ll come on for that run and is dropping down in class and back to his optimum trip. He’s been handed a nice draw and James Doyle is back aboard. He’s a decent price if he can get himself back on track.


Star Girls Aalmal was slightly unlucky on debut when being short of room but duly obliged on her second start, storming clear by five lengths. She easily beat Prettiest at Gowran on her seasonal debut and ran a cracker in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, finishing fourth when short of room again. That form is probably the best you’ll find in this race and she’s arguably at her best over seven furlongs. She gains weight off the majority of her rivals today and she could take some beating in her quest to reward her new owners.


STAR GIRLS AALMAL (WIN)

DUBAWI LEGEND (E/W)


written by Kieran McHugh 15:40 ASCOT - HARDWICKE STAKES

The Hardwicke is always a solid event for the older horses, and this year’s renewal looks another decent lineup.

Hurricane Lane is unsurprisingly likely to head the market after a stellar three year old campaign. He’s clear on ratings and if on song could take plenty of beating. However it’s hard to know if this belated return to action was planned or enforced. Another issue could be the fast ground (unless overnight rain) there’s no double his best performances have come with some give.

Mostahdaf has done little wrong. He chased home Bay Bridge last time, and that’s solid enough form. He is another that would probably like some rain, but the cheek pieces have been applied, and that may eek out a little more improvement.

Broome is the value and selection here. An incredibly versatile six year old, who has globe trotted to great effect. His comeback run last month was a perfect prep for this race, finishing six lengths behind Alenquer in a Group 1 over an inadequate trip. He’s the most reliable runner in this lineup in regards to the conditions, and that makes him the choice.

BROOME (WIN)


written by Matt Polley

16:20 ASCOT – PLATINUM JUBILEE

The showpiece race of the final day of this magnificent meeting sees the sprinters take centre stage in the six furlong Platinum Jubilee. Just like with Tuesday’s Group 1 sprint contest we have another international feel to the contest with Australia, Ireland, the US, Britain and France all represented.

A massive 27 runners are set to go to post so surely the right move is to look for a little bit of value?

Although the colours of the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum have already seen glory this week with superstar Baaeed it’s not unthinkable to see them pick up further prize money here with Minzaal. The four year old is lightly raced this term and returned to action at York last month. I’m convinced he’s going to improve on that third placed effort and a third in the Group 1 Champions Sprint Stakes over course and distance show’s he deserves respect at this level. There do look to be a few with better form in the book but at a price close to 20/1 he’s definitely worth an each-way play.

Course and distance winners Creative Force and Campanelle are shorter in the betting but look to be my idea of horses with very solid claims. Their course form alone speaks volumes with Charlie Appleby’s runner winning two of his three course starts and Wesley Ward’s charge holding a 100% record with victories at the last two Royal Ascot’s. I’m struggling to split the duo so I’m going to side with both and with the pair both currently priced at double figure odds you wont find horses with better place claims at such odds.

We saw Australia claim the big sprint race on Tuesday and the same connections aim to scoop this prize as well. The three year old Home Affairs travels from the other side of the world and certainly hasn’t come here for a holiday. He’s the clear race favourite and demands upmost respect but from a betting prospect 2/1 looks way too short with such a large field about a horse who’s never ridden outside of his native Australia.

The possible ‘dark horse’ in the race is the Andrew Balding trained Alcohol Free who returns to six furlongs for the first time in 9 starts which could potentially bring about a return to something near her best. Although they took place in 2020 she’s got two wins and a 2nd from her three starts over this trip and with a weight for sex allowance she could sneak into the money.

Of the remainder Dragon Symbol, Kings Lynn and Glen Shiel look best of the rest at much bigger odds.

MINZAAL (E/W)

CREATIVE FORCE (E/W)

CAMPANELLE (E/W)


written by Rory Paddock


17:00 ASCOT – WOKINGHAM STAKES

We go from one super competitive sprint race to another as 28 runners are set to lineup in this years Wokingham.

Currently we have a trio of horses vying it our for favouritism in the form of the ultra-consistent Blackrod, former course and distance winner Fresh and Irish raider Quarantine Dreams.

Of the aforementioned three I have to admit I’m very taken with James Fanshawe’s runner. Fresh has raced here at Ascot five times, three of which have come over today’s course and distance. In those three starts he’s never finished outside of the top two, including a 2nd in this race last year. He clearly loves it at this venue and that can count for a lot. He’s not the most prolific victor but is still a decent enough price to finish in the placings and as such deserves close attention.

Fellow course and distance winner Tabdeed may be entering the latter stages of his career but returns to handicap company after picking up back to back 3rd placed finishes in listed company. The yard have bagged an Ascot winner already this week and with Hollie Doyle booked for the ride that should also boost his chances. A former Group 3 winner who clearly has a touch of class and if he’s anything near to his best shouldn’t be far away.

The well known blue and white silks of King Power have a trio of runners set to enter the stalls and all three have reasonable chances. I actually feel that at a current huge price Fivethousandtoone may be worth a small each-way play but it is in face Lampang who I find myself siding with. Tim Easterby’s charge returned from a lengthy absence to claim a victory at Ayr back in April. This is a much bigger and better test but it’s interesting to note he finished 10th in this race last season. He may be forgiven that performance as he finished the best of any horse drawn 20 or higher. Now returning with 4lbs less weight and with a draw closer to the centre than last year he looks to have a better chance this time around.

Last years race victor Rohaan aims to retain his crown and with less weight to carry this time around he has every chance and in all honesty I couldn’t put punters off him.

At much bigger odds both Urban Beat and Royal Commando could find a place if you’re able to locate a bookmaker who’s being very generous with their place terms.

FRESH (E/W)

TABDEED (E/W)

LAMPANG (E/W)


written by Rory Paddock 17:35 ASCOT – GOLDEN GATES STAKES The Golden Gates Handicap is the penultimate race of this years Royal Ascot meeting and is set to be a very good affair. Godolphin are very well represented in this contest with four runners in total - two for Charlie Appleby and two for John and Thady Gosden. Falling Shadow is the pick of William Buick and is also my selection of the four stepping into handicap company for the first time. Though his winning distance last time out was two and a half lengths, the first two pulled well clear of the opposition in style and he gave the impression that he will be well above handicap level in time and can go well here today. To know that he most probably will not go off as favourite, gives you an understanding of the depth of this contest. That honour will most probably go to Missed The Cut who has won his last two starts by a combined sixteen and a half lengths and is another who looks too good for handicap company. Phantom Flight is another who is in a handicap for the first time having won both his starts on turf very well. His dam was at her best over a mile and a half and there should be more to come from him stepping up in distance here and he is a more appealing price than the aforementioned runners. Knightswood should make the running here and try to make it a test but ultimately may not have the class of some of his rivals today. Asgoodassobergets will also need to improve to play a hand here despite winning his last two starts. I'm taking Missed The Cut to win here despite not being very well drawn to continue George Boughey’s fine form and to further prove this colts class in this field. MISSED THE CUT (WIN)

written by Tom Bates



18:10 ASCOT – QUEEN ALEXANDRA STAKES

The final race of Royal Ascot 2020, and also the longest in the flat racing calendar.

This all revolves around Trueshan. Connections will be anxiously looking at the weather forecast, because this horse was declared a non runner for the Gold Cup earlier in the week. If there’s sufficient rain, it would make him difficult to oppose.

Wordsworth is certainly in interesting contender, particularly on his close fourth to Princess Zoe in the Sagaro. He looks an out and out stayer, and if he gets this marathon trip, he’s a player.

Last years first and second, Stratum and Calling The Wind compete again. However last season’s race was run on much softer ground than they’re likely to encounter here. Of the two, Calling The Wind would be favoured.

A chance is taken on Falcon Eight. He’s a little unpredictable, but he’s races are usually planned with great care and attention. On his day he’s more than capable, and under the fantastic Tom Marquand he’s taken to get the job done.

FALCON EIGHT (WIN)

written by Matt Polley

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