The final day of the Royal Ascot meeting features the return to action of 2018 Epsom Derby winner Masar in a competitive Hardwicke Stakes field. Among the supporting races is the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes while the Wokingham handicap provides another difficult test for serious punters. All six races are covered below with our Royal Ascot tips.
Staged over 7f for 2-year-olds this Listed race has attracted the Aidan O’Brien runner Lope Y Fernandez who was a very comfortable winner of his only start when claiming a decent race at the Curragh. He could be a short-priced favourite.
Among the opposition, Pinatubo won the Epsom Woodcote Stakes on much faster ground but is unbeaten in two starts while Highland Chief should appreciate this extra distance after winning a 5f event at Newbury.
Betting Tip – Lope Y Fernandez to win (5/4 with Bet Victor)
Having narrowly won his last Listed contest at Epsom over seven furlongs, Space Blues should be able to cope with this Group 3 race over a similar distance. He has gradually improved throughout the season but faces a worthy challenge from Happy Power.
The Andrew Balding Colt has won twice this term including a decent effort over one mile at York and he could be equally effective on this seven furlongs course.
Aidan O’Brien is also hopeful of a strong performance from So Perfect who improved from a placed effort at Newbury to win at Naas last time.
Betting Tip – Happy Power to Win (13/2 with Bet Victor)
Although Defoe failed to win his first two races of the current campaign, he did create a surprise when claiming victory in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. That success was a first Group 1 triumph for the 5-year-old gelding and he should not be ignored in this Group 2 contest over the same 1m4f trip.
Lah Ti Dar started favourite for that race at Epsom but may not have handled the track when finishing a poor sixth. She had never previously finished outside the first three placings in six outings, with four victories earned mainly over ten furlongs.
However, the reappearance of 2018 Epsom Derby winner Masar will add extra gloss to this race. The Charlie Appleby colt has not raced since that victory due to injury but it would be an impressive training feat if he can perform to his previously high standards.
It would also be unwise to ignore Southern France from the Aidan O’Brien stable who was narrowly beaten by Stradivarius in the Yorkshire Cup and will appreciate this stiff uphill finish.
Betting Tip – Defoe to Win (4/1 with William Hill)
Although Invincible Army has both races this season and may start favourite for this 6f Group 1 contest, he could only finish ninth in the Commonwealth Cup for 3-year-olds over this same course and distance last season. He has much to prove at this level.
Third in that Commonwealth Cup race was Emblazoned who was hampered in the closing stages and who reappeared last month after an extended break to finish second at Haydock. He may improve for that race.
It may also be worth noting French raider City Light who was a narrow second in this race last season but who never really sparkled after that performance. He performed well recently at Maisons-Laffitte while Blue Point faces the difficult prospect of a second race this week after winning the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday.
Betting Tip – Emblazoned EW (28/1 with 888Sport)
A maximum of 28 runners will line-up for this 6f handicap, and tipping the winner can be a real headache for punters. For anybody seeking decent each-way value, Foxtrot Lady could be a good choice. She was favourite for the Stewards’ Cup last year so was held in high regard and could improve at 4 to run into a place in this tricky betting heat.
Betting Tip – Foxtrot Lady EW (22/1 with Coral)
The longest race over the five days completes the Royal Ascot meeting and several National Hunt trainers have entered horses for this near 2m6f event. However, Mark Johnston could deny his rivals from the other racing code with Lucky Deal poised for a good performance. The 4-year-old colt won over two miles at Haydock last time and is expected to be suited by this extra distance.
Yet Willie Mullins should never be ignored especially with Ryan Moore riding Max Dynamite. He hasn’t won a race for nearly two years but finished just behind stable-mate Thomas Hobson in last season’s Doncaster Cup. The lack of a recent run might be a disadvantage.
Betting Tip – Lucky Deal to Win (7/1 with bet365)
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