The Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes is the highlight as Royal Ascot draws to a close with a fifth day of top-class racing, featuring some of the finest horses in the world.
The complexion of the Diamond Jubilee has altered dramatically following the deluge which hit the track overnight on Thursday and through Friday.
The chances of several prominent contenders receded significantly as the going changed from good to firm to soft, heavy in places and the plain heavy – but the rain has come at just the right time for Glen Shiel and Hollie Doyle.
Record-breaking jockey Doyle was left without a ride in the showpiece race of the whole meeting when a forecast break in the weather did not arrive quickly enough for Trueshan in the Gold Cup on Thursday – and trainer Alan King decided not to run.
But it has delivered for Glen Shiel who, along with Trueshan on the same October card, provided a famous victory for Doyle in similar conditions on British Champions Day at Ascot last year.
Haydock Sprint Cup hero Dream Of Dreams joins Glen Shiel as a Group One winner already in the Diamond Jubilee field.
Elsewhere on the card, Aidan O’Brien team in the Hardwicke Stakes has been cut to two due to conditions, but the in-form Broome, last seen finishing just a short head behind Helvic Dream in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, will line up.
There is also Group Three action in the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes, with the Listed Chesham run over the same distance earlier on the card for two-year-olds.
The Wokingham and Golden Gate Stakes are the two handicap contests of the day, after which the long-distance Queen Alexandra Stakes concludes the final day of the the Royal meeting.
Glen Shiel to provide Ascot consolation for Watson
Archie Watson endured a rollercoaster Friday, with his Dragon Symbol coming home in front in the Commonwealth Cup, only to lose the race in the stewards’ room following the tightest of tight finishes with Campanelle. His Glen Shiel must be among the leading lights for the Diamond Jubilee, with course form on deep ground already in the bag. Few would begrudge Watson a Group One winner on the final day to compensate for his Friday loss.
Can Broome clean up?
Ballydoyle are well represented in the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes, despite the absence of Mogul and Tiger Moth, with the in-form Broome currently at the head of the market after a busy and successful start to his campaign. Following a hat-trick of victories from Listed to Group Two level, the five-year-old was last seen coming home narrowly behind Helvic Dream in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup, a piece of form that has gained him favouritism as he steps back down a grade. Japan also lines up for O’Brien, but Broome’s chief rivals seem to be Owen Burrows’ Tapster Stakes winner Hukum and David Menuisier’s Group One-winning soft-ground specialist Wonderful Tonight.
The boys in blue the ones to beat
Godolphin and Charlie Appleby have good reason to be hopeful in the Group Three Jersey Stakes as their two runners occupy the top spots in the market. Naval Crown will run for the first time since his fourth place in the 2000 Guineas, where he was beaten by subsequent St James’s Palace Stakes winner Poetic Flare, whereas Creative Force heads into the race off a hat-trick of victories that culminated in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury.
A Royal rebound for King’s Lynn?
There could be a Royal winner in the Wokingham Stakes through King’s Lynn, who takes his place in the race after finishing seventh behind Oxted in the King’s Stand Stakes on the opening day of the meeting. The Queen’s gelding should go on the ground and has been attracting ante-post support. David Evans’ Rohaan is arguably the horse to beat as he comes into the contest off the back of a Group Two victory in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.