The fifth and final day of Royal Ascot 2011 is the Saturday, which features the Golden Jubilee Stakes as its highlight. For a preview of this, plus the other races from day five of Royal Ascot, read on.
Royal Ascot 2011 – Day 5 Preview
(All odds correct at time of publication)
Race 2 – The Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
Established in 1879, the race is a Group 2 for horses of either sex, aged four years or older and run over a mile and a half.
This year’s Hardwicke Stakes favourite is the Aidan O’Brien trained Await The Dawn (best price 2.00, Paddy Power). This horse is highly regarded by connections, but is yet to tackle the mile and a half so his stamina is a possible doubt.
Nine of the last ten Hardwicke Stakes winners had already proven themselves by winning over a mile and a half and so, with that in mind, it is probably worth looking at some of the bigger priced horses.
A bit of form ahead of the race is a useful pointer to a Hardwicke Stakes winner, as nine of the last ten winners had placed last time out. Passion For Gold managed to win last time out, over a mile and a half in a Listed race, and could be a shade of value at 13.00 with William Hill.
If the rain continues to fall, then Harris Tweed could be an interesting each-way bet at a best price of 17.00 (William Hill, Paddy Power) as the William Haggas trained gelding has plenty of soft ground form, as well as having won over a mile and a half (and further).
BetPal.com verdict: Harris Tweed each-way.
Race 3 – The Golden Jubilee Stakes (Group 1)
The feature race on Day 5 of Royal Ascot 2011 will be the Golden Jubilee Stakes, which is run over six furlongs and is contested by fillies and mares only, aged three or older.
The favourite for this year’s Golden Jubilee Stakes is the recent Duke Of York Stakes winner, Delegator (best price 5.50, William Hill, Bet365). The Godolphin owned five year old won the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2009 and has plenty of class, but only one of the last ten favourites has actually won the Golden Jubilee Stakes, so it might be worth looking elsewhere.
Although the record of three year olds in the race is improving, eight of the last ten Golden Jubilee Stakes winners were four or older and it takes a really classy horse to beat the older horses at Royal Ascot. Another Golden Jubilee trend to pay attention to is Royal Ascot form, as six of the last winners had placed in a Royal Ascot race in the past.
Palace Moon is an interesting outsider, at a best price of 42.00 (Betfair). The six year old was third in last year’s Wokingham Handicap at Ascot.
Society Rock is another interesting one at 21.00 (William Hill), as the horse finished second in this race last year, winning his only other start at Ascot. James Fanshawe’s colt clearly loves the course and could be worth a small each-way bet.
Hooray could have a good chance, despite just being three years old and a filly. Already a Group 1 winner, she disappointed in the 1,000 Guineas but bounced back to take the Surrey Stakes, though if she were to land the Golden Jubilee, she would have to bust several trends.
BetPal.com verdict: Society Rock each-way.
Race 4 – The Wokingham Handicap (Class 2 Heritage Handicap)
The Wokingham – named after a town just outside Ascot – was founded in 1813 and is the oldest surviving handicap race to be run at Ascot. It is for horses of either sex, aged three or older.
This year’s favourite - Hoof It - can be backed at 8.00 with William Hill as Michael Easterby’s gelding bids to complete a hat trick, while Deacon Blues is a similar price (best price 9.00, William Hill) after a strong effort last time out at Ascot in May. It might be wise to swerve these two though, as only four favourites have taken the Wokingham since 1988.
Another key trend to consider is age – no three year old horse has won the Wokingham Handicap since 1987, while twelve of the last thirteen winners have been aged four or five. The draw is also crucial as the Wokingham field is always close to the maximum and it is a big advantage to be drawn near to either rail.
It’s rare to see a Wokingham winner from the lower half of the weights and those carrying nine stone or more tend to do better.
David Nicholls has a terrific record in large field sprint races and his horse Victoire De Lyphar (best price 13.00, Bet365) could be the one to back in this year’s Wokingham, despite the central draw. Weighted nicely and the right sort of age, the horse won two and finished second in another two large field handicaps last season.
Anne Of Kiev could be another value selection, at a best price of 34.00 (William Hill). Her handicap mark remains unchanged after winning a 16 runner Listed race in May and the six year old is also nicely drawn.
BetPal.com verdict: Victoire De Lyphar each-way.
The opening race of Royal Ascot’s fifth and final day is the Listed Chesham Stakes, while the day is rounded off by the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap and the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
Why not check out Ladbrokes for your Royal Ascot 2011 bets? They’re giving away £30 worth of free bets to all accounts opened during this year’s Royal Ascot meeting!