John Doyle talks through this weekend’s Royal Ascot tips
Royal Ascot Saturday June 18th 2016
2:30 – Chesham Stakes
This 2-year-old race is restricted to horses by sires that won over middle distances meaning the first crop of Frankel stock are eligible. The very first Frankel runner, Cunco, trained by John Gosden is an intended runner. Easy to back on debut, he showed tremendous attitude and ability to run away from his field, looking better the further he went. Churchill was well supported on debut for Aidan O’Brien but ran green. If he has improved, he will be a big contender.
3:05 – Wolferton Stakes
Another big handicap that will be super competitive. Pacify has run super races to be runner up at both Epsom and York. He deserves to get his head in front and should go close. Best of times looks well handicapped for Godolphin who have had a good week. His comeback run at Chester was eyecatching
Selection: Best of Times
3:40 – Hardwicke Stakes
Sir Michael Stoute usually targets this race with his improving older horses and this year is no different as the exciting Exosphere is a strong contender here. On debut this season, Exosphere showed improved form to win the Jockey Club stakes at Newmarket, beating a good field decisively. Given plenty of time to recover, he should be spot on for this event. There will be plenty of opposition but most have something to prove, making Exosphere a solid selection
4:20 – Diamond Jubilee Stakes
This year’s renewal looks another really exciting race. Magical Memory heads the market and has a progressive profile and a winning habit. Her old foe, Twilight Son, is top class too and should be more competitive this time. James Fanshawe is always a man to follow and in the Tim Man, he has a strong contender. The Tin Man won well at Windsor on his reappearance and will go well again.
Selection: The Tin Man
5:00 – Wokingham Handicap
The big sprint handicap which is wide open again this year. Simon Crisford has made a great start to his training career and runs Mutawathea in this race. On his last run, he was a good 2nd in the 7-Furlong Victoria Cup over the course. That day, he looked the winner with 2 furlongs to run but faded close home giving the impression that this drop in trip will suit him well. Outback Traveller is another contender who needs some luck but could run well too
5:35 – Queen Alexandra stakes
The last race of the meeting is a staying race. Last year’s winner, Oriental Fox is back and he is likely to be challenged by a host of Willie Mullins trained runners. Last season, Oriental Fox was held up out back and came with a sustained run to gallop right away. It is likely he will have similar circumstances again.
Selection: Oriental Fox