Article written

  • on 17.06.2011
  • at 07:58 PM
  • by KT

Royal Ascot 2011 – Day 5 Preview

Race 2 (3:05) – Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)

The Hardwicke is a Group 2 for horses of either sex, aged four years or older. The race is run over a mile and a half.

10 runners go to post in this year’s renewal and again Aiden O’Brien saddles the favourite. Await The Dawn (4/5) is held in high regard by connections but is yet to race over 1m 4f.

An interesting stat is that nine of the last ten winners of the Harwicke had previosuly won over a mile and a half and so it may be worth opposing the favourite here.

Godolphin have 3 runners in the race; Caldavos Blues (11/1), Campanologist (16/1) and Passion For Gold (14/1). Campanologist looks the best of the trio here with Ted Durcan taking the ride. The horse is a course and distance winner (King Edward VII in 2008) but was no match for So You Think at the Curragh last time out. However that was no disgrace and a repeat of that form should take him close.

Luca Cumani’s runner, Drunken Sailor (8/1) is typically a strong traveller and had an excellent 2010, winning three times. The horse won at Newbury last time out and will benefit from a drop back in trip this time around.

Selection: Campanologist each-way (16/1 with bet365)

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Race 3 (3:45) – The Golden Jubilee Stakes (Group 1)

The feature race on Day 5 of Royal Ascot is the Golden Jubilee Stakes, which is run over six furlongs and is contested by fillies and mares only, aged three or older.

This will be a tough race to call with a strong field of 17 runners going to post.

Delegator (5/1) is a Duke of York Stakes winner and the Golophin horse sets the standard here.

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.

Star Witness (13/2) was second to Prohibit in the Kings Stand on Tuesday and stayed on strong. The extra furlong will be in his favour here and the Group One winner will be in the mix once again.

Of the runners at a bigger price, Kingsgate Native (20/1) may be one to consider for Sir Michael Stoute. This horse was a top-notch sprinter in his day and won this race back in 2008. The six year old was back near his best when finishing second in the Temple Stakes last month but flopped on Tuesday here. However the horse will wear cheek-pieces this time around and has every chance of a place or better if running to form.

Saeed bin Suroor and the Godolphin team have Mickael Barzalona on board their runner Delegator (5/1). The horse was second in the 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Place Stakes as a three year old. The horse was dropped to 6f when winning the Duke of York Stakes and could go close here.

Star Witness to win (13/2 with bet 365)
Kingsgate Native each-way (20/1 with bet365)

Race 4 (4:25) – The Wokingham Handicap (Class 2 Heritage Handicap)

The Wokingham is a handicap for horses of either sex, aged three or older.

When looking at the form of a race with 28 runners it is essential to pay attention to the trends:

* 9 of 11 winners carried between 8-11 to 9-6
* 8 of 11 winners were officially rated 95 to 102
* 9 of 11 winners won or placed last time out
* 11 of 11 winners had won over 6 or 7 furlongs
* 12 of 13 winner aged four or five

Based on the trends we can narrow the field down to 6 runners: Hoof It (7/1), Mac’s Power (10/1), Imperial Guest (10/1), Deacon Blues (7/1), Nasri (14/1) and Swiss Cross (22/1).

Mick Easterby trained Hoof It bids to complete a hat trick, while James Fanshawe’s Deacon Blues must be considered after a strong effort last time out at Ascot in May. That said it is also worth noting that only 2 favourites have taken the Wokingham since 1988.

Another of Fansawe’s runners in the Wokingham is Mac’s Power. The five year old has been going the right way since dropping back to six furlongs and there could well be more to come.

Nasri has found a new lease of life since joining the Nicholls yard and finished third in the Victoria Cup here this season. Weighted at 8-12 and with 3lb claimer on board (Michael O’Connell) this must be considered too coming from stall 29.

One horse that falls just outide the trends (rated 1lb above at 103) but is one for the shortlist is Victoire De Lyphar (12/1). David Nicholls has a terrific record in large field sprint races and all this runner should be respected, 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.

Nasri each-way (14/1 with Paddy Power)
Victoire De Lyphar each-way (12/1 with bet365)
Mac’s Power each-way (10/1 with bet365)

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