Royal Ascot Day Five Preview
Chesham Stakes Listed
Champion Flat trainer Richard Hannon has never made any secret of the high regard in which Jalaa is held. The half-brother to Dewhurst winner Intense Focus made an impressive winning debut at Leicester two weeks ago and all the talk afterwards was about him running in Tuesday’s Coventry Stakes.
As Jalaa is qualified for this furlong longer and easier option, connections have decided to wait for this race and there is tremendous confidence behind the Street Cry colt.
Hardwicke Stakes Group 2
Sea Moon, who only scraped home by a head from Dandino on his seasonal return at Goodwood last month, will be a lot sharper this time and can give his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, another Royal Ascot winner.
The four-year-old was second to Sir Nicholas Abbey in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last November, he’s only had seven starts and his trainer’s record with older horses is second to none.
Selection; SEA MOON
Diamond Jubilee Stakes (British Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge) Group 1
Black Caviar is the undisputed queen of sport in Australia and the excitement surrounding her appearance at this year’s Royal Ascot is truly unprecedented.
Twenty one straight victories in which she’s blown away the best sprinters in a country renowned for producing fast horses and recorded a barely believable top speed of 44.83 mph are testament to the extraordinary talent of the Peter Moody-trained mare.
So, what chance do those brave enough to take Black Caviar on have? None if you listen to her Australian fans.
However, she’s travelled halfway round the world, has to adapt to local conditions and there’s at least one opponent waiting in the wings who could give her a race.
Step forward Moonlight Cloud. Freddy Head’s filly thrashed last year’s Diamond Jubilee winner, Society Rock, by four lengths at Deauville in August and was desperately unlucky not to follow up when a fast-finishing fifth, after being badly hampered, in the British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October.
Moonlight Cloud looked awesome when cruising home on her reappearance at Longchamp at the start of this month and she’s the one to back each-way or put in a forecast with Black Caviar.
Selection; Moonlight Cloud each-way
Wokingham Stakes Heritage Handicap
Seal Rock should give his supporters a good run for their money in this fiercely competitive sprint handicap.
Compared with most of his rivals, the four-year-old has very few miles on the clock. To be precise he’s covered only 7.5 miles in his ten races and was winning for the fourth time when landing a well-contested 6f handicap at Pontefract on his seasonal bow in April.
Seal Rock has won on going ranging from good to firm to soft and his trainer, Henry Candy, has a terrific record with sprinters.
David Barron also does particularly well with sprinters and the Yorkshire trainer’s Waffle, who went down by just a neck when trying to conceded weight to the top class Deacon Blues in last year’s race, looked to be running into form when a never nearer fourth at York on his latest outing.
The chestnut is another to consider in a race where it’s worth having more than one horse running for you.
Selections: SEAL ROCK & WAFFLE both each-way
Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap
Mahmood Al Zarooni’s Anatolian has been put up 6lb for finishing second at Newmarket last time out but the Pivotal colt must still be respected.
Queen Alexandra Stakes
Champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls is set to break new ground with American Trilogy in this marathon contest. The grey is best known as a useful hurdler, who won the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2009.
However, he was a very decent performer on the Flat in France where he won in Listed company. American Trilogy won a charity race on the level at the Grand National meeting in April under Mick Kinane and was a creditable fourth in a valuable handicap hurdle over 3m at Haydock last month when last in action.
Selection: AMERICAN TRILOGY