17:35 Royal Ascot: Shahwardi can go one better than last year
The final race of the Royal Ascot meeting is also the longest, and for connections of Shahwardi it will feel like a long time coming too.
Alain de Royer-Dupre’s seven-year-old was unfortunate to come up against this year’s Gold Cup runner-up Simenon in last year’s Queen Alexandra Stakes, but with no competitor of his quality around this time, confidence in the camp could be high.
As the longest race of the entire flat season at just under 2m6f, the Queen Alexandra is a contest which often sees the cream rise to the top.
-Only three of the last 17 winners of this gruelling race have gone off at double-figure prices, surely further enhancing the chances of the 3/1 Shahwardi, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori for the first time here.
At seven, De Royer-Dupre’s charge might be older than the four or five year olds that 11 of the last 16 winners of this race have been, but with no horse here in the same class as Simenon then he shouldn’t have much to fear.
Shahwardi has clearly been pointed towards this race for the past year, but followers of the single-figure priced winners trend might also be looking towards Chiberta King and No Heretic at 13/2 and 6/1 respectively.
David Simcock’s charge No Heretic was a beaten favourite at Newmarket two weeks ago though, and with question marks over the gelding’s ability to handle the trip and the company, surely nothing more than an each-way shout should be advised for the five-year-old.
Meanwhile, Chiberta King returns to the Royal meeting for the first time since a second place in the King George V Stakes in 2009, but only one win in his last 14 outings suggests that his form will let him down.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication