Andrew Hawkins’ Royal Ascot Preview: Day 5

Race 1

The Listed Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs (1400m) for two-year-olds has one of my favourite conditions of any race in that it is restricted to horses whose sire or dam won at 1900m or beyond. It is also a race that has produced horses for Australia, including future stallions Churchill and Pinatubo as well as today’s Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) favourite Bartholomeu Dias. ALFRED MUNNINGS was so impressive on debut and looks an ideal candidate for this race. He will be a Derby horse next year as a half-brother to last year’s 16-length G1 Epsom Oaks (2400m) winner Snowfall but defeat here would be surprising. The well-exposed LEGEND OF XANADU might be able to put that experience to good use here and is one for the minors.

Numbers: 1-8-5-2

Suggested Bet: Alfred Munnings WIN

Race 2

The G3 Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs (1400m) for three-year-olds is known for producing sprinter-miler types that may be later developers than those that contested the various Guineas around Europe. That certainly appears the case with MONAADAH, a classic Shadwell product who is continuing to progress nicely. From the final crop of the great Giant’s Causeway, he might be even better over a mile but he looks the right type to be able to give Shadwell a fifth win in the race since 2008. NOBLE TRUTH is a strange case in that he won a stakes race, the Listed King Charles II Stakes (1400m), by six lengths last start but he has been gelded since! Certainly not something you see every day. He certainly has the figures to be able to win this comfortably and he looks hard to beat.

Numbers: 8-4-1-9

Suggested Bet: Monaadah WIN

Race 3

The G2 Hardwicke Stakes over a mile and a half (2400m) is a key lead-up to the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes over the course and distance next month. Winners like Snow Sky, Sea Moon, Sandmason, Oscar Schindler, Jeune and Almaarad have made their way to Australia while placegetters like Mirage Dancer, Red Verdon, The Cliffsofmoher, Dandino, Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Drunken Sailor and Campanologist have travelled down under over the past 20 years. There is no doubt that HURRICANE LANE is the horse to beat, having finished third at his last start in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) which followed wins in the G1 Irish Derby (2400m), the G1 Grand Prix De Paris (2400m) and the G1 St Leger (2900m). He could be a superstar at four but it might be worth taking him on here fresh and waiting for Hurricane Lane to appear again next month. Instead, it’s worth having something on MOSTAHDAF with race fitness on his side. He won the G3 Gordon Richards Stakes (2000m) first-up before finishing well behind G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2000m) runner-up Bay Bridge in the G3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes (2000m). If he handles the mile and a half, he is worth a bet here even though Hurricane Lane is no doubt a superior horse.

Numbers: 6-3-8-7

Suggested Bet: Mostahdaf EACH WAY

Race 4

The G1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs (1200m) is one of the highlights of the week with 27 horses set to do battle in what will be a feast for the eyes. I do think that an Australian sprinter can take the spoils but I am steering clear of favourite HOME AFFAIRS, who certainly appears short enough in betting. Instead, I am with ARTORIUS, who looks a horse ready-made for the Ascot six furlongs if ever there was one. He has obviously been a frustrating horse to follow given his penchant for leaving his run too late but the stiff final furlong should really suit him and he has one of the best riders of closers in the world aboard in Jamie Spencer. He probably would have won the G1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) if Craig Newitt remained with the far side rather than switching at the start and he is crying out for a six-furlong test that requires stamina and brilliance. This looks a match made in heaven. Fascinating to see ALCOHOL FREE drop back to the six furlongs for the first time since winning the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes at the distance as a two-year-old. She’s been a decent miler but she might be an electric sprinter and she’s one to keep on side.

Numbers: 2-19-3-6

Suggested Bet: Artorius WIN

Race 5

The Wokingham Stakes, a handicap over six furlongs (1200m), is one of the most competitive races of the week which could potentially unveil Britain’s next top sprinter. Perhaps it’s worth having something on BIELSA, winner of another of Britain’s big handicap sprints, the Ayr Gold Cup (1200m) in September. Bielsa did run 19th in this race as favourite in 2020 when he was rated 101 (currently rated 100) but is more than capable on his day. The only concern would be if the ground is too fast but the pace set-up should be ideal and he can finish off powerfully late. Last year’s winner ROHAAN amazingly gets in three points better this year. He is proven on all ground but needs to bounce back after a string of disappointing efforts. The horse he beat last year, FRESH, is also a leading contender.

Numbers: 18-1-25-20

Suggested Bet: Bielsa EACH WAY

Race 6

The Golden Gates Stakes, a handicap for three-year-olds over a mile and two furlongs (2000m), is only being run for the third time but it looks to have once again attracted a competitive field. CHAIRMAN, owned by Aquis Farm, looks capable of a big effort here as he looks to make it three wins in a row. While he was able to win over 2400m last month, he looked far better suited at the 2000m at Bath last time out and he gets in well at the weights here. JIMI HENDRIX has to be rated a chance if he backs up from his third in the Britannia Stakes over a mile on Thursday. He is bred to see out this trip and he gets in off his previous mark.

Numbers: 11-15-12-4

Suggested Bet: Chairman EACH WAY

Race 7

Britain’s longest flat race, the Queen Alexandra Stakes over approximately 4300m run under set weights and penalties conditions, closes Royal Ascot for 2022. Only two winners have contested the Melbourne Cup, Honolulu and Simenon, although Stratum won the race last year having finished 20th in the Cup as Stratum Albion the year before. This does look the right race for WORDSWORTH, who has looked dour this year and in need of a trip. He is well suited under the conditions of the race and should be hard to beat. FALCON EIGHT, the brother to Thursday’s Gold Cup winner Kyprios, is very talented in his own right but he has had plenty of issues over the years. He was beaten 25 lengths as favourite last year but found the shifty ground underfoot to be against him. On top of the ground, he’s a threat. Take note – at the weights, TRUESHAN should be a certainty but he struggles on top of the ground and is an unlikely runner if it remains good to firm. Even if he does run, it’s worth opposing him.

Numbers: 11-5-10-9

Suggested Bet: Wordsworth WIN

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