Former Talksport man Charlie McCann previews the runners and riders and marks your card for day five of Royal Ascot. View Selections below
Black Caviar is the star attraction on the final day at Royal Ascot and the Aussie supermare (Nelly to her friends) is considered in a different class to other Australian sprinters who have contested this Group 1 6f sprint over the years including Choisir who won the prize back in 2003.
As suggested last week connections of Frankel wanted to stake their claim to be the best horse in the world in the Queen Anne and this will be the only time the British public gets the opportunity to see the unbeaten Black Caviar as she is due to return to Australia after the race. She will be some horse if she wins by more than 11 lengths!
We won’t get rich backing Nelly at 2/7 with BetVictor but there might be an angle in the race as I am very keen on the French mare Moonlight Cloud without Black Caviar (3.45) at 15/8; the selection was very unlucky over C&D on Champions Day back in October and was very impressive on her reappearance when landing a Group 3 over 7f. Soft ground would help given her best form is, arguably over further but she should get a good tow into the race from front-runner Es Que Love who is drawn nearby with Black Caviar drawn nearest the stands’ rail.
Society Rock is the best of the British challenge having landed the corresponding race last year on soft ground; he made a satisfactory reappearance at York, goes well at Ascot but has a bit to find with Moonlight Cloud on running at Deauville last August.
The opening 7f Chesham Stakes sees 16 juveniles go to post for the Listed contest and many will fail through lack of stamina at this stage in their development; Godolphin have shown distinct signs of finding their form in recent days but preference is for Jim Bolger’s Move To Strike (2.30).
The stable have already had a juvenile winner with Dawn Approach in the Coventry on Tuesday and although Move To Strike is not in that class he looked as though he would appreciate the step up in trip when winning at the Curragh last month.
The Hardwicke Stakes is a top class renewal with St Leger winner Masked Marvel, and classic placed horses Memphis Tennessee and Sea Moon in a cracking field, but the nod goes to Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden (3.05) who was given far too much to do at Chantilly last time in a slowly run race and meets the progressive winner Aiken on 7lb better terms on this occasion.
The Wokingham is one of the big betting races of the year and we will be betting ¼ odds 5 places at BetVictor on the race; the 2009 winner High Standing (4.20) drawn in stall 1 looked to be coming back to his best form for his new yard at Newmarket last time and is the recommendation.
Owned by professional gambler Tony Bloom, aka The Lizard, who is also the Chairman of Brighton FC, the 7-y-o has never been the most consistent but he will go in the ground and the booking of Ryan Moore suggests connections feel he is back to something near his best.
The Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap is the penultimate race of the meeting and there are a number of runners declared who would not want the ground to deteriorate too much; Cill Rialaig won this corresponding race two years ago off a 7lb lower mark and looks primed for a big run, but preference is for French raider Hammerfest (5.00) who ought to appreciate conditions and could be well treated on his first start in Britain.
Simenon looks for a famous Royal Ascot double in the finale as he bids to follow up his Ascot Stakes victory on Tuesday with victory in the Queen Alexandra Stakes the longest race in the Flat racing calendar.
Overturn, former Chester Cup and Northumberland Plate winner, may find the ground too soft especially over this 2m 6f trip and last year’s November Handicap winner Zuider Zee (5.35) is given the nod; the selection is not exactly bred to get extreme distances but he ran very well in the Henry II Stakes last time over 2m, goes on soft ground and if he gets home he really ought to win.