Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on the final day at Royal Ascot on Saturday. View selections below.
POSTPONED (3.40) is the value bet to turn over market leader Telescope in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. Luca Cumani’s four-year-old loves the prevailing fast ground and thrashed another of his rivals, Snow Sky, in the Great Voltigeur at York last August. Postponed probably found yielding underfoot conditions against him when a close-up third to Al Kazeem in the Group 2 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh when forced to make his own running over an inadequate 10 furlongs. This longer trip is perfect. Telescope thumped Hillstar seven lengths in this event 12 months ago and looks sure to go off at short odds given Ryan Moore’s irresistible form. He is definitely the one to beat.
Moore is a rare booking by Richard Fahey for Tatislu in the Wokingham Stakes but I’ll side with Godolphin’s KICKBOXER (5.00). Formerly with Mick Channon, the durable Kickboxer has been raced more sparingly by Saeed bin Suroor. On only his second start for the boys in blue, Kickboxer finished third to Mukhmal at Newmarket 17 days ago. He should be cherry-ripe now and has been placed on his two previous Ascot outings, most notably when third to Hot Streak in the 2013 Cornwallis Stakes. Huntsmans Close has been a model of consistency for Roger Charlton and goes on the shortlist.
The Wolferton Handicap over 10 furlongs has a nice each-way shape with 16 runners declared and EDUCATE (3.05) has been knocking on the door of late. The 2013 Cambridgeshire winner ran second to improving The Corsican at Goodwood last time and his third to Balty Boys at Newmarket in early May was boosted when Brian Ellison’s horse ran such a good race in the Royal Hunt Cup.
Aussie speedball Brazen Beau has been all the rage for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes but is opposed by Irish raider MUSTAJEEB (4.20). Dermot Weld’s four-year-old, who was in the winner’s circle at this meeting last year, ran out a cosy winner on his first try over six furlongs at the Curragh last month. The home challenge is hardly formidable and another Aussie raider, Wandjina, could hit the frame.
The 2m 5f Queen Alexandra Stakes brings the curtain down on another spectacular week’s racing and it would be entirely fitting if that man Moore bowed out on a high aboard WICKLOW BRAVE (5.35). Willie Mullins’ County Hurdle winner at Cheltenham holds all the aces and can complete a hat-trick of Flat successes for a stable with a terrific recent record in this contest. John Gosden’s Marzocco should provide the stiffest opposition, while Rawaki has a touch of class, but may struggle late on in this unique stamina-sapping event.
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