• Tue 26 Sep, 2017
  • 10:07 BST
  • 06:07 EST (BST-4)
  • 12:07 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on the final day of Royal Ascot on Saturday. View selections below.
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THE TIN MAN (4.20) can outspeed a posse of top European sprinters to scoop the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot.

James Fanshawe’s gelding atoned for a surprisingly tame effort in this Group 1 contest last year by proving that run all wrong when later bagging the Champions Sprint Stakes over course and distance.

A recent blow-out on the Knavesmire when fifth in the Duke Of York Stakes will have put him spot-on. The vagaries of the draw have been exposed all week, swinging one side then the other, so hopefully stall three is okay.

Limato flopped in Dubai but is a cracking sprinter if reproducing his A-game. Henry Candy’s five-year-old landed the July Cup and Prix de la Foret at Chantilly last year before running an excellent second in the Nunthorpe at York. He is drawn on the opposite wing.

Magical Memory, fourth last year, won the Abernant Stakes and Duke of York Stakes last term and finished ahead of The Tin Man on his comeback.

PROJECTION (5.00) should go close in the Wokingham Handicap. Roger Charlton and 3lb claimer Kieran Showmark teamed up with devastating effect on Thursday with Atty Persse and Projection should get a good tow into the race from stall 28.

Five-furlong specialist Harry Hurricane is drawn 30 and there is plenty of pace stands’ side. Projection is owned by The Royal Ascot Racing Club, so presumably this has been his target race.

The four-year-old made a satisfactory return in early May at Newmarket, finishing sixth to Mr Lupton and he shaped well in only three runs last year, most notably when an unlucky fifth in the Stewards’ Cup consolation race at Glorious Goodwood when sent off favourite under top weight.

On the other side, Buckstay returns from a long absence but runs the track brilliantly. Peter Chapple-Hyam’s seven-year-old finished fast into fifth last year when drawn wide in stall one. He is potentially better berthed in 12 this time.

Also drawn low (3) is Charlie Appleby’s Culturati, a winner at Newmarket a fortnight ago. Runner-up Scorching Heat was down to run at Ayr last night.

Last year’s winner Outback Traveller hasn’t been in the same form since but ran an encouraging enough race in the Victoria Cup to offer his backers some hope.

KHAIRAAT (3.05) destroyed his field from the front at Chester and a severe 13lb hike might not be enough to prevent Sir Michael Stoute’s colt following up in the Wolferton Handicap.

Khairaat, running in the Hamdan Al Maktoum silks under retained champion jockey Jim Crowley, had more than four lengths to spare over Brorocco and is ideally berth in stall three for one that likes to race prominently. He has won three of his four career start and his star is in the ascendancy.

Central Square has been off for 49 days following a most promising re-introduction at Newmarket when chasing home Playful Sound and Next Stage.

Roger Varian’s gelding scored in blinkers last season at Doncaster’s St Leger fixture, beating Poet’s Word over ten furlongs. The blinds were left off for his comeback run but make a reappearance here.

Andrew Balding’s admirable mare Elbereth returns to handicap company after a sterling fourth to Highland Reel in the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom. She had earlier chased home Somehow at a respectable distance in the Dahlia Stakes at HQ, a Group 2 contest for fillies, and will find this less onerous. However, stall 16 is a worry as the bend looms up quickly from the 10f start.

The Hardwicke Stakes has been won by the four-year-old brigade for the past nine seasons and WINGS OF DESIRE (3.40) can extend that sequence.

John Gosden’s colt has been off the track for almost a year since flopping in the Juddmonte International at York. He was much better on the Knavesmire earlier in the season when landing the Dante Stakes only 19 days after winning a Wolverhampton maiden.

He went on to run fourth to Harzand in the Investec Derby and, more significantly, had last year’s Hardwicke hero Dartmouth almost three lengths adrift when chasing home Highland Reel in the King George, a race run on good to firm ground.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Dartmouth edged out Highland Reel 12 months ago in a real dogfight up the straight. The ground was on the soft side that day and unless the heavens open the Queen’s horse will find underfoot conditions very different.

Dartmouth made a winning return this season in the Yorkshire Cup, beating Simple Verse and High Jinks on soft going, and will be a warm favourite to follow up last year’s popular triumph.

Stablemate Across the Stars landed the King Edward last season and shaped well on his return at Newbury. His rider Olivier Peslier has been in blinding form this week.

Anyone who witnessed Thomas Hobson’s explosive finish in Tuesday’s 2m 4f Ascot Stakes will not oppose Willie Mullins’ stayer lightly in the Queen Alexandra Stakes over two furlongs further. He could easily win again but QEWY (5.35) might represent better value.

Charlie Appleby’s seven-year-old hasn’t been seen since running fourth in the Melbourne Cup but Qewy ran a cracker here last year when just denied by Jennies Jewel in the Ascot Stakes. He lumped top weight of 9st 10lb that day and was finishing best of all. This is a Conditions contest and he meets Thomas Hobson on level terms, with 10lb in hand on official figures. Of course, Thomas Hobson smashed those figures to smithereens on Tuesday and this is a real teaser.

It is no two-horse race, however, with easy 2015 winner Oriental Fox back again after his fourth on unsuitably soft ground last year.

Chester Cup winner Montaly joins the party along with classy types Fun Mac, Winning Story and Aidan O’Brien’s disappointing US Army Ranger.

It promises to be a very exciting climax to another amazing week of top-drawer racing.
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