The five-day Royal Ascot extravaganza draws to a close on Saturday afternoon with the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes as featured event. The Australian sprinters have conquered virtually all before them in recent times at the Royal meeting and Takeover Target, owned and trained by Joe Janiak from Queensland, will surely take all the beating in this six-furlong event.
Takeover Target has been in virtually unstoppable form already this season and he was beaten just a half-length into second spot by Equiano in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs on the first day of the Royal meeting on Tuesday with favourite Fleeting Spirit a further neck adrift in third spot.
Takeover Target, a gelded son of Celtic Swing, won’t be inconvenienced by having to turn out again just four days later and the Australian speedster is recommended to excel from Dandy Man, a creditable fourth incidentally in the King’s Stand.
The main supporting event is the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes, traditionally a most competitive race. Whilst Maraahel, advancing in years is now seven, Sir Michael Stoute’s Entire did after all win this race last year.
Maraahel has already finished second on his two forays this season and he’s likely to show a clean pair of heels to Aidan O’Brien’s seasonal debutant Septimus.
There’s a quite disappointing entry for the Chesham Stakes with just 13 acceptors at the final entry stage. It should however pay to row in behind Jeremy Noseda’s recent maiden winner Kissing The Camera whilst Free Agent is another to concentrate on in this seven-furlong contest.
Competition is bound to be intense in the Wokingham Stakes, an ultra-prestigious six-furlong handicap, and the two against the field here are the Howard Johnson-trained Tombi and Kevin Ryan’s Tamagin.
The Channel 4 cameras will additionally be screening two races live from Ayr. Points Of View, a dual all-weather winner last season, can justify the lengthy trek from Sir Mark Prescott’s Heath House Stables in Newmarket by beating Summon Up Theblood in the Scottish Sun Handicap.
Simon Callaghan has made an impressive start to his first season as a trainer and the rookie handler can send out Expensive Art to triumph from Mondovi in the Scottish News of World EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes.
At Newmarket meanwhile, Little Pete appears quite well-treated in the intercasino.co.uk Handicap. Little Peter has won and been placed second on his two most recent starts and Andrew Balding’s charge should have most to fear in this five-furlong contest from Chartist, while East Drive is likely to return to the coveted number one slot from Dubai Meydan in the Play Blackjack At intercasino.co.uk Handicap.
Best One should attain due reward for his consistency by disposing of Lunces Lad in the £800 Free At Intercasino.co.uk Handicap and Oak Cuisine is likely to claim the scalp of Cosmopolitan in the Intercasino.co.uk EBF Fillies’ Handicap.
Down Royal stage a two-day fixture on Saturday and Sunday. Closer to home, there’s a mixed seven-race card pencilled in for Gowran Park on Sunday.
At Down Royal on Saturday, The Bogberry stands out in the featured Specsavers Ulster Derby Handicap.
The Bogberry, Kieren Fallon’s comeback winner at Tipperary last June, made a hugely encouraging debut this time round by finishing third to Twice Over and Raven’s Pass in the Group 3 banshahousestables.com Craven Stakes at Newmarket in mid-April. Whilst The Bogberry was ultimately beaten six lengths into third place on that occasion, it’s worth recalling that John Gosden’s Raven’s Pass finished a fine second to Henrythenavigator in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
It’s a big step down from the ‘Craven’ to a handicap at Down Royal and The Bogberry therefore should have little difficulty in disposing of the ultra-consistent Fiery Lad.
Tom Mullins’ Reload can vindicate the promise of his recent third-placed effort behind Lethal Weapon at The Curragh on June 7 by eclipsing Torch Of Freedom in the William Ewart Properties Ltd Rated Race and Hassanali can provide the in-form Jim Gorman with another winner by repelling Mo Cheoil Thu in the Compass Windows Handicap.
On Sunday, it’s the turn of the fillies and mares as the featured event is the European Breeders Fund Coolmore Stud Ulster Oaks Handicap.
Angels Story could prove capable of springing a mild surprise in this extended 10-furlong contest. The Jim Bolger-trained Angels Story posted a quite pleasing effort on her most recent start by finishing fifth to Fiery Lad in a quite competitive handicap at Navan on June 6. If reproducing that effort, then Angels Story is taken to beat Whispering Wind.
Breaking Silence should make a victorious return to the fray by disposing of Balakan in the Club Tonic Hurdle whilst Shot Of The Day, a facile winner over hurdles at Tralee last month, is preferred to Delphia in the Club Slim Tonic Handicap Hurdle.
At Gowran Park, Officious Madam stands out in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund (Fillies) Maiden.
This Jim Bolger-trained American-bred made a hugely promising start to her career by finishing third to well-backed favourite Mourinho in a one-mile maiden at The Curragh on June 7. Officious Madam was ultimately beaten just two lengths on that occasion and she’s taken to attain her brackets here at the expense of Miss Sivivatu.
David Wachman’s Glisten is likely to build on her fine second-placed effort at Tipperary on June 5 in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden and Tally Em Up can make a victorious return to the fray by denying Gleann Na Gcat in the Joe Bollard Memorial (Pro/Am) Flat Race.