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Royal Ascot Saturday tips – best bets on the final day of the royal meeting

We've a tip for each of the races on the final day of Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

What are the best bets at Royal Ascot on Saturday?

Our racing expert has run the rule over Saturday’s Royal Ascot card.

14:30 Chesham Stakes (Listed), 7f

The Chesham Stakes over 7f is a unique race in that it is restricted to two-year-olds by sires who have won over at least 1m2f.

Who’s favourite?
Aidan O’Brien’s Churchill never really looked like winning on his debut at the Curragh, but the penny seemed to drop late on as he was finishing best of all into third and the son of Galileo should come into his own over today’s extra furlong. That he is still a maiden shouldn’t detract from his chances one bit as two of the last three winners hadn’t won a race previously and plenty of his stablemates have turned into superstars despite not winning first time out. He’s a worthy favourite, though a skinny-looking 11/8 will put a lot of punters off.

Who else is fancied?
The mighty Frankel has made a great start to his stallion career and two of his sons fill the next two places in the market. Cunco was his first runner on the racecourse and John Gosden’s charge did everything right over 6f at Newbury, quickening nicely to run down the runner-up Isomer (who re-opposes) inside the final furlong and it took his rider an age to pull him up. He should be all the better for that experience and today’s trip should no hold no fears either given his pedigree – his dam Chrysanthemum won a mile Listed race and a 7f Group 3, while his dad’s four victories as a juvenile included the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes over this trip.

His sibling Frankuus also made a winning debut when seeing off the more experienced Arc Royal at Haydock last week (7f, good to firm), with the re-opposing Devil’s Bridge behind in third, and he too will only get better as he learns his job.

Any decent outsiders?
It’s 14/1 bar the front three and they include Justice Frederick, who was Joseph O’Brien’s first winner as a trainer at Gowran Park last Monday, showing the benefit of his Tipperary debut third. There should be more to come from him.

Aiming For Rio caught the eye of Godolphin when scorching home by five lengths at Deauville just nine days ago and the son of Rio De La Plata (a prolific winner for the boys in blue) now sports their colours. Soft ground is no problem for Matthieu Palussiere’s filly and she should give a good account.

Best bookie offer?
Paddy Power are refunding losing stakes as a free bet (up to £25) if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite, most likely Churchill here.

Who’s going to win?
Taking on Aidan O’Brien-trained hotpots at this meeting has proved bad for my wealth but I’m a value-seeker and, while I think Churchill is the most likely winner, there is more juice to be had in the price of Frankel’s son CUNCO, who looks a chip off the old block.

SELECTION

Cunco 1pt @ 4/1 William Hill

15:05 Wolferton Handicap (Listed), 1m2f

The Wolferton Stakes is a classy handicap with no ratings ceiling and is run over 1m2f for horses aged four and over.

Who’s favourite?
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Best Of Times found only the subsequently Classic-placed Storm The Stars too good at Goodwood last May, having beaten Balios – a Royal Ascot winner on his next start – in a Listed contest at Newmarket previously. That’s the best form on offer here and he would have finished closer than ninth on his reappearance at Chelmsford in April, his first start for over a year, but for repeatedly being denied a clear run. Lightly-raced after just six starts (spread over three seasons), he could be capable of bettering his current mark and looks a worthy favourite at around the 9/2 mark.

Who else is fancied?
Ralph Beckett’s Pacify is next in the betting list and he’s done little wrong in just two starts this season, finishing a close second at Epsom behind Dark Red, who won on his subsequent start, and at York last time. He may be still improving but he needs to be as he’s edging up the weights – up 3lb to a career-high 102 here – and has a frustrating habit of finding one too good (five times a runner-up now).

Keith Dalgleish’s Maleficent Queen is stepping out of female company for the first time since her two-year-old days, but she looks progressive and was taking her unbeaten run to five when winning a Listed contest over this trip at Ayr last time. Three of her wins have come on ground with cut in it so she will handle conditions better than most.

Charlie Appleby’s Oceanographer is a single-figure price with most firms, but he was a laboured fourth when sent off 5/2 favourite for a Newmarket handicap last time (off 1lb higher) and might be best on an artificial surface, with his two previous wins coming at Chelmsford and Kempton.

Any decent outsiders?
His stablemate Second Wave is potentially better treated under Adam Kirby and is sporting a first-time hood. He has an impressive 5-9 record overall, though his fitness has to be taken on trust after a 175-day layoff.

Mark Johnston’s Revolutionist will be having his eighth race of the year but the stable runners thrive on their racing and he’s in the form of his life after back-to-back wins at Newmarket and Redcar.

Best bookie offer?
Paddy Power are refunding losing stakes as a free bet (up to £25) if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite, most likely Best Of Times here.

Who’s going to win?
Pacify should again run his race and Best Of Times is almost certainly capable of winning at Group 3 level, but I’ll take a chance that Charlie Appleby’s SECOND WAVE can take another step forward in the first-time headgear and under Adam Kirby, who is riding with plenty of confidence right now.

SELECTION

Second Wave each-way @ 16/1 Sky Bet (¼ odds, 1.2.3.4)

15:40 Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2), 1m4f

The Hardwicke Stakes is a Group 2 for colts and geldings aged and over and with no penalties it is often one of the hottest races for the grade all season. This year’s renewal is no exception.

Who’s favourite?
Sir Michael Stoute has won on less than six occasions in the last decade and he’s a short price to do so again, with his Exosphere put in at a best-priced 5/2. The four-year-old looks a typical improver for the stable and was an impressive winner of the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes on his reappearance at Newmarket in April, with last year’s St Leger winner Simple Verse (who re-opposes) left toiling four lengths in his wake. If in the same sort of form here, he’ll be very hard to beat.

Who else is fancied?
The Queen’s Dartmouth gives Stoute a powerful second string to his bow and, although he would probably be seen to best effect running over slightly further, having won over an extended 1m5f on his last two starts, it is clear he is a horse on the up. He will have primed to strike at this meeting for his owner and Olivier Peslier has been booked to ride.

Eagle Top saves his best for this track – form figures of 1422 here – and has a fine record at this meeting, winning the 2014 King Edward VII Stakes and finishing second in last year’s renewal behind Snow Sky. He was second again in the Group 1 King George (also run over course and distance), with the winner Postponed rallying after being headed to pip him by a nose, and that sort of form makes him a massive player. He does need to bounce back, though, as he was very disappointing in the Arc last October and again at Newbury on his reappearance.

Beautiful Romance looked to have improved when landing a Group 2 at York last time, but she still has a little to find on the ratings and would be the first female to score Stanerra in 1983. Likewise Simple Verse.

Any decent outsiders?
Almodovar is perhaps the most interesting of those at double-figure odds as he looked far more the polished article when making all at Kempton when reappearing at Kempton in May, having looked a shell of a horse last season, and the son of Sea The Stars won’t be disgraced on his first start in Pattern company.

Highland Reel has been campaigned around the globe in Grade 1 company and may appreciate this ease in grade, though the worry with him is that he is best on quicker ground. The remaining three runners are much harder to fancy.

Best bookie offer?
Anyone looking to take on Exosphere should head to Paddy Power as they are refunding losing stakes as a free bet (up to £25) if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite, while bet365 are one of several firms offering one quarter the odds rather than the standard fifth.

Who’s going to win?
Sir Michael Stoute’s record is too good to ignore and, while his Dartmouth is very much respected, it’s stablemate EXOSPHERE who looks the one to be on after his wide-margin success at Newmarket. His entry in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse is an indication of how high he is regarded and the sky’s the limit for him.

SELECTION

Exosphere 2pts @ 5/2 bet365

16:20 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge), 6f

The highlight on day five of the royal meeting is the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, a race promoted to Group 1 status in 2002 and contested by four-year-old runners and up over the straight 6f.

Who’s favourite?
Charlie Hills’ Magical Memory has gone from strength to strength since beating 26 rivals in last year’s Stewards’ Cup off a mark of 102, and further wins at Newmarket and York this term have taken his record under Frankie Dettori to 4-4. He’s a horse who doesn’t do a great deal in front, which perhaps explains why he’s still a bit behind some of his main rivals on the official ratings, but his turn of foot is lethal and there may be more to come from him. He’s disputing favouritism with James Fanshawe’s The Tin Man.

Who else is fancied?
Like Magical Memory, The Tin Man has come up through the handicap ranks and those days are way behind him now as he’s rated 115 (1lb ahead of the Hills runner) after making rapid progress at the end of last season, culminating in fourth place (of 20) behind Muhaarar in the Group 1 Champions Sprint run here in October. His tidy reappearance win in a Listed represented further improvement and especially when you consider he looked in need of the run after a interrupted preparation. He wouldn’t need to improve much more to win a race that is perhaps not quite as strong as usual.

Twilight Son was a revelation last season, soaring from a mark of 77 to 117 after landing the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup, and he was only beaten by Muhaarar on his final start on Champions Day. His reappearance fifth in the Duke Of York, won by Magical Memory, can be upgraded as he was lumbered with a Group 1 penalty and would have needed the run on ground quicker than ideal. With that run under his belt and on level terms, he may well reverse the form with the Hills runner under Ryan Moore, who partnered him into second here last autumn.

Any decent outsiders?
Despite the smallest field since 1975, we have a truly international line-up with runners from Hong Kong, Australia, USA and France. Holler in particular is an interesting contender for Australian trainer John O’Shea as he has already won at this level Down Under and this front runner may well get an uncontested lead.

Last year’s 14/1 winner Undrafted is back for more and arrives in good form, though ground conditions will be far easier this time around and he faces some promising sprinters for the home team. The ground also looks to have gone against Hong Kong raider Gold-Fun.

Best bookie offer?
Back the winner at 3/1 or bigger with Betfair and they will give you a free bet token to the same value of your stake (up to £25).

Who’s going to win?
Holler looks set to cut a dash but he may set it up for THE TIN MAN who wants dropping in and being ridden for a turn of foot – which he’s certainly got! Ground just on the easy side of good is perfect for him and he can emulate his half-brother Deacon Blues, who won at this meeting in 2011.

SELECTION

The Tin Man @ 7/2 Betfair

17:00 Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap), 6f

The Wokingham is a Heritage Handicap over 6f on the fifth and final day of Royal Ascot, and is just the sort of wide-open race the bookies love.

Who’s favourite?
It takes a Pattern-class performer – and a relatively young one – to win a modern-day Wokingham and Kevin Ryan’s Brando, who is Group-entered, looks in that mould. A winner of two of his three starts last season, he has taken his form to another level in 2016, easily justifying favouritism at Newmarket in April before chasing home Duke Of Firenze in a hot 5f handicap at York, where he was finishing strongly. That bodes well for him over this extra furlong and he looks a worthy favourite at around the 8/1 mark.

Who else is fancied?
Robert Cowell has few peers when training sprinters and his Outback Traveller has been well backed for his return to sprinting after a couple of runs over 7f this season. The latest of those came in the Victoria Cup here and, having been well supported beforehand, he looked all over the winner when travelling strongly and taking it up two furlongs out, before falling in a hole and finishing well beaten. His last two wins were over 7f so it was surprising to see him fold so tamely, but he appears to have found an extra gear in terms of speed at the age of five and that distance may now be too much for him. He’s on a good mark.

Cowell has a useful second string in Toofi and he holds claims on his placed efforts in last year’s Stewards’ Cup and Ayr Gold Cup, both over this trip. He found 5f at York too sharp on his first run back this term and will be all the sharper for that run. Slower ground is a worry, though.

Spring Loaded has won four on the bounce, all on the all-weather admittedly, but he’s won on turf too and was a close second (of 16) over course and distance last September. He’s had this race as his target since January, according to his trainer Paul D’Arcy who has deliberately not run him since winning at Kempton in March to protect his mark. He’s gone well fresh in the past.

Last year’s winner Interception, now in foal to Oasis Dream, is bidding to emulate Selhurstpark Flyer, the last horse to win back-to-back renewals. She’ll be all the better for her latest Haydock run, but may find the ground a little too slow for her liking.

Buckstay, who has a good record here, Huntsmans Close, Mutawathea and Aidan O’Brien’s The Happy Prince, all merit consideration.

Any decent outsiders?
Just one winning favourite in the last ten runnings and winners at 33/1, 22/1 and 20/1 in that time suggests we shouldn’t be put off by a big price. That said, I’m struggling to make a case for a big outsider (25/1 or bigger), so I’ll put up Paul Midgeley’s Ninjago as one who is a tad overpriced (16/1 with bet365). Formerly with Richard Hannon, he ran a cracking fourth (of 15) at York on his first start for his new trainer and since being gelded / having his wind done. He should come on plenty for that and has won over course and distance.

Best bookie offer?

With 29 runners set to go to post, many punters will want to play each-way and, while most firms are offering five places, Paddy Power have trumped them by going six.

What about the draw?

The last three winners were drawn 21 or higher but winners have emerged from all over the shop in the last decade, and it’s probably more important to be where the pace is – my guess is stands’ side (high numbers).

Who’s going to win?
If Robert Cowell can eke out some more improvement from OUTBACK TRAVELLER, which is likely on just his third start for the trainer, he must go close from stall 28. SPRING LOADED (stall 14) is feared most and is worth a saver. A combination forecast with Ninjago included is getting greedy, I know.

SELECTIONS

Outback Traveller 2pts @ 11/1 Sky Bet
Spring Loaded 1pt @ 12/1 Sky Bet
Outback Traveller / Spring Loaded / Ninjago – 0.25pt combination forecast (six bets)

17:35 Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions Race), 2m5f159y

Last year’s winner Oriental Fox heads a field of 20 for this eccentric affair which closes out the meeting. He’s no doubt been primed for a repeat but a best-price of 5/1 doesn’t really get the punting juices going, whereas 22/1 on Cesarewitch winner GRUMETI does. The eight-year-old appears to have lost interest with the jumps these days, but he’s showed far more spark in two runs back on the level this spring over inadequate trips and Ascot has always shown him in a positive light. He’s own over 1m4f here in the past and may have gone close in the Ascot Hurdle in November but for blundering at the last. Far from exposed as a Flat stayer and just 4lb higher than his Newmarket win last October (won at 50/1 on the nod from Oriental Fox), he might just get us out of trouble (if needed) at a price.

SELECTION

Grumeti each-way @ 22/1 Betfair (1/4 odds, 1.2.3) – Coral go 18/1 and four places

Good luck with your Royal Ascot bets!

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