Diamond Jubilee Stakes Preview – Saturday 23rd June
Last updated: June 21, 2018 by Leon Marshal
The feature race on the final day of Royal Ascot on Saturday is the £600,000 Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 4.20.
The race is over six furlongs and was formerly known as the Cork & Orrery Stakes. It was elevated to Group 1 status in 2002 and is now one of the most prestigious sprint races in the world. Famous past winners include Danehill (1989), Choisir (2003), Starspangledbanner (2010) and Black Caviar (2012). The narrow victory of Black Caviar underlined the International appeal of this race, a trend continued by the success of American raider Undrafted in 2015. The Tin Man won the race last year for James Fanshawe and Tom Queally, beating Tasleet and Limato.
The Tin Man bids for repeat victory
The Tin Man was no match for Harry Angel in the July Cup or the Haydock Sprint Cup last season, being beaten around five lengths in both races. He also finished fifth behind Librisa Breeze in the British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October. He returned to action last month to beat D’bai at Windsor and the runner-up has boosted the form since.
Harry Angel is the favourite for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby. He was beaten at the corresponding meeting in the Commonwealth Cup by Caravaggio. Impressive victories at Newmarket and Haydock followed before his defeat on Champions Day. He looked well when taking the Duke Of York Stakes in May and his home reports suggest that he is back to his best.
Frankie Dettori got off to a flying start to Royal Ascot 2018 when riding a treble on Tuesday. He has been booked to ride Australian hope Redkirk Warrior. The seven-year-old has won his last two races at Group 1 level, both by a short-head. He defeated Everest winner Redzel at Flemington in February and followed up in the Lexus Newmarket Handicap at the same track.
Confidence behind Merchant Navy at Ascot
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore team up with Merchant Navy, a winner on his first start for the stable at the Curragh in May. He had finished a neck behind Redkirk Warrior at Flemington in March but has had longer to acclimatise. Merchant Navy gradually warmed to his task at the Curragh before going on to beat Spirit Of Valor by a length. Moore looked to have plenty up his sleeve that day and there has been plenty of confidence emanating from Ballydoyle.
Wesley Ward struck a blow for America with Undrafted and bids for a second win in the race with Bound For Nowhere. He has not raced since winning a Grade 2 at Keeneland in April by four lengths. The son of The Factor stayed on to finish fourth in the Commonwealth Cup a year ago and that experience will hold him in good stead for Saturday’s race.
Several of these are ground dependant, none more so than Librisa Breeze. Dean Ivory’s grey revelled in the soft ground when winning here in October and has shown his best form with plenty of cut in the ground. He is unlikely to get those conditions on Saturday.
French hopes rest with City Light, a winner at the Lingfield All-Weather Championships in March. He showed that he is equally effective on turf when winning a Group 3 at Longchamp next time but this is a further step up in class. Sir Dancealot has plenty of ability and was just over two lengths behind Harry Angel at York in May. He then won narrowly at Hamilton Park from Kimberella and Sean Levey will be looking to arrive late on the four-year-old.
Diamond Jubilee Stakes Betting Tips
Merchant Navy @4-1 BetBright
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is due off at 4.20pm on Saturday 23rd June and will be televised live on ITV4.