Punters Guide To Royal Ascot 2014 - Day Five

2.30 CHESHAM STAKES – The weakest 2-year-old race of the week in which the Aidan O’Brien-trained DICK WHITTINGTON is likely to go off a warm favourite after the son of Rip Van Winkle’s impressive victory at Navan last week but with two US challengers in the shape of CORDERO and CROWN THE KITTEN caution is advised especially following the defeat of the stable’s The Great War on Thursday. Most of these are open to plenty of improvement, particularly RICHARD PANKHURST, the mount of William Buick, who was fancied to win his maiden at Newmarket but looked very green in fourth place. On this occasion it is Irish challenger TOSCANINI who looks the value of the race after his creditable head second to the decent Kool Kompany in a Listed Naas contest earlier this month. ADVICE 1 POINT EACH-WAY TOSCANINI - 6-1 SKYBET

3.05 DUKE OF EDINBURGH STAKES – Top weight ARAB SPRING is sure to be all the rage here after landing the treble with a game half length victory over Duke Of Clarence at York’s Dante meeting but Sir Michael Stoute’s charge will be racing off a 8lb higher mark and is worth taking on at a best price 3-1. The Godolphin pair of GROUNDBREAKING and WADI AL HATTAWI come into this on the back of decent wins while the Mick Channon-trained ELIDOR won the King George V Stakes at the royal meeting 12 month’s ago and should go well again but the selection is the improving HAMELIN from the Lady Cecil stable. This son of Oaks winner Love Divine is improving with each race and looked an unlucky loser when just failing to get up over the course and distance last month and a 5lb higher mark looks quite lenient. ADVICE 2 POINTS WIN HAMELIN - 5-1 BET365, SKYBET, PADDY POWER, STAN JAMES, CORAL and WILLIAM HILL

3.45 HARDWICK STAKES – Not the strongest renewal of this Group 2 contest in which the betting is dominated by the Sir Michael Stoute pair of TELESCOPE and HILLSTAR. Both have yet to pass the post in front this season and are worth opposing at current odds. Aidan O’Brien’s EYE OF THE STORM should improve for his recent Leopardstown fourth but may be better over further and the choice is PETHER’S MOON, the mount of champion jockey Richard Hughes who has always held this Dylan Thomas colt in the highest regard. Runner-up to Gospel Choir ( went on to win Yorkshire Cup ) on his seasonal debut the 4-year-old just lost out to Gatewood over this course on his most recent start and at a double-figure price is the value of the race. ADVICE 1 POINT EACH-WAY PETHER’S MOON - 10-1 BET365, TOTESPORT, CORAL and WILLIAM HILL


4.25 DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES – An open renewal of this Group 1 contest and plenty can be fancied including ALJAMAAHEER, who is dropping down in trip this season, recent Curragh Group 3 winner SLADE POWER and the globe-trotting GORDON LORD BYRON but it is the two 3-year-olds ASTAIRE and DUE DILIGENCE who are of most interest. The former was a leading juvenile winning both the Gimcrack Stakes and Middle Park and found only Maarek a half length too good in the Duke Of York Stakes last time but if the race is to throw up a new sprinting star it is likely to be the Ballydoyle runner. Campaigned in the states as a juvenile the War Front colt has won his two most recent starts making all for his new stable, and racing on decent ground for the first time, there is massive room for substantial improvement. ADVICE 2 POINTS WIN DUE DILIGENCE - 15-2 STAN JAMES

5.00 WOKINGHAM STAKES – As expected for a 29-runner sprint handicap at the royal meeting very competitive in which the market is headed by the consistent NINJAGO, and while the mount of Richard Hughes is sure to run well the 4-year-old has not won in his last seven attempts. SEEKING MAGIC and BACCARAT are both feared from their high draws but the vote goes to YORK GLORY who is taken to win the race for the second year running. Kevin Ryan’s 6-year-old was a clear winner from Shropshire and Dinkum Diamond 12 months ago off a mark of 100 and despite racing off 8lb higher can be tucked in by his jockey Jamie Spencer from stall 11 before coming coming late to mow down his rivals once again. ADVICE 1 POINT EACH-WAY YORK GLORY - 14-1 STAN JAMES

5.35 QUEEN ALEXANDRA STAKES – Plenty can be fancied in this 2m 5f stamina test including the classy hurdler PIQUE SOUS from the powerful Willie Mullins stable but the two form horse are last year’s Ebor winner TIGER CLIFF and WHIPLASH WILLIE, third behind Brown Panther in the Group 3 Henry 11 Stakes on his most recent start. The choice however is the consistent MUBARAZA who deserves to win a decent prize after several near misses. The mount of Paul Hanagan’s last four runs include placed efforts in the Ascot Stakes, Northumberland Plate and Chester Cup and Ed Dunlop’s gelding is sure to run his usual game race once again. ADVICE 1 POINT EACH-WAY MUBARAZA - 9-1 STAN JAMES

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