Royal Ascot Tips - Race-by-race selections for Day 5 of the Royal Meeting

The fifth and final day of Royal Ascot goes to post on Saturday.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for the final day of the Royal Meeting on Saturday, featuring the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

The fifth and final day of the 2018 Royal Ascot Festival goes to post on Saturday, and another top-class six-race card awaits punters as the curtain falls on another fantastic week of horse racing action at the Berkshire venue.

Race 1 - Chesham Stakes (Listed Race)

NATALIE’S JOY looked a very exciting prospect when sauntering clear of her rivals to score impressively at Goodwood last month, and with the potential to improve further over this longer trip, Mark Johnston’s charge can double up. The Lope De Vega filly had six lengths in hand of runner-up Swift And Sure, pulling easily clear of that rival in a good time; and if building on that performance then she ought to prove hard to beat with this additional furlong sure to suit.

Race 2 - Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)

Crystal Ocean could prove hard to beat as Sir Michael Stoute’s charge bids for a hat-trick of wins; but IDAHO won this race twelve months ago, and Aidan O’Brien’s charge can successfully defend his crown. The Galileo horse held off the reopposing Barsanti to score last year, after which he posted a fine third to Enable in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. His form tailed off towards the end of the season, and having looked in need of the run at Meydan behind Hawkbill in March the Ballydoyle runner struck at Chester, beating Danehill Kodiac in the Ormonde Stakes. He had excuses at Epsom in the Coronation Cup, never getting involved, but capable of bouncing back returned to this track and the scene of his biggest triumph he could receive a boost. He isn’t one to write off just yet, and he may be capable of a big run as he bids to retain his title under Donnacha O’Brien.

Race 3 - Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed Race)

Another big field cavalry charge down the straight course can go the way of Michael Bell’s progressive JAMES WATT who arrives in search of a hat-trick and to preserve his unbeaten record. The Morpheus colt has won at Brighton and Windsor already this term, both under Hayley Turner who rides again, and the form of that first success has been franked with the runner-up and third both winning since. He showed a good turn of foot to score last time at Windsor, where despite hanging right he had enough in reserve to repel Adam Tiler; this straight course will suit, and he ought to get a strong pace to aim at. While he does need to find a jolt of improvement on his bare form, he looks a progressive sort who could take the step up in class in his stride.

Race 4 - Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)

Harry Angel sets a stiff standard, beating rivals in good style at York last time; but Clive Cox’s charge has yet to win here, and it could pay to side with the proven course form of multiple Group One winner THE TIN MAN who looked as good as ever when taking advantage of the drop to Listed class to win at Windsor last time. James Fanshawe’s Equiano gelding has come up short on more than one occasion when clashing with Clive Cox’s speedster, but last season’s champion saves his best for this venue - 50% strike-rate at Ascot - and he had excuses on all three subsequent defeats. Having failed to act at Newmarket, he found the soft ground against him in runs at Haydock and here; but back on a quicker surface and likely to prove sharper for his reappearance win, he can mount a bold bid in defence of his crown.

Race 5 - Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)

Dreamfield has looked a potential Group performer in his runs to date, and John Gosden’s charge coudl well prove hard to beat having won well on his return from a long absence. However, he could just lack the experience required to win a race which is traditionally a rough ride for horses and it could pay to side with the experienced GEORGE BOWEN who appreciated the return to faster ground when snapping a barren run at York in May where he ran out an easy six lengths winner. Richard Fahey’s charge had a few of these in behind, and the Dark Angel gelding lost nothing in defeat under a penalty at Goodwood last month, going down only by a neck having been outbattled by his rival. The pair had pulled clear of the third, and while his revised mark demands another jolt of improvement, he relishes fast ground and stays further than this trip so his stamina could prove an asset in what is usually a truly-run contest where there is no hiding place.

Race 6 - Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions Race)

The closing race of the Festival is the longest race of the week, and it could be worth chancing PALLASATOR back on the flat having enjoyed a spell over hurdles for Gordon Elliott last term which saw the Motivator gelding win twice, including in a Fairyhouse Grade Two contest. A smart stayer in his prime for Sir Mark Prescott, the nine-year old can often get worked up prior to the start, and those tendencies may have curtailed what otherwise might have been a top-class career; but he still managed to win his fair share, including a Doncaster Cup and he has to be of interest back in this sphere following his hurdling exploits. Potentially rejuvenated by his spell in Ireland, the Elliott runner features on a handy weight for this return to the level, and if reproducing something akin to the pick of his old form then he could go close.

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Royal Ascot Tips - Race-by-race selections for Day 5 of the Royal Meeting

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for the final day of the Royal Meeting on Saturday, featuring the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

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