Diamond Jubilee Stakes tips – Who will be crowned Royal Ascot’s top sprinter?
We take a runner-by-runner at Saturday’s main event on the final day of Royal Ascot and give our Diamond Jubilee Stakes tips for the day’s biggest race.
We enter the final day of Royal Ascot on Saturday and an eight-race card awaits punters where no less than three Group One races will go to post on an unmissable afternoon of top-class racing action.
The last of the Group One trio, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes is the feature of the card and a ten-runner field will go to post at 3.35pm each with designs on scooping the £148,000 first-prize pot.
The top-class six furlongs sprint will be shown live on ITV Racing as the team are again in action with their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis; while Brian Healy takes a runner-by-runner look at the big race field and gives his Diamond Jubilee Stakes tips for Saturday’s feature race.
DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES TIPS – RUNNER BY RUNNER
DREAM OF DREAMS
Won his first two starts last season before finishing a very good second to Blue Point in the corresponding race twelve months ago.
Sir Michael Stoute’s charge failed however to kick on from those efforts and he ended his season on a low note by beating only one home in the British Champions Sprint although he probably found the heavy ground too much.
He did win first-time up last term so lack of a run here may not prove too much of a hindrance. He’s effective on soft ground but any drying of the conditions will be in his favour. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him bounce back with a better effort and he can go close if back to his best with reproduction of the effort he delivered in this race twelve months ago.
Lightly-raced sprinter who took his form up a notch when scoring at Haydock in a Group Two contest prior to finishing a close third behind Advertise in last season’s Commonwealth Cup. Kevin Ryan’s subsequently got back on the winning trail following a break to beat The Tin Man in the Haydock Sprint Cup.
Like a few in the British Champions Sprint the Kodiac colt probably didn’t handle the heavy conditions and he could only finish eighth behind Donjuan Triumphant where he was almost five lengths’ adrift having tried to set the pace and he might have done too much in front.
A less testing surface here can see him bounce back and with a decent record fresh he ought to go well here.
Made a mockery of his handicap mark when easily winning last season’s Steward’s Cup but disappointed on both of his subsequent outings in Group company. Charlie Hills’ charge failed to beat a rival home in the Haydock Sprint Cup behind Hello Youmzain and then floundered in the conditions in the British Champions Sprint where he was six lengths’ adrift of the winner.
The ground was testing for both those runs which suggests the current conditions here won’t be in his favour; while he’s been readily beaten in all starts in Group company and he may not be good enough at this level.
Jim Crowley has been riding out of his skin at the meeting, but he’ll need all his talents to have the Dark Angel colt competitive here and he could struggle if conditions remain on the soft side.
SANDS OF MALI
Capable but inconsistent sprinter, winning his first two starts of the 2018 season before finding only Eqtidaar too good in that season’s Commonwealth Cup. Went off the boil thereafter but sprang a surprise in the soft conditions to win the British Champions Sprint at a big price.
His form since has been patchy and he hasn’t been seen since beating only three horses home in the British Champions Sprint last campaign. Conditions will be fine for Richard Fahey’s charge and he’s capable of taking a hand here if on his best form although he’s far from certain to reproduce that level and he’s a risky proposition.
Has gone from strength to strength on the all-weather over the winter months and showed turf to be no problem when readily winning a Listed race at Naas earlier in the campaign.
Denis Hogan’s charge is a real rags-to-riches story having cost connections less than £3,000; but he’s paid that back in spades and is worth a crack at a big prize. The highest rated sprinter in Ireland currently, the Exceed and Excel gelding tackles soft ground now as he goes up markedly in class and on balance he probably needs to find another jolt of improvement.
That could be altogether possible though given he won cosily latest and he is open to plenty of further improvement; while the booking of Frankie Dettori catches the eye. Assuming the soft ground doesn’t hinder him then he can make his presence felt at this higher level.
SHINE SO BRIGHT
Showed some good form in defeat following his switch to this yard in the 2018 season, finishing third in each of his first three outings – all in Group Two company – before winning at Newmarket when tried over seven furlongs for the first time.
A good sixth to Magna Grecia in the 2000 Guineas the Oasis Dream colt beat the classy Laurens at York when returning from a break although he failed to back up that form in two subsequent runs, including finishing last of five behind Mustashry in the Challenge Stakes.
Could be best caught fresh given his wins have all come on the back of absences and his top yard is in rude health at present. He’s interesting dropping back to six furlongs for this contest although he might prefer better ground than he’ll get here. That said, he could be an each-way player and he doesn’t have much to find on form so is respected despite his big price.
SPEAK IN COLOURS
Dual-winner last term including a soft-ground win in a Group Three at the Curragh having earlier finished fourth in this race behind Blue Point. He was far from disgraced in his last couple of outings behind One Master and Donjuan Triumphant respectively and he ran well back from a break at Riyadh in a strong looking contest behind Dark Power.
Joseph O’Brien’s charge failed to justify favouritism in a recent start at the Curragh over seven furlongs but he might prove happier back at this shorter trip with the soft ground holding no concerns. However he has a bit to do on form and others are likely to prove too strong for him for all he can give a good account.
THE TIN MAN
The Equiano colt has been a great servant to connections and he goes well at this venue where he’s landed two of his three Group One wins over this course and distance including this race in 2017.
Sixth in this race twelve months ago, he showed he can still mix it at the top level when pushing Hello Youmzain close in the Haydock Sprint Cup although he disappointed when last seen behind Donjuan Triumphant.
He’s in his veteran years now and hard to know how much of his ability remains now as an eight-year old; but James Fanshawe’s charge can continue to give a good account and he’s won first time up twice in his career so can go well fresh. However he appeared to need his first run back last campaign and on balance his runs last term suggested his powers were on the wane.
He’ll be suited by these conditions but younger horses may just have his measure now.
Was progressive last term with three wins which include the Group Three Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster and she might have found her stamina stretched when tried over one mile in the Fleur De Lys Stakes.
Stuart Williams’ Bated Breath mare showed the drop to six furlongs to be no issue when winning the Abernant Stakes to take her record over the trip to 3-3 on her recent reappearance but this is a much sterner test she takes in and she’s yet to race on ground this soft.
She does have winning form on good-to-soft and on tapeta, and she can continue to run well although this much higher level could catch her out and she’ll need to raise her game a couple of notches taking on some top-class rivals.
Has won the last two renewals of the Group One Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs but showed the drop to six furlongs held no fears when chasing home Donjuan Triumphant when last seen here in the British Champions Sprint.
William Haggas’ charge has proven stamina for further than this trip and boasts winning form in soft ground as well as at the distance so she’s not readily dismissed here although her record fresh isn’t great and she might need this reappearance run which would put her at a disadvantage.
Her overall form however stacks up well in the race and if she’s fully wound up ahead of her return then it isn’t hard to make a case for her and she could go close with the softer ground ideal.
DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES TIPS – BIG RACE VERDICT
Hard to separate a few of these on form while Irish raider Sceptical has burst onto the scene following his exploits for Denis Hogan and is feared with the potential for better still to come despite some reservations on the soft ground.
HELLO YOUMZAIN proved himself a high-class sprinter when winning last season’s Haydock Sprint Cup, although he disappointed in the British Champions Sprint when last seen. He might have done too much however in the heavy ground having set out to make all and he could be seen to better effect on a less testing surface.
The Kodiac colt was a close third in last season’s Commonwealth Cup and still relatively unexposed he could have more to offer this term. Soft ground is no problem and that Haydock win came on the back of a break so he could run well fresh; he’s worth another chance then to show his best on more suitable conditions and he can bounce back from that lesser effort when last seen.