The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is one of the highlights of the meeting, with eighteen horses currently entered for this Group 1 tussle, while the Channel 4 cameras will capture the other five races on Saturday including the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
2.30 Chesham Stakes
A trappy contest to start off Saturday’s racing, with this race for two-year-olds leading punters to be conservative with their staking plan for what is generally an unpredictable encounter.
Ihtimal is the Godolphin horse in the race and also the runner with the highest rating, having narrowly finished second in a Maiden Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month. Adeste Fideles is the other horse with a rating of 100 thanks to a fifth-placed finish at Naas and should be on the shortlist.
3.05 Hardwicke Stakes
Nine runners will line up for this one mile four furlong contest, with a purse of £120,000 available to winning connections and there is sure to be money for Mount Athos, with the Luca Camani horse having won the Ormonde Stakes at Chester last month.
The experienced six-year-old has won eight times out of 23 starts, although it could be Roger Varian’s Ektihaam that goes off favourite, with the four-year-old having finished third in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown. The fact that the mighty Al Kazeem won that race means the form is starting to look particularly rosy!
Ektihaam also won at this Ascot track last month and could be all the rage with punters, although Thomas Chippendale will be bidding to make it third time lucky, with the Lady Cecil horse having twice been thwarted by the former.
Universal has three wins from his last three starts and runs for Mark Johnston, with the Irish horse winning a Group 2 contest at Newmarket last time out. Sir John Hawkwood is a lively runner and has two wins from two starts this season.
3.45 Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Society Rock is something of a household name at Royal Ascot, with the six-year-old having won the Golden Jubilee Stakes two years ago before finishing fifth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes a year later, with Black Caviar narrowly edging that particular race.
The Irish raider is 10/3 with bet365 to claim victory in Saturday’s showcase race, with the James Fanshawe horse having won on his only start this term, winning a Group 2 race at York after narrowly beating Lethal Force.
The latter is also in the race and could make appeal at 12/1 (William Hill) based on that performance at the Knavesmire, especially as the four-year-old could be open to improvement and it’s hard to understand why the odds are so big about this runner.
Sea Siren runs for John O’Shea and merits respect, with the Australian horse hoping to emulate Black Caviar’s achievement twelve months ago and he warmed up with second place in a Group 1 race Down Under in May.
Gordon Lord Byron is an 11/2 chance with BetVictor and the five-year-old was also involved at the finish with Society Rock and Lethal Force at York, finishing third and suggesting that there is more to come from the Hogan horse.
Aidan O’Brien has had a mixed week at Royal Ascot, although the Coolmore handler has an interesting runner in the form of Reply, with the Irish horse looking to make amends for a poor performance at Leopardstown earlier this month.
4.25 Wokingham Stakes
The Wokingham is something of a treat for the bookmakers due to the fact that the race is a wide open one, with thirty horses stampeding down the Royal course over six furlongs.
Duke of Firenze might wipe the smile off the layers considering the Sir Michael Stoute horse is likely to be well backed and the 6/1 favourite has two wins from his last three starts, including a victory in a Class 2 race at Epsom where the four-year-old obliged as favourite.
Still, there are 29 horses to beat this time and it would be no surprise to see one or two spring out of the pack, with Gabriel’s Lad looking well-handicapped at 8-12 and Kieren Fallon is on board a horse that finished second in his last outing at Newmarket.
Khubala is a 20/1 chance (bet365) and the Irish horse won last time out, while Nocturn has some impressive form of his own after finishing first or second in the past five races.
5.00 Duke of Edinburgh Handicap
Another big field will line up for the penultimate race of the meeting and there’s not a great deal between the majority of horses entered for this one mile four furlong encounter.
Opinion is one of two Sir Michael Stoute horses in the race and it was an impressive third place finish at Newmarket in early May which could see the four-year-old go off favourite here.
Hammerfest was successful last time out when running in France and should go well for Qatar Racing Limited, while Communicator should improve for the run in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester when the five-year-old finished third behind Mount Athos.
5.35 Queen Alexandra Stakes
The final race of the five-day meeting takes place on Saturday evening, with Chiberta King the highest-rated horse by some distance, with the seven-year-old running into fifth at Newbury last month in a listed race.
No Heretic runs for David Simcock and boasts two wins from his last four starts, having won at Newmarket in early May before finishing third in a handicap race at the same course a month later.