Mark Your Card: Saturday at Royal Ascot

We’ve scoured the runners and riders for today and we’re hopeful (not confident, mind you) that a 5/1 winner could be coming our way.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE GOLDEN JUBILEE STAKES (15:45) is the feature race on Saturday’s card as we say goodbye to Royal Ascot for another year.

At the head of the betting, Australian raider Star Witness is very much a known quantity at this stage, having finished second to Prohibit by a half-length here in the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday. That sprint was run over a furlong less, but Steven Arnold’s mount seemed to have plenty left in the tank in finishing and so should be suited by the extra distance.

Michael Stoute’s Kingsgate Native was another participant in the King’s Stand on Tuesday, and connections will be very hopeful that he will improve greatly on a poor showing which saw him finish in sixth. His win in this race three years ago remains his only success in Group 1 competition, but a creditable second to Sole Power in the Temple Stakes last month indicates that he won’t find himself outclassed this afternoon.

Godolphin’s challenge comes in the guise of Delegator, a horse who impressed greatly as a three-year-old two seasons ago. His only seasonal appearance was a half-length win in the Duke of York Stakes last month and, with Derby-winning teenager Mickael Barzalona on board today, he’ll at least be guaranteed a clever ride.

Preference though is for Aidan O’Brien’s Bewitched who won five times over this distance last season and showed no signs of abating when winning a Group 3 contest at Leopardstown last month. That form was rubber-stamped on Tuesday when Zoffany, runner-up that day, chased Frankel all the way home in the St. James’s Palace Stakes.

The day’s opening race is the Chesham Stakes (14:30) over seven furlongs, with Ballydoyle’s Maybe installed as the one to beat by the bookmakers.  She turned heads in romping to a four-and-a-half length victory in her maiden at Naas last month and further improvement is expected. Godolphin-owned Falls of Llora is also fancied to thrive over the extra distance following a good win at Doncaster last month.

The Group Two Hardwicke Stakes goes to post at 15:05, when bookies will be hoping that something will come out of the pack to stop Await the Dawn. On his day, Campanologist is capable of stringing together a challenge while Kieren Fallon’s mount, Drunken Sailor could well benefit from the drop back in trip.

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Nap of the Day

Bewitched (5/1) is tipped to prosper in the day’s feature and end the torrid run of form which fillies have had in the Golden Jubilee. A winner over course and distance already, any further rain today is likely to work in her favour.

Each way

Campanologist (11/1) may find himself slightly out of his depth in the Hardwicke, but a second-place finish behind So You Think at the Curragh last time out is not without its merits. Could run into a place at tempting odds.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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