We owe a big thank you to Kevin Ryan and Lightning Cloud for saving our bacon on the fourth day of Royal Ascot. The grey galloped up the stands’ side in the closing Buckingham Palace Stakes to justify our general 33/1 advice after this column’s earlier tips had all fallen short. For jockey Neil Callan, it was a third successive in four rides in the 7f handicap and we’ve locked that fact away for next year.
Now that it appears the bias towards those drawn low on the straight course has disappeared, there should be some interest in the overseas challenge in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the last Group 1 race of the week. The 6f dash was won last year by the brilliant Black Caviar and the Aussies are hoping compatriot Sea Siren (9/1 with Coral and sportingbet) can follow suit. She has run in 10 Group or Grade 1 races in a row and has won three times at the highest level, though not in her last six. She’s no Black Caviar but should be thereabouts starting from stall 13 and Bahrain sprinter Krypton Factor can also go well from a high draw. He finished ahead of Gordon Lord Byron (a general 7/1) and Reply (28/1 with Coral and William Hill) when third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March and is 22/1 with Coral. Society Rock is very smart when in the mood and held off Lethal Force (a general 12/1) to win the Duke Of York Stakes on his reappearance. He also won this two years ago but can be a handful at the start and virtually refused to race last year, though still finished ahead of a number of these. He is only 9/2 with Betfred, sportingbet and Stan James and a risky proposition. MINCE hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this year but Roger Charlton thinks he’s got her back to her best and, if that’s the case, the general 12/1 might be a decent bet.
DANDINO couldn’t get past the plucky Universal (10/1 with Boylesports and Coral) on his reappearance in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket but was entitled to need that run and Marco Botti‘s globe-trotting six-year-old can reverse the form in the Hardwicke Stakes, for which he is much too big at 12/1 with sportingbet.
BUNKER impressed on his debut at Haydock and the extra furlong of the Chesham Stakes will suit. Richard Hannon‘s colt is 7/2 with Betfred and Boylesports while the much-improved DUKE OF FIRENZE may be the answer to the ultra-competitive Wokingham Stakes, which more resembles a Listed race than a handicap. Sir Michael Stoute‘s colt is 8/1 with Boylesports and Stan James but I greatly fear Rex Imperator after an eye-catching run over 7f at Doncaster – the latter is a best 12/1 with Ladbrokes.
SIR GRAHAM WADE is a sporting selection in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap under top weight. Available at 25/1 in several places, Mark Johnston‘s grey races over 1m4f for the first time since winning a Listed race at Nantes in the autumn and has a touch of class. Shahwardi only found Gold Cup second Simenon too strong in the Queen Alexandra Stakes last year and has been targeted at the race again. Alain De Royer-Dupre‘s stayer is a best 7/2 with William Hill but expect Jamie Spencer to arrive late on NO HERETIC over this much longer trip and he can steal the finale at Betfred’s 8/1.