The five days of Royal Ascot can feel like a marathon but the meeting ends on Saturday with bill of fare topped by two 6f sprints – the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (3.40) and the 28-runner Wokingham Stakes heritage handicap (5.00).
Bookmakers will certainly think they’ve had the upper hand for much of this year’s Royal Meeting, with just four winning favourites in the first three days and winners at 33/1, 50/1 and 150/1. Our Saturday day tips won’t mind if the run of big-priced scorers continues, in the sprints at least.
Royal Ascot Tips: Day 5
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Ryan runner bumper price to bounce back to form Group 1 form after wind op
This year, as is so often the case, it’s the race formerly known as the Diamond Jubilee that attracts the most international field of the meeting, with runners from Australia, the United States and Hong Kong locking horns with the Irish and French raiders and the locals.
Several of the talented tourists hold leading chances, but none can claim to represent quite the each-way value of EMARAATY ANA, who appears to have been overlooked by the bookies on the basis of one shocking showing in her sole start of the campaign.
Prior to finishing over 16 lengths ninth of 10 on his seasonal debut, the six-year-old finished in the medal positions in three consecutive 6f Group 1s on his last three starts of 2022: The Breeders Cup Turf Sprint, the Sprint Cup at Haydock and the Nunthorpe at York.
Clearly the damp squib on his last run doesn’t count in his favour but he’s had a wind operation since and that’s enough to make him worth giving the chance to rediscover the elite sprinting form he had as recently as November last year at 40/1.
Bet: 3.40 – Emaraaty Ana to win (each-way) @ 40/1
Race-fit Haggas horse can prevail in compelling edition of the Hardwicke
This year’s Hardwicke looks a quality renewal with Pyledriver and HUKUM rated 124 and 122 respectively and the up-and-coming mare Free Wind arriving here off the back of six wins in her last seven outings, the latest of which was franked after the second Rogue Millenium won the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
Free Wind is certainly a late bloomer to reckon with but she’s still rated 7lbs below Hukum and gets only 3lbs of mares’ allowance. She’s yet to land a race of any note against the boys either.
Hukum bested Pyledriver when the pair last met but that was more than a year ago. They’ve raced once this season between them.
Pyledriver will return from injury here 11 months on from his career highwater mark in the King George at this track. Co-trainer William Muir has suggested that, whatever he does here, he will be a better horse as he attempts to win that Group 1 prize again next month.
Hukum returned for his first run since beating Pyledriver with aplomb back in May, comfortably defeating the 2022 Derby winner Desert Crown in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.
A race fitness advantage over a rival he’s beaten before makes him a confident selection.
Bet: 4.20 – Hukum to win @ 13/8
Juan the man to grab second Ascot win of the week for lesser heralded Appleby
Michael Appleby may not have been hoovering up Group 1s across the globe like better known namesake Charlie, but unlike the Godolphin handler he has recorded a Royal Ascot success this year courtesy of Big Evs in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
M. Appleby won his fourth all-weather champion trainer crown earlier in 2023 and his yard are in great form right now too – sending out nine winners from their last 42 runners at the time of writing.
The Wokingham is as competitive as ever but there’s plenty to like about JUAN LES PINS, who reunites with jockey Alastair Rawlinson with the pair seeking a third win in three races together.
A third in last season’s Ayr Gold Cup off 5lbs lower marks him out as a horse with the potential to land one of these big 6f handicaps if all falls into place.
The likely good to firm ground is in his favour with the Invincible Spirit gelding having won four of his nine career runs on such going, including last time out at Nottingham.
Bet: 5.00 – Juan Les Pins to win (each-way) @ 20/1