By News Team
18th June 2021
It’s the final day of Royal Ascot and the recent rain at the Berkshire track has changed things significantly…
Here are Nick Luck’s fifth day fancies.
GREAT MAX is the hopeful choice in the Chesham (2.30pm), which kicks off the Saturday card at Royal Ascot. There is no doubt Point Lonsdale and New Science are smart prospects for big operations, but the selection really impressed me at Newbury, showing a notable turn of foot to settle the issue. Paddock inspection suggested that was a fair race, and it was significant that Great Max was able to score so decisively over six and a half furlongs given his stout pedigree. I’ve no idea whether he’ll handle soft ground, but he’ll certainly appreciate a truer test of stamina and there’s surely more to come at 12/1.
TACTICAL could be the answer to a tricky Jersey Stakes (3.05pm). A Group Two winner on soft last year, as well as a winner at this meeting, he now looks as though he wants all of these seven furlongs, and appeared to show improvement when beating today’s rival Naval Crown (shorter price) on his seasonal debut. I’m guessing connections had a look at six furlongs last time to see whether the Commonwealth Cup was a viable option, but this was always the primary target and he looks a solid bet at 10/1 in the likely conditions.
ALBAFLORA gets the nod in the Hardwicke (3.40pm) at 16/1. There are some serious question marks over the front of the market here, and any good race where Broome is the favourite needs deeper investigation. The selection could hardly have been more striking here when bolting up in a Listed race on soft ground on her seasonal debut and she appeared not to handle the track when just a respectable fourth in the Coronation Cup. I expect her to get back on track now the rain has fallen.
VENTURA REBEL is quite a confident each-way play at 25/1 in the Diamond Jubilee (4.20pm). The case is really not hard to make here: he’s run screamers both times at this fixture – second in the Norfolk and a staying on third in the Commonwealth Cup – and both those runs were with significant cut in the ground. His comeback effort in the Duke Of York was pretty good considering he was racing in the wrong part of the track and this stiffer six should suit ideally for a team already among the winners this week.
GULLIVER is the play at 20/1 in the Wokingham (5.00pm). He’s not obviously well drawn on what we’ve seen this week, but I’ve no idea what impact the rain will have on the bias, so best stick with what we do know. In his case, that’s a liking for soft ground, a stiff six furlongs and this track. He ran well off a higher mark in this last year, and he’s one of the few guaranteed to be finishing off his race in these conditions. He ran well last time at York, never quite getting into a frenetically run race, but they will be coming back to him here.
SEASETT is a reserve in the Golden Gates Stakes (5.35pm), but it’s a fair bet he’ll get in with the dramatic change in conditions and – if he does – he must have a decent chance, having scooted up in the mud at Nottingham and them taken a notable step up behind a good horse in the Silver Bowl at Haydock. This imposing horse can only keep improving and this test looks spot on for him at 8/1.
MORANDO is given a chance of staying in the Queen Alexandra (6.10pm). He’s never run beyond 2m, but his one run at that trip was a staying on fourth behind Trueshan in the Champion Stayers’ race last autumn. He’s reappeared in good heart, travelled like the winner in a fair race at Goodwood last time, will love the ground and should at least get himself a long way into this before he has to answer the stamina question. If he can, he could go very well at 6/1.