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Richard Hoiles: My picks for Saturday at Royal Ascot

21 Jun | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: My picks for Saturday at Royal Ascot

The horse racing broadcaster runs through the card on the final day at Royal Ascot and provides a hefty stable tracker update.

The final day of Royal Ascot features one of the horses I have most been looking forward to seeing in MIDDLE EARTH / (15:05) who runs in the Hardwicke Stakes. The change of pace he showed in beating King of Conquest – a winner since – in a steadily run race at Newbury was electric. He won on fast ground at York last season and is one to follow this campaign before likely heading down under for a tilt at either the Melbourne Cup or decent Group races.

The sprint division is very weak this year and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes looks a shallow but open renewal. Despite backing up quickly from her fourth in the King Charles III on Tuesday, BELIEVING / (15:45) from the in-form George Boughey yard has a decent chance as she seemed to find it all happening a bit quick until staying on late in the day. That race looks stronger than this one and she can run another big race. Washington Heights, who hit the front a little soon last time out could be the main danger.

The final straight course handicap of the week is the Wokingham over 6f, where consistent handicapper APOLLO ONE / (17:05) deserves to win a big pot after placing in several similar races, including the Stewards Cup and this race last year. His consistency does mean he is vulnerable to an improver but there are not that many in the field this time around and there appears to be more pace low than high. The fact that William Haggas pitches Unequal Love in here is interesting and suggests he feels a mark of 102 is too good to potentially sacrifice by staying in Group company, and she looks the most interesting of those drawn high.

PRIMO LARA / (17:40) can hopefully send us out on a winner for the week in what looks to have the potential to be a furiously run Golden Gates Handicap over 10f. There are plenty of pacesetters here, and many drawn high will no doubt try and cross over early. Primo Lara will certainly need luck from stall 4 but if the field do string out off the strong pace there may be more room than usual up the straight. He started off in handicaps well ahead of his mark and the grader may still be playing catch up.


Just three this week:

Ascot: Saffie Osborne (12/83, A/E 1.84). Rides include Never So Brave in the Jersey at 16:25 for Sir Michael Stoute, for whom she has ridden five winners from 12 starts.

Haydock: Franny Norton (94/749, A/E 1.24). Five rides with his mount in the 18:40 Miss Attitude coming for the in-form Jack Channon yard.

Redcar: Jason Hart (50/404, A/E 1.24). Any money for handicap debutant Scarfo in the 15:30 would be worth noting.


It has been a busy period for the tracker, so dealing first with those running over the next few days:


Split The Profit (16:45 Redcar). Second earlier in the week now makes a quick return. The yard are a little quiet.

Global Asset (18:35 Newmarket). Withdrawn on Tuesday at Newbury when spreading a plate at the start. Having his second run for the tracker having been touched off at Windsor. The stable are going better and he has an obvious chance.


Jewel of London (14:30 Ascot). Did not really progress as anticipated from his debut after getting quite well back early. This is a bit of a throw at the stumps but there have been a couple of direct hits in the juvenile races at Ascot this week.

Middle Earth (15.05 Ascot) in the Hardwicke (see above).

Boadicia (14:45 Newmarket). Went through the race last time as if well ahead of her mark and an 8lb rise may well not be enough to stop her. One to follow.

We have had plenty of runners this week, so again a quick summary:

Old Chums (First, 9/2). Back at the track at which he was added. Has done the job and is one of those released.

Games People Play (Unplaced, 3/1). A disappointing handicap debut and has one run left on the tracker.

Chorus (Third, 6/4f). Still has potential at 1m 4f but has not really built on her eye-catching debut. After three runs, she is removed.

Crossing The Bar (Unplaced, 7/1). Just looks a bad addition at this stage but has one more run and a likely big price left.

Expert Witness (First, 2/1). Deserved her victory after twice being runner-up since added at Bath. It turned out when beaten last time her amateur rider had broken his collar bone when unshipped on the way out, hence the limited assistance from the saddle. She still has potential for more as she did this well, but having had three runs she come off the list.

Cargin Bhui (Third, 8/1). A second consecutive placing and one run left. Clearly competitive.

Split The Profit (Second, 11/2). Turns out again on Friday after running well at Windsor.

Al Qudra (Unplaced, 9/1). Not disgraced in the Coventry, shaping as if he will stay 7f. That was his third run so he is let go.

There will be a whole host of races to trawl through once Royal Ascot is done so no additions this week.

Removed: Old Chums, Chorus, Expert Witness, Al Qudra.

A full list of current tracker horses can be found here.


Stable Tracker: 15/15.85, A/E 0.95

Day Selections: 28/31.48, A/E 0.89

Jockeys for Courses: 29/32.39, A/E 0.90

Overall: 72/79.72, A/E 0.90

Visit Betway’s horse racing betting page.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.