Saturday is the final installment of this magnificent week of racing and we start with the 7f Chesham Stakes at 2.30pm. It has some odd conditions which narrows the amount of horses that qualify to run but Aidan O’Brien runs three and his Lope Y Fernandez is the pick on jockey bookings. He was impressive first time and with this team you know they will improve for the first run so he gets the nod.
In the 7f Jeresy Stakes at 3.05pm, So Perfect is aiming to be the first filly since Ishvana to win the Group 3 contest that one was trained by Aidan O’Brien too! So Perfect is super tough but I prefer Urban Icon for Richard Hannon. He wasn’t beaten that far at Newmarket in the 2,000 Guineas and will appreciate this test more, than when narrowly beaten by Space Blues at Epsom’s tricky track.
The more I look book at Masar winning the 2018 Epsom Derby the more impressed I am. Connections had the option of a Group One earlier in the week and while this Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes 3.40pm is a weaker race, it is still not easy. Trainer Charlie Appleby has proved himself very capable of getting horses ready after a lay-off. Salouen could outrun his price if you’re looking for an alternative.
Blue Point was a good winner for this column on Tuesday and it’s a bold shout to run him again so soon in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 4.20pm. Charlie Appleby wouldn’t do that unless he was really confident the horse was in top form. He deserves to be favourite but I’ll take a chance each-way on Bound For Nowhere who finished third in this race last year. His rider Tyler Gaffalione is an impressive young man and trainer Wesley Ward feels that this rising star in the USA can deliver the goods on his runner .
The 6f Wokingham Handicap at 5pm is a cavalry charge, so we’ll go for two against the field. Kevin Ryan’s Hey Jonesy has good course form when fifth in last year’s Commonwealth Cup and has had a couple of good efforts in Graded company this term. Spring Loaded has won at this course over 5f and both are each-way prices in a race where Paddy is paying the first 6 home.
The Festival comes to a close with the 2m 5f Queen Alexandra Stakes at 5.35pm. Last year’s winner Pallasator runs again and although he has been poor so far this season, he is talented and this will have been his target all season. I worry that Max Dynamite will be too keen for his own good and we saw what happened with stablemate Thomas Hobson, who threw away his chance earlier in the week by pulling too hard.
Cleonte has some strong staying form, but his running style may not be suited to this race. Following the Irish jumps trainers in this race usually pays dividends so I’ll take a punt on Pallasator for Gordon Elliott’s team.
*Prices correct at time of publishing