Royal Ascot - At The Races

16:20 Ascot 24 Jun 2017

Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) (Class 1) (4YO plus)

Winner £340,260 - 19 ran

4

6f

Good to Firm (Firm in places)

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Weighed In - Result Stands

Last year’s race

Twilight Son
  • Winner: Twilight Son
  • Jockey: R L Moore
  • Trainer: H Candy
  • Owner: Mr Godfrey Wilson & Cheveley Park Stud
  • Age: 4 Weight: 9st 3lb
  • Starting Price: 7/2
  • Season Form Figures: 5
  • Previous Best: 2nd - British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1), Ascot (Oct 2015)

Previous Royal Ascot form has been a useful pointer as ten of the last 21 winners had been placed at worst at this meeting before. Whether it is the Berkshire course that brings the best out of such contenders or the fact their connections have readied them for this particular week is a difficult one to weigh up but I suspect there is something in both arguments. I wouldn’t be mad keen on a seasonal debutant however as over 40 years have expired since we last witnessed one of those.

Outside of previous Royal Ascot form, the Duke Of York Stakes has been the best guide as since 1992, nine Diamond Jubilee Stakes winners ran in that Group 2 event on the Knavesmire over the same trip with six finishing first or second before striking here. I’m not sure what to make of the Duke Of York at all this year though as the favourite, Brando, broke a blood vessel so that run can be forgiven and as it was run on soft ground and, in a Placepot-busting race, the 1-2-3 started at 14/1, 14/1 and 25/1.

It was Tasleet who came out on top dropping back to sprinting after a truncated season in 2016 where he had just one run after winning the Greenham when it was switched to Chelmsford. They appeared to go a good gallop on the testing ground so I think it suited him being ridden from off the pace and having winning form over further so many will fancy Magical Memory to reverse placings at Ascot.

The runner-up finished a close-up fourth (only beaten half a length) in last season’s Diamond Jubilee after winning the Duke Of York. The race didn’t pan out well for him at all as he ridden off the pace in what could have been a much stronger pace, and challenged wide making a big move between 3f out and 1f out and that big move told in the closing stages. Royal Ascot has been the plan all winter and Charlie Hills would have been delighted to this return having had a setback in the spring, and you couldn’t give him away in the market beforehand. The Tin Man (fifth) was expected to the need the run first time out and under a penalty and that’s the way it looked travelling okay until the business end and then weakening out of it.

Previous Royal Ascot form has been a useful pointer as ten of the last 21 winners had been placed at worst at this meeting before.

As many as six favourites won between 1989-1997 but we had to wait until Starspangledbanner put an end to the 13-year losing run of the market leader when winning as 13/2 joint-favourite in 2010 and three more favourites have also justified their position as market leader since. But it has also been a race in which to chance some fancy-priced horses lately as nine of the last 17 winners started at a double-figure price making this by far the hardest of the Group 1 race at the Royal Meeting. Quite why this should be the case is surprising because Group and Listed race winners with a victory earlier in the season have won 13 of the last 22 renewals.

Starspangledbanner was formerly trained in Australia and was having his second start for Aidan O’Brien but Australian-trained sprinters won in 2003 (Choisir) and 2012 (Black Caviar) in addition to Takeover Target finishing third attempting to add to his King’s Stand win from earlier in the week and then went on to finish second 12 months later. Star Witness also finished third having finished second in the King’s Stand four days earlier in 2011. Brazen Beau was their big hope in 2015 and finished second to the American-trained Undrafted. Two other American-trained horses have hit the frame since 2009.

It is interesting that Sir Henry Cecil believed that 6f at Ascot races more like 6.5f so maybe there is something in the fact that only Kingsgate Native had not previously won over 6f prior to his Diamond Jubilee victory since 1990. Last year’s winner, Twilight Son, ran exclusively over 6f throughout his career but 13 of the last 15 winners had run over at least 7f at some point. There can a huge difference between five and six furlongs at top level for many horses, as both trips have their specialists and the majority of horses more at home over the minimum trip tend to get caught out over an extra 220 yards at Group 1 standard.

Now that the King’s Stand and Diamond Jubilee take place on the first and final day, more sprinters take in both races and four of the last 14 Diamond Jubilee Stakes winners ran in the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday though none since 2008. Kingsgate Native was only tenth on Tuesday before popping up here at 33/1 eight years ago, Les Arcs also ran down the field in the 2006 King’s Stand Stakes before also winning here at 33/1, Cape Of Good Hope finished fourth in the 5f race before going three places better over this extra furlong in 2005 and Choisir completed in the double in 2003. In addition, two of the last seven runners-up (Cannonball and Monsieur Chevalier) also ran in the King’s Stand Stakes earlier in the week.

At a glance summary

Positives
Won or placed at Royal Ascot before
Contested the Duke of York Stakes (especially if finishing first or second)
Ran in the King’s Stand Stakes earlier in the week (regardless of finishing position)
Won a Group or Listed race earlier in the season
Trained in Australia
Negatives
Not won over 6f

Previous Winners
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2016 Good to Soft 9 Twilight Son 3 4 9 3 - 11112-5 38 days H Candy (42 miles) R L Moore 7/2 1:13.84
2015 Good to Firm 15 Undrafted 6 5 9 3 - 1433-32 50 days W A Ward L Dettori 14/1 1:12.69
2014 Good to Firm 14 Slade Power 4 5 9 4 - 10210-1 28 days E Lynam (210 miles) W M Lordan 7/2 1:12.40
2013 Good to Firm 18 Lethal Force 15 4 9 4 - 42130-2 38 days C Cox (43 miles) A Kirby 11/1 1:13.36
2012 Good 14 Black Caviar 15 6 9 1 - 11-1111 42 days P G Moody L Nolen 1/6 1:14.10
2011 Soft 16 Society Rock 3 4 9 4 - 1227-02 42 days J Fanshawe (88 miles) Pat Cosgrave 25/1 1:17.22
2010 Good to Firm 23 Starspangledbanner 4 4 9 4 - 41-4135 38 days A P O'Brien (399 miles) Johnny Murtagh 13/2 1:12.57
2009 Good to Firm 14 Art Connoisseur 4 3 8 11 - 11128-7 66 days M Bell (88 miles) T Queally 20/1 1:14.90
2008 Good to Firm 17 Kingsgate Native 3 3 8 11 - 2212-0 4 days J Best (70 miles) S Sanders 33/1 1:13.33
2007 Good to Soft 22 Soldier's Tale 11 6 9 4 - 1114-33 16 days J Noseda (88 miles) Johnny Murtagh 9/1 1:14.51