Royal Ascot – preview final day

Bewitched can land the Golden Jubilee

Bewitched - can land the Golden Jubilee

The £400,000 Golden Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs (1200 metres) is the highlight of the fifth and final day of the 2011 Royal Ascot meeting.

Godolphin have warned that ante-post favourite Delegator will only run if the ground is suitable.

Runner-up to Sea The Stars in the 2009 2,000 Guineas, he ran out an easy winner on his first run over six furlongs (1200m) at York’s May meeting.

With Frankie Dettori suspended, Mickael Barzalona has been booked for the ride but with rain hitting Ascot on Thursday, Saeed bin Suroor has issued the proviso that he will only run on ground that suits.

Delegator is one of 17 declared for the contest, which sees 2008 winner Kingsgate Native line up, on the back of his sixth in the King’s Stand over five furlongs (1000m) on Tuesday. The six-year-old runs in the same colours as three-year-old Hooray, winner of the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last season.

Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park, assessing the pair, said: “The programme for three-year-old sprinters is difficult, but we know Hooray likes a bit of cut in the ground and hopefully she might get that on Saturday.

“I thought five furlongs was Kingsgate Native’s best trip, but after Tuesday (King’s Stand) I think it’s probably six.

“He did this a few years ago. He ran down the field in the King’s Stand and won the Jubilee.”

Australian Star Witness, second in the King’s Stand, will try again over further, while fellow Antipodean challenger Hinchinbrook will not take his place as trainer Peter Moody reports him to be lame and the colt could now be retired.

Another three-year-old of interest is the Roger Varian-trained Elzaam, who returns to the Royal meeting in the hope of avenging an agonising nose defeat 12 months ago in the Coventry Stakes at the hands of Strong Suit, a winner again this week.

Varian said: “I think we’ve found the key to him now. He’s a very quick horse with a very good turn of foot. We tried him twice over seven furlongs and perhaps we were blunting his asset.

“His asset seems to be that he’s got a very deadly turn of foot off a fast pace on fast ground.”

Richard Hannon lets Monsieur Chevalier take his chance after the four-year-old finished 11th in the King’s Stand, when he was only beaten six lengths behind the winner Prohibit.

“He finished mid-division in the King’s Stand, but everything seemed to happen a bit quick for him over the five in top company, and in what is sure to be another fast-run race he’ll have an extra furlong to mow them down,” the trainer said.

Charles O’Brien’s Bewitched is the sole Irish challenger with Amico Fritz coming from France.

Aidan O’Brien’s Await The Dawn heads a field of 10 declared for The £100,000 Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. Run over one mile and four furlongs (2400 metres) the race is scheduled for 3.05pm.

The Group 2 event announced Harbinger on to the big stage 12 months ago and Sir Michael Stoute’s charge went on to win the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in spectacular fashion.

Await The Dawn has won four of his five starts, most recently landing the Huxley Stakes with the minimum of fuss at Chester and is currently hot favourite.

O’Brien said: “Everything has gone according to plan after Chester. He has only run over a mile and a quarter so far, but we have always liked him a lot.

“I think and hope (he is capable of stepping up), he is always a horse we have thought a lot of and we are looking forward to it.”

Dr Jim Hay and his wife, Fitri, part owner of the O’Brien-trained Ascot Gold Cup hero Fame And Glory, find themselves in opposition to Await The Dawn, with the Tom Tate-trained, Jamie Spencer-ridden Kings Gambit.

Dr Hay said: “It’s going to be very difficult for him up against Aidan’s horse. If he gets into the first three or four we’ll be over the moon. It won’t be for the lack of trying, that’s for sure.”

Roger Varian believes Laaheb has place claims at least as he won the Cumberland Lodge Stakes over the course and distance in September on good to soft ground.

“He seems very well at home and on the pick of his form he’d certainly go there with place claims anyway,” said Varian.

“I think he’ll run a nice race. He won’t mind if the ground is on the soft side.”

Godolphin are strongly represented with three runners. Saeed bin Suroor has Campanologist (Ted Durcan), no match for So You Think in Ireland on his last start and Passion For Gold (Mickael Barzalona), while Mahmood Al Zarooni runs Calvados Blues (Johnny Murtagh) who was third to Rewilding in the Sheema Classic.

At 5.25pm the £100,000 Wokingham Stakes over six furlongs (1200 metres) has attracted a staggering 28 runners so will be a punter’s nightmare.

However two horses dominate the betting, Deacon Blues and Hoof It, part owned by top golfer Lee Westwood. The Brit will not be at Ascot however as he will be striving to win his first Major title at the US Open in Maryland, where he too started favourite.

Making up the meeting is the Listed Chesham Stakes at 3.30pm over seven furlongs (1400 metres) and a long term target of Richard Hannon’s Fort Bastion. Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Doncaster winner Telwaar is another leading contender.

The meeting concludes with the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes and Queen Alexandra Stakes at 6pm and 6.35pm respectively.

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