The ground may have still been holding on day five, but it didn’t stop a terrific show of speed. Two major six-furlong sprints were the main draw on the final day of this amazing meeting.
Saturday provided a seven-race card, with three more Group races taking place. Champion jockey and trainer honours were also on the line as the royal meeting came to a fascinating close
Royal Ascot Day 5 – Saturday 19th June 2021
Day five of Royal Ascot 2021 featured two important six-furlong sprints. The Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the Wokingham Stakes, a top Heritage Handicap, featured during the afternoon.
The Jersey Stakes and the Hardwicke Stakes also provided Group action, with the youngsters kicking things off. The Chesham Stakes is an important juvenile event, with a potential Guineas contender landing the race.
2.30 – Chesham Stakes (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (2yo) 7f
|1st||Point Lonsdale||10/11 Fav||A P O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2nd||Reach For The Moon||11/1||John & Thady Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|3rd||Great Max||15/2||Michael Bell||James Doyle|
This race is only for those by certain sires. These potential one-mile and middle-distance horses of the future really needed to battle to the line in the conditions too.
New Science would have been a major force on fast ground, but the favourite was very strong. Point Lonsdale in fact had attracted at least one major bet before the off in excess of £300,000, though that backer was made to sweat before collecting.
Ryan Moore had to use all his considerable strength and skill to get his mount home. He got there by a half-length in the end from 11/1 shot Reach For The Moon. The two had entered into a concerted battle, pulling clear of the third-placed horse. A great start to the day.
3.05 – Jersey Stakes (Group 3) (CLASS 1) (3yo) 7f
|1st||Creative Force||5/1 JFav||Charlie Appleby||James Doyle|
|2nd||Naval Crown||5/1 JFav||Charlie Appleby||William Buick|
|3rd||Vadream||28/1||Charlie Fellowes||Jamie Spencer|
Before Royal Ascot, Charlie Appleby and his two main jockeys had a very tough choice to make. By all accounts, Creative Force and Naval Crown appeared inseparable in terms of ability going into the Jersey Stakes despite coming from very different preps.
Will Buick decided to stick with 2000 Guineas fourth Naval crown, his best man James Doyle taking the ride on Creative Force. The market also couldn’t split these two as they crashed out of the gates as 5/1 joint-favourites.
The pair also came from very different draws, but ultimately found each other a furlong out. After a terrific battle, Creative Force just came out on top and lead home a 1-2 for the stable.
Vadream did well to run third, while well-fancied Mutasaabeq was poor but may not have handled the ground.
3.40 – Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) 1m4f
|1st||Wonderful Tonight||5/1||David Menuisier||William Buick|
|2nd||Broome||9/4 Fav||A P O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|3rd||Hukum||8/1||Owen Burrows||Jim Crowley|
While this is a fine race in its own right, the Hardwicke is often a great trial for the King George back over the same course and distance at the end of July. Given the soft ground however, the 2021 renewal was also a nice prep for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Despite being described as only 85% fit, excellent filly Wonderful Tonight showed her class once again. She was terrific on the soft ground at Ascot the previous autumn, and repeated the trick at the royal meeting.
The win was visually very pleasing and the form rock-solid, Broome and Hukum following her home who were both very smart horses. The win was also a welcome one for William Buick who’d ridden brilliantly all week.
The Hardwicke was blighted by five non-runners owing to the ground. It’s hard to say what the likes of Logician or Mogul would have done on faster ground, but there was no taking away what Wonderful Tonight achieved.
4.20 – Diamond Jubilee Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) 6f
|1st||Dream Of Dreams||3/1 Fav||Sir Michael Stoute||Ryan Moore|
|2nd||Glen Shiel||7/1||Archie Watson||Hollie Doyle|
|3rd||Art Power||7/2||Tim Easterby||Silvestre De Sousa|
It’s not often things work out quite this nicely in horse racing. Having finished second in both 2019 and 2020, Dream Of Dreams finally got his Diamond Jubilee win.
Having been patiently ridden by Ryan Moore, Sir Michael Stoute’s seven-year-old stayed on strongly. He hit the front with just 100 yards to go and was ridden out to score.
Archie Watson trained the runner-up in a Group 1 six-furlong race for the second time this week. After Dragon Symbol’s disqualification in the Commonwealth Cup, Glen Shiel was superb under Hollie Doyle.
The only disappointment arguably was the performance of Nahaarr. Having been well fancied, the Ayr Gold Cup winner was only seven in this race but clearly found the ground too soft. Starman didn’t run in the end who may well have gone off favourite.
5.00 – Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+) 6f
|1st||Rohaan||8/1||David Evans||Shane Kelly|
|2nd||Fresh||15/2||James Fanshawe||Kieran Shoemark|
|3rd||King’s Lynn||3/1 Fav||Andrew Balding||Ryan Moore|
|4th||Chiefofchiefs||14/1||Charlie Fellowes||Jamie Spencer|
David Evans’s Rohaan is the archetypal improver and he showed that again in the Wokingham. After receiving his first handicap mark late last year of just 55, Rohaan won six times on the way to Royal Ascot and had to compete in this race off an official rating of 112.
Despite that and being a little slowly away, he picked his way through the field to win yet again. His victory by a neck from strong form horse Fresh was thrilling and huge for his trainer.
Third-placed King’s Lynn was perhaps too far back once again. Only four days earlier, Andrew Balding’s runner had finished a strong seventh in the King’s Stand. It was still a great day for the trainer and Ryan Moore.
A horse improving more than four-and-a-half stone is a very rare sight. Rohaan has simply been wonderful from late 2020 right up to the royal meeting, providing David Evans with some well-deserved success in the highest profile event of all.
5.35 – Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (3yo) 1m2f
|1st||Foxes Tales||13/2||Andrew Balding||Oisin Murphy|
|2nd||Visualisation||16/1||Joseph O’Brien||Declan McDonagh|
|3rd||Irish Legend||22/1||Hugo Palmer||Colin Keane|
In winning this race, trainer Andrew Balding and jockey Oisin Murphy confirmed themselves as champions for the week. It was a terrific effort by both, Murphy in particular showing his true class throughout the whole meeting.
Foxes Tales was a very good winner in the end. On just his fourth start, he stayed on to score here by 2¼ lengths. Visualisation and Irish Legend were both underrated beforehand, proving that with placed finishes.
There was another disappointment in this race, again most likely because of the soft ground. Roger Varian’s
Alfaadhel looked a really good prospect when winning at Chester and Lingfield. This time around, the three-year-old could only manage ninth place. He was perhaps another casualty of Thursday night’s rain.
6.10 – Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions Race) (CLASS 2) (4yo+) 2m5f
|1st||Stratum||4/1||W P Mullins||Ryan Moore|
|2nd||Calling The Wind||40/1||Richard Hughes||David Egan|
|3rd||The Grand Visir||17/2||Ian Williams||Richard Kingscote|
The curtain was brought down on Royal Ascot 2021 with the longest race of all. The near two-and-three-quarter-mile Queen Alexandra Stakes was always likely to be at the mercy of a jumps trainer, and so it proved.
Willie Mullins’s Stratum, a previous Cesarewitch Handicap winner, saw the trip out really well. It was slightly disappointing to see Chester Cup hero Falcon Eight back in ninth place as the well-backed favourite, but we can take nothing away from the winner.
Royal Ascot 2021 really did have a bit of everything. There was quick ground and slow ground, returning winners and new stars. As for variation; the number of jockeys riding their first ever Royal Ascot winners was large and was very welcome for the sport.
There was arguably no more variation than in the stallion ranks however, and that’s even better for horse racing. Frankel was champion sire with three winners, but the fact that 28 different stallions each produced a Royal Ascot winner during the week showed the diversity and health of the breeding ranks and was a terrific sign for the future.
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