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Royal Ascot ITV7 – Day 5 Picks For Saturday’s Action

The ITV7 is set to be worth £100,000 to the winner on Saturday. With all seven races from Royal Ascot’s final day, Joe Napier guides you through each contest with his selections.

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Race 1 – 2.30pm Royal Ascot – Chesham Stakes

Although the yard’s two-year-olds have not fired so far this week, BEDTIME STORY won very likeably on debut despite not being the Aidan O’Brien first string that day. She hit the line strongly over 7½f, so the trip holds no fears, and it can be pay to have stamina for further in this contest. O’Brien has sent out four winners and two runner-ups in the last eight renewals and relies solely on this daughter of Frankel this year, which is a clue in itself as to their faith in her.

Chesham Stakes (Listed Race)

Race 2 – 3.05pm Royal Ascot – Hardwicke Stakes

Continuous took a while to find his best form last season, and while that may have been simply due to him improving as the year went on, he could prove vulnerable here off 265 days off. He is opposed with CANDLEFORD, who won the 2022 Duke Of Edinburgh handicap here by a yawning margin and has since been placed in Group company at the track too. He may still be improving as a six-year-old based on his Listed win in Ireland most recently, in which he conceded weight to all rivals, and that form has been boosted since. With more to come over this track and trip, he is a livewire outsider to consider.

Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)

Race 3 – 3.45pm Royal Ascot – Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes

In a year in which superstars do not look to be in abundance, MITBAAHY may well be gambled into favouritism before the off for the only Group 1 on Saturday. Charlie Hills and Jamie Spencer combined to land an enormous shock with Khaadem in this a year ago, also in Mrs Fitri Hay’s silks, but Spencer jumps ship to this five-year-old this term, primarily due to his last gasp Group 2 success at the Curragh most recently. That showed that 6f is now his ideal trip, and the course and jockey combination are perfect for hold-up tactics, off which he excels. He could swoop past them all in the shadow of the post.

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)

Race 4 – 4.25pm Royal Ascot – Jersey Stakes

Although River Tiber and Haatem are well clear on form and ratings, this race could get complicated with a 20-strong field, in which the pair are drawn in 7 and 15, so could get split. What pace there is in the race looks to be drawn low, so River Tiber may receive a good tow into the race, although he races prominently too. Should that side not be inconvenienced by a track bias, then NEVER SO BRAVE may just be able to capitalise, as he can sneak across to that half from stall 11 if there is a split. 

He also has the potential for significant improvement: he was twice second to Group 1 winners in novice and maiden company last term and has made light work of two 7f assignments this year. Whether he is yet a Group quality horse is yet to be seen, but he should be in time, and it is distinctly possible that he is already poised to challenge in a race of this nature.

Jersey Stakes (Group 3)

Race 5 – 5.05pm Royal Ascot – Wokingham Stakes

A devilishly tricky puzzle as the Wokingham always is. Saint Lawrence could well go back-to-back off just 3lb higher than a year ago, but his form has been a long way short of ideal since September. Similarly, MUMS TIPPLE, who receives a 7lb swing at the weights with that winner having finished a close fourth a year ago, looks poised to pounce. His last three runs at Ascot have seen him record form figures of 224, and despite good efforts at Kempton and Newmarket this year, his mark has continued to tumble. He had no chance after a slow start at Epsom last time out, but a return to this track looks a positive and he finds himself towards the foot of the weights with a fighting chance.

Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)

Race 6 – 5.40pm Royal Ascot – Golden Gates Stakes

Ready preference is for PALACE GREEN, who has shaped very promisingly in his two starts this season. The inside draw is a slight negative, but far from a disaster, and he is a form standout. His win at Kempton has been boosted by the fourth, who is now rated 85 having finished nearly ten lengths adrift of the selection off level weights. Richard Hughes’ charge is rated 90 for this assignment after shaping very positively at York, fading to third despite cruising through the field over 1m4f in what has proven a strong race in recent years, and a return to 1m2f looks ideal for him to challenge.

Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap)

Race 7 – 6.15pm Royal Ascot – Queen Alexandra Stakes

Dawn Rising will no doubt make a decent fist of winning this again, but he may struggle to confirm that running with RUN FOR OSCAR, who was third a year ago with seemingly loads left in the tank after failing to navigate a clear passage up the straight. With better luck in running and a more canny ride from Maxime Guyon, who replaces Jim Crowley this year, he can make amends for that defeat, especially since his season has almost certainly been geared towards this race.

Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions Race)
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