The obvious starting point when searching for the winner of the Listed Chesham Stakes over 7f is who is representing Adian O’Brien, with the master handler responsible for the previous two scorers. In fact, he has landed four of the previous six renewals. Port Lonsdale scorched to success last season as an odds-on shot and a likely fate could await his challenger in 2022, with the once-raced Alfred Munnings. He made the perfect start to his career with an effortless and striking four-and-a-half-length triumph at Leopardstown, looking the ultimate professional. He’s a half-brother to Snowfall out of a Group Three-winning half-sister to Found, so is bred to be something special. He rates the standout in the race but with little value to be had at those prohibitive odds another who could go well at a bigger price is FAISAL ROAD for the John and Thady Gosden stable. The grey Kodiac youngster ran out a determined winner on debut at Yarmouth, ahead of a pair of subsequent scorers, including the reopposing Finn’s Charm, who thrashed his rivals by over eight lengths at Musselburgh. The selection is out of a 1m2f winner and should have no trouble with the rise in trip.
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NOBLE TRUTH is a confident wager in the 7f G3 Jersey Stakes. Trainer Charlie Appleby is already having a stellar season with victories in the UK, Irish and French Guineas and trained the winner of this contest last season too. The son of top-class mile Kingman, Noble Truth reappeared with an impressive wide-margin success in Listed company at Newmarket. He made all the running that day and could have an abundance of improvement to come after a gelding operation. He’s also clear on the official ratings, appearing to have a hugely progressive profile.
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The G2 Hardwicke Stakes is likely to be won by the favourite, Hurricane Lane, reappearing after an excellent third in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp last October. He has to prove his fitness for the first time out after that break but is clearly the best horse in the line-up, 6lb ahead of his rivals on official ratings. It is expected to be somewhat of a procession for him in a weaker Group Two but a chance is taken at a big price to hit the frame. The progressive LAYFAYETTE shouldn’t be underestimated after completing a hat-trick in the G2 Mooresbridge Stakes over 1m2f. He’s a winner of this trip and scored with something in hand last time, with the expectation of further progress granted a decent pace to aim at. It would be no surprise if Noel Meade’s five-year-old ran on strongly at the finish as he’s arriving in peak form.
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This season’s G1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes over 6f has been renamed in honour of Her Majesty The Queen. HOME AFFAIRS could give James McDonald a third Royal Ascot winner of the week, following success onboard Native Strip and Dark Shift thus far. The selection is top-rated on the official figures and is already a dual Group One scorer in his short career. In fact, the son of I Am Invincible beat the aforementioned Native Strip in the G1 Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington in February. That form couldn’t have been better advertised following the latter’s easy four-and-a-half-length success in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday. Home Affairs is likely to blast away from the stalls and prove the best. Another Australian challenger who could reach a place is ARTORIUS under the excellent Jamie Spencer. He boasts a superb strike-rate on the Ascot straight track and will be picking up the pieces late on, with his mount a strong stayer at this distance.
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As ever, an ultra-competitive Wokingham Stakes Handicap over 6f. There are a host of potentially well handicapped individuals who could fight out the finish and prove themselves future Group performers. A chance is taken of handicap debutant QUARANTINE DREAMS for the Ken Condon stable. The son of Make Believe has kept strong company in his previous five runs, including three straight Listed juvenile starts last season. He’s shaped with immense promise in both outings this term over 5f, running on well after being outpaced in the Listed Sole Power Stakes at Naas last month. The stiff 6f is expected to suit as a half-brother to winners Parkers Hill and Chiavari, who both scored over further. He ran one place behind a subsequent winner in a Listed event, Logo Hunter (second) ran downfield but in the top grade earlier in the week, while the winner has since won the G2 Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly and is officially rated 105. The selection looks to have a few pounds in hand on first handicap start, which he will need to be in such a close-knit affair.
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FALLING SHADOW is the pick in a tricky handicap over 1m2f. He got off the mark on third career outing, after being disqualified when first passed the post at Wolverhampton previously but had that stripped from his CV after a prohibitive substance was found. He settled his Newbury success in easy style after travelling powerfully throughout. Interestingly, Charlie Appleby gave him a break and has presumably targeted this subsequently. He could easily develop into a pattern performer and yet makes his handicap debut from an opening mark of 92.
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CALLING THE WIND rates an each-way selection in the Royal Ascot finale for Richard Hughes and David Egan. The lightly raced six-year-old looks to have been primed for this assignment following a comeback fourth in the Listed Tapster Stakes at Goodwood over 1m4f. That trip wouldn’t have been ideal and looked like a prep run. It’s expected that the fine effort should have brought him on enough to go close in this and he boasts course form as a winner here over 1m6f and an excellent second in this event last season. The son of Authorized is a consistent type who will relish returning to this stamina-sapping race. The likely favourite – Trueshan – surely won’t participate unless the heavens open. Wordsworth is a classy operator, rated 109, and looks the most likely candidate against the field.
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📅 When is Day 5 of Royal Ascot? / Saturday, 18th June from 1:30pm
🏟 Where is Day 5 of Royal Ascot? / Ascot Racecourse (Berkshire)
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