Listen to this article
Four days in, so just one more call on the little grey matter, the liver and the wallet and Royal Ascot will be over for another year (and as for Royal Ascot at York, it’ll never to be seen again).
Ascot Saturday has traditionally been an anti-climax, but the way the races have been spread around means this card has just as much quality as the rest.
The best race is the Hardwicke Stakes and if he is at his tip-top finest Doyen is one of classiest horses you will see any day at any meeting. When he won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes last summer he looked untouchable. Since, he has been un-backable. Will the real Doyen turn up? It might be worth a gamble.
In the Golden Jubilee Stakes, Somnus is the percentage call. There may be a better horse in the race, but the draw is all against the likes of Etlaala. Somnus just went down to Tante Rose last year and is a decent horse in his own right, winning two Group races in France last term. Coming from stall four he has the odds stacked in his favour.
If you still have funds and an appetite for a punt Al Eile looks like a banker in the Queen Alexandra Stakes. Last time out this horse was only three lengths away from three-time Irish St.Leger winner Vinnie Roe over 1m6f. He will see out this marathon trip better than most and all of his best form, over jumps and on the flat, is on sharp courses. Get on.
3:05 Royal Ascot (at York) Doyen (each-way)
3:45 Royal Ascot (at York) Somnus (win)
5:30 Royal Ascot (at York) Al Eile (win)