Diamond-Encrusted Undrafted To Go One Better
Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Sprint fans are in for a real treat at Royal Ascot on Saturday when two big 6f events take place – the first of which is the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (4.20).
The Aussies Are Back
A number of foreign sprinters have been successful in this down the years, boding well for the Australian raider, Brazen Beau (11/4), who was last seen winning a Group 1 at Flemington in March (6f, good). That career best suggests there is more to come and the three-month break worked the oracle for previous Aussie winners at Royal Ascot.
Weld Could Have A Diamond
Next on the list is Dermot Weld’s, Mustajeeb (9/2), a Group 3 winner at this meeting last year over 7f, who made a successful drop back to 6f when landing a Group 2 at the Curragh last month (6f, yielding). That 1l defeat of the solid yardstick, Maarek, puts Mustajeeb in the picture here, and he may still have more to come as a sprinter.
There may be some backers, however, who think the first two in the betting are short enough in such a big-field sprint, hence why each-way support has arrived for the other Aussie raider, Wandjina (12/1). A dual Group 1 winner over 7f/1m during the spring when displaying tons of speed, this drop back to 6f may see even more improvement.
More Ascot Success For Americans?
Having already visited Ascot’s winner’s enclosure earlier this week, trainer Wesley Ward will fancy his chances of another success with his American sprinter, Undrafted (14/1). Some punters may remember this 5yo from last summer when he was a 2l fourth behind Slade Power in Newmarket’s July Cup (6f, good to soft). The ground went against him that day under Frankie Dettori, who has been keen to get on him once more.
Of the last 10 Diamond Jubilee winners…
10 were 3-6yo’s
9 were officially rated 111 or higher
9 were males – Black Caviar was the exception
9 were non-British bred
9 had yet to win a Group 1
8 ran during the last 45 days
While the foreign challenge remains strong, there is domestic hope via the 7yo, Tropics (10/1), who has run some big race on the Ascot straight, and while only still a Group 3 winner after 24 career outings, he could make the frame.
Can Diligence Go One Better?
But what of that man, Aidan O’Brien, who will be hoping his Due Diligence (10/1) can go one better than when runner-up in this 12 months ago? Beaten just over 1l on that occasion, he never again in 2014, prior to a pipe-opener over 7f a couple of months ago. He has the ability, but will need a big return to form if figuring here.
The chances of Brazen Beau are respected, but with the ground likely to be on the firm side, Wesley Ward’s, Undrafted, deserves another chance to show what he can do on these shores having found the mud against him when a creditable fourth in last year’s July Cup. At 14/1, he is excellent each-way value.