WITH seven victories from the past 11 renewals and 10 in total, it’s safe to say Sir Michael Stoute is the king of the Hardwicke Stakes (3.40pm).
This afternoon he bids to enhance his impressive Royal Ascot record even further with DARTMOUTH, who won this race 12 months ago for Her Majesty the Queen.
Dartmouth got the better of Aidan O’Brien’s Highland Reel to land the prize that day and warmed up for this with a win in the Yorkshire Cup on his latest start. He looks unopposable at 2/1 with Coral.
The only concern is that both of those wins came on slow ground, but he’s the classiest individual in the line-up by far and has won on this quicker surface in the past.
Wings Of Desire would be a danger on his second in last summer’s King George, although he disappointed after that and is making his seasonal reappearance.
I fancy Stoute to go into this contest with a smile on his face as he holds a strong chance of landing the Listed Wolferton Handicap (3.05pm) with KHAIRAAT.
His promise was clear for everyone to see when finishing second on debut at Salisbury last July and he’s made no mistake building on that since.
This son of Shamardal has gone on to land three races in a row, with victory on his seasonal reappearance at Chester following last year’s wins at Pontefract and Doncaster.
He destroyed the field by more than four lengths on the Roodee and there’s every reason to believe he can continue improving for connections.
Conditions look absolutely ideal and I can’t resist backing him to win again at 7/2 with 188BET.
Khairaat 3.05pm Royal Ascot
Dartmouth 3.40pm Royal Ascot