Friday 18 June 2021 5:11 pm

Grand finish to a gruelling Queen Alexandra

Bill Esdaile is City A.M. racing editor and managing director of Square in the Air.

A GOOD few more millimetres of rain and a hundred or so hooves will have hit the track come the time of the final meeting of the week, the 2m5½f Queen Alexandra Stakes (6:10pm).

You need to be on the lookout for rock-solid stayers with form on testing ground and THE GRAND VISIR stands out as an obvious contender.

The seven-year-old will be making his tenth start over two miles or further, six of which he’s finished in the first three.

Narrowly denied in this contest by a neck 12 months ago off just a pound lower, and previously a winner of the Ascot Stakes back in 2019, he tends to save his best for Ascot and should be right in the mix again.

Chester Cup winner Falcon Eight will be a popular choice with Frankie Dettori in the saddle again.

Dermot Weld will have carefully plotted him out for this contest and he has to be respected, but his price of 7/2 looks very skinny in a race of this nature.

STAG HORN is the other one to play here and putting him in a Swinger bet with the World Pool at could be the way to go.

The Swinger requires you to pick any two of the first three home and I think Archie Watson’s son of Golden Horn has every chance of being in the mix.

He will relish the soft ground and remains open to a bit of improvement over this marathon trip.

Earlier on the card comes the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes (3:40pm) where ILARAAB is fancied at 6/1.

It’s only been 12 months since he broke his maiden at Thirsk, but like many of William Haggas’ middle-distance performers, he’s ultra-progressive and is now looking for a seventh straight win.

He’s another that’s proven on the ground and looks worth playing against the top two in the market.


Ilaraab e/w         3:40pm Royal Ascot

The Grand Visir e/w        6:10pm Royal Ascot

The Grand Visir, Stag Horn (Swinger)        6:10pm Royal Ascot