THERE are a whopping eight races to get our teeth into on the final day of Royal Ascot on Saturday.
Now that the rain seems to have gone, the ground will be drying out but it will still be pretty hard work.
The Queen Mary Stakes (1.15pm) looks at the mercy of Aidan O’Brien and his filly Most Beautiful.
However, she is very short at around 6/4 and with the ground the way it is, and the daughter of War Front may be best watched.
The colts take the stage in the Coventry Stakes (1.50pm) and the O’Brien battalion again look to have a strong hand with Admiral Nelson.
He looked useful at the Curragh last week and the son of Kingman is arguably a safer proposition on the ground than Most Beautiful.
Instead, I’m going to take a chance on in-form Roger Varian’s DARK LION at 12/1 with Betfred (four places each-way).
The son of Dark Angel should be fine on the ground and was very green on his debut at Newmarket before the penny finally dropped.
We have already seen this week that two-year-olds can step up dramatically from their first run, notably Tactical who won Wednesday’s Windsor Castle Stakes on the back of defeat on debut.
Varian has his team in great fettle this week and Dark Lion looks a sporting each-way bet against the favourite.
Quadrilateral looks the one to beat in the Coronation Stakes (2.25pm) although she will benefit from stepping up in trip in time.
The testing ground will also be in her favour as it will make it more of a test for these three-year-old fillies.
She is pretty short though at 9/4 and this could be another race just to watch.
The colts get their turn in the next, with Pinatubo and Wichita locking horns again in the St James’s Palace Stakes (3.00pm) after finishing second and third behind Kameko in the 2000 Guineas.
That sets the bar pretty high from a form perspective, but both had hard races that day and I’m prepared to take them on.
I was disappointed that PALACE PIER didn’t run at Newmarket and instead opted for a softer race on the same day at Newcastle.
Trainer John Gosden may be rewarded for his patience however as this brilliant son of Kingman may benefit from his quieter preparation.
He should be fine on the ground and looks a colt of serious quality.
Frankie Dettori takes the ride and the 4/1 freely available looks the value call.
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (3.35 pm) is always a race I look forward to and this year is no different.
Irish raider Sceptical could easily be the new king on the sprinting block but is very short at the head of the market at 2/1 despite being on the rapid upgrade.
If any more rain falls, I’d seriously fancy the chances of One Master who was only narrowly denied here in the Champions Sprint last October.
However, at the prices I can’t help but have a few quid each-way at 25/1 on SPEAK IN COLOURS.
He goes well at Ascot having finished fourth in this 12 months ago and sixth in the Champions Sprint.
Six furlongs on ground with cut in it is ideal and last week’s spin over seven furlongs will hopefully have put him spot on for this.
The Wokingham Stakes (4.10 pm) looks as tricky a puzzle to solve as always.
It often pays to look for the potential Group horse lurking in a handicap and Bielsa looks like he could tick that box.
I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off backing him, but I will personally sit the race out.
The final race on the card is the Queen Alexandra Stakes (4.40pm) which is incidentally the longest race on the British flat racing calendar.
Alan King won the Ascot Stakes earlier in the week and must have a massive chance of landing the last with WHO DARES WINS.
He is a classy dual purpose stayer, who has run well in races like the Chester Cup in the past.
The ground won’t inconvenience him and the 7/2 available with William Hill should be snapped up.
Dark Lion 12/1 e/w 1.15pm Royal Ascot
Palace Pier 4/1 2.25pm Royal Ascot
Speak In Colours 25/1 e/w 3.35pm Royal Ascot
Who Dares Wins 7/2 4.40pm Royal Ascot