Diamond Jubilee Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Ascot, Saturday 22nd June 2019

The undoubted highlight on the closing Saturday at Royal Ascot is one of the very best sprint races of the year as the 6f speedballs line-up for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Part of the British Champions Series, this is one of the most prestigious races of its type in the world and is regularly targeted by the crème de la crème of the British and Irish sprinters as well as those from further afield.

Invincible Army stood as the favourite earlier in the week but confirmation of Blue Point’s involvement has knocked him from his perch. Charlie Appleby’s horse is now in the hunt for a rare Royal Ascot double and we think he’s got every chance of pulling it off.

Top Tips

Blue Point to win @ 5/2

Sands of Mali each way @ 10/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

A huge total of £600,000 is on offer for this Group 1 contest held over a trip of 6f and set to be run on soft ground this year.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Soft 6f Group 1 £600,000 18 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

In the past 11 years, all winners bar Australian legend Black Caviar – who was six at the time of her victory – have been five years old or younger. Even then, it’s only by Northern Hemisphere standards she was considered six, back home in Australia the undefeated Mare was still counted as being a five-year-old.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2018 Merchant Navy 4/1 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2017 The Tin Man 9/2 James Fanshawe Tom Queally
2016 Twilight Son 7/2 Henry Candy Ryan Moore
2015 Undrafted 14/1 Wesley Ward Frankie Dettori
2014 Slade Power 7/2 Edward Lynam Wayne Lordan

Analysis: Several trying their luck again

Merchant Navy was retired to stud shortly after winning this race last year but many of the horses he beat have returned for another attempt. Every other runner finishing in the top five is among the declared names in fact: City Light (8/1), Bound For Nowhere (10/1), 2017 champion The Tin Man (10/1) and Projection (40/1). Age trends tell us the former two can still give this a decent crack but time does not appear to be on the side of the latter pair, now aged seven and six respectively. While a previous effort can be of no harm, the vast majority of Diamond Jubilee winners were making their race debuts (11 of 13).

Army not yet Invincible

One horse boasting some fine form this season is second favourite Invincible Army (9/2). The four-year-old began with a Listed win at Doncaster and followed it up with an even more eye-catching Duke Of York victory. Still, you’d be pushed to call James Tate’s horse invincible, or anything close to it just yet. In both races this season he’s avoided being pitted against any top tier sprinters so his good form is partly a result of that. You also have to be slightly concerned by the way he lost last year’s Commonwealth Cup, lacking the final furlong speed when given a clear run.

Blue Point raring to go again

The big question of will he or won’t he has finally been answered following Thursday morning’s declaration. King’s Stand Stakes hero Blue Point is all set for this test, with both Charlie Appleby and owner Sheikh Mohammed convinced he’s fit enough for a second run in the space of four days. With reports telling us he’s eating well and able to put in some light exercise, it’s hard not to be tempted by the five-year-old. The Shamardal speedster looked commanding as he brushed off the rapid Battaash in the King’s Stand and softer conditions this time shouldn’t be an issue.

Mali at home at Ascot

As underwhelming as Sands Of Mali was on his season return, the bay colt is not a horse you want to overlook here. He lacked pace at Hamilton earlier in the month but his Ascot record gives him a healthy amount of each way potential. His first appearance on the Berkshire course saw him finish just behind Eqtidaar in a fine Commonwealth Cup display last year. Later, despite lacking any sort of form, Richard Fahey’s colt won the British Champions Sprint Stakes as a 28/1 outsider. That was on soft going too so similar conditions this Saturday will be of real advantage to him.

Final Verdict: Blue Point to win

He’s never experienced such a short rest between races but if there’s anyone who can pull off a Royal Ascot double, it’s Blue Point. Unbeaten in his last four races, this five-year-old is truly one of the best sprinters on the planet right now and has the speed none of his rivals can match. We can however see Sands Of Mali running close, just as he did when half a length from Royal Ascot glory last year.

About

The Queen's Landau on Way to Royal Ascot

What used to be the Cork and Orrery Stakes became the far grander sounding Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2002. You’ll get no points for correctly guessing what inspired the change in title with that of course being Queen Elizabeth II’s 50th year on the throne. 10 years later and the Queen celebrated yet another anniversary, her Diamond Jubilee, with the name of this race updated accordingly. With Her Maj seemingly going stronger than ever there could be a few more name changes to come!

The elite bunch of sprinters that contest this Group 1 race make it fitting for such a royal title and it is far more appropriate than its original name. Called the All-Aged Stakes when first contested back in 1868, it would now be a misleading title with this race restricted to four-year-old’s and above since 2015. The creation of the Commonwealth Cup sparked this change although three-year-olds from the southern hemisphere are still eligible to compete.

The six furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes is one of just three British races to feature as part of the Global Sprint Challenge. It’s the middle of the three legs held in this country, coming after the King’s Stand Stakes run earlier at Royal Ascot but before Newmarket’s July Cup.

Watch out for the Aussies

With three-year-olds from the southern hemisphere still able to take part in this race, it’s something that should help maintain the steady Australian presence. Not only have horses from the other side of the planet been a somewhat regular feature in the Diamond Jubilee but they often make the most of their long journey. Several have gone on to win while others have secured a placed finish as you can see in the table below:

Top Australian Diamond Jubilee Stakes Horses: 2007 - 2018

Year Horse Position Runners SP
2018 Merchant Navy 1st 12 4/1
2016 Holler 7th 9 12/1
2015 Brazen Beau 2nd 15 7/2
2013 Sea Siren 8th 18 7/1
2012 Black Caviar 1st 14 1/6
2011 Star Witness 3rd 16 4/1
2010 Starspangledbanner 1st 24 13/2
2009 Sacred Kingdom 5th 14 4/1
2008 War Artist 2nd 17 8/1
2007 Takeover Target 2nd 21 8/1

Black Caviar Delivers, but Only Just

Black Caviar Statue in Nagambie, Australia

For weeks prior to the 2012 renewal of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Black Caviar found herself the focus of much media attention. The Australian-trained horse hadn’t lost any of her 22 starts Down Under, making quite the big name for herself in the process. Seeking to show off his horse to the world, trainer Peter Moody risked the long winning streak by giving his prized mare a test on foreign soil.

To ensure she arrived in London in good health, the then five-year-old wore a compression body suit during the journey following the recommendation of Olympic athlete Sally Pearson. There was no expense spared and the wondermare was fully expected to win with ease.

Due to her imposing record in Australia, the bookies took no chances on Black Caviar, pricing her as the 1/6 favourite to keep her unbeaten streak intact. Everything appeared to be going according to plan with 100 yards left to go as the mare enjoyed a full length’s advantage over the trailing pack. Jockey Luke Nolen inexplicably eased off though, allowing those behind to catch up.

Sensing the immediate danger, he began to push again as Black Caviar held on to win by a head. While Nolen received criticism for his showing, it was later revealed that Black Caviar tore two muscles during what was her sole appearance outside of Australia. The nail-biting race can be viewed here:

Winning Form not Essential

You might think that you need be back in the winning habit in order to secure gold in a high class race such as this one. This has long not been the case however with horses more often than not lacking a seasonal win before their Diamond Jubilee involvement.

Each of the last 15 champions made at least one appearance previously in the season but a mere three did enough to claim a win. Far more important than form it seems is a history of being up to Group standard. Only one horse since 2007 has managed to win this race having previously failed to claim a Group 1-3 title.

Diamond Jubilee Winner's Previous Group Wins: 2002 to 2018

Year Horse Group 1 Wins Group 2 Wins Group 3 Wins
2018 Merchant Navy 1 1 1
2017 The Tin Man 1 0 1
2016 Twilight Son 1 0 0
2015 Undrafted 0 0 1
2014 Slade Power 0 1 3
2013 Lethal Force 0 1 0
2012 Black Caviar 11 7 0
2011 Society Rock 0 0 0
2010 Starspangledbanner 2 0 1
2009 Art Connoisseur 0 1 0
2008 Kingsgate Native 1 0 0
2007 Soldier's Tale 0 0 1
2006 Les Arcs 0 0 0
2005 Cape Of Good Hope 1 0 0
2004 Fayr Jag 0 0 1
2003 Choisir 1 2 1
2002 Malhub 0 0 0

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