Welcome to today's Follow The Money from the last day of the Royal Ascot festival...
We start with our lay, which comes in the form of Telescope running in the 15:40 Hardwicke Stakes over 12 furlongs who has drifted out from a low of 2.111/10 to 2.89/5. Sir Michael Stoute's five year old won this race last year by seven lengths but those with good observational skills will have noticed that the 2014 renewal was a weaker one than today. Another factor to bear in mind is the form of the Stoute runners at Royal Ascot this week, which has to be a worry. He has had 13 runners including two favourites and they have all finished outside the places, indeed three have even pulled up.
He has had winners at Ripon and Leicester but that isn't what the yard would aspire to. If you follow the market drift and lay Telescope you will have two improving four year olds on your side in the form of Postponed and Eagle Top, with John Gosden's son of Pivotal a winner over course and distance last season in the King Edward VII Stakes, a Group 2 like this race. In light of all this, we're recommending a lay Telescope.
Next on the card comes the 16:20 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 6f where there has been a positive move for Due Diligence - backed from 11.010/1 in to 8.07/1. Aidan O'Brien's four year old finished second in this race last year behind the now retired Slade Power and was slightly unlucky being impeded close to home and also carried right by Music Master (re-opposing today) earlier in the race. He suffered a setback after that with a pelvis hairline fracture which meant he was not seen until April this year when needing the run and running without the tongue-tie. The tongue-tie had been first used in this race last year, seemingly bringing about improvement, and is back on today. Connections of the lightly-raced colt appear to have done a comprehensive appraisal of this race and backed the horse accordingly.
Our last selection comes in the big field sprint handicap, the 17:00 Wokingham Stakes, where we have been keeping a close eye on the market move of Watchable - 17.016/1 in to 13.012/1. David O'Meara pitched this five year old into the Buckingham Palace Stakes over 7f on only his fourth start where he finished third of 28 and followed this up with his only other run at Ascot by finishing third again, this time of 29, in the International Stakes proving that big field handicaps hold no fear.
He is drawn 1 which, could be an issue, but there is plenty of pace drawn nearby and I would hope that he could track Rene Mathis, as his best runs have come when racing prominently. David O'Meara has given the son of Pivotal 48 days off which is encouraging as he has run well fresh previously so with these positives he has to rank as a back today.
Lay Telescope @ 2.89/5 in the 15:40 at Royal Ascot
Back Due Diligence @ 8.07/1 in the 16:20 at Royal Ascot
Back Watchable @ 13.012/1 in the 17:00 at Royal Ascot