Timeform Radio Tip: Hawkwood to swoop at Ascot

Sir Michael Stoute can hit the mark with Sir John Hawkwood

Rory Delargy takes a look at the final day of Royal Ascot...

"He finished off well at Windsor last time, which will put him spot on for this, and he will be running on when the leaders have hit the wall.....If the early pace is overly strong then he will be advantaged, and isn't the worst outsider at the meeting by any means."

The final day of Royal Ascot week used to be a day for the common man, with racing "on the heath", but has become part of the Royal meeting since the Golden Jubilee, with the old Cork And Orrery becoming the Golden Jubilee, and latterly, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. It's certainly a richer experience these days, but often one which leaves attendees rather poorer.

Trying to find a winner in either the Diamond Jubilee or the Wokingham over the same C&D is little short of a nightmare, with any track bias often swinging like a pendulum between races, and anyone looking for winners on the straight track needs to factor such uncertainty into the equation. The most appealing bet for me in the former race is Sirius Prospect, simply because he looks certain to run his race, and while there are several who ought to have too much class if getting the breaks, his running style looks ideal for a race of this nature, and he appeals as the type to hit the frame at big odds. He needs a strong pace over this trip, and goes well at Ascot, finishing an excellent second in a C&D Group 2 in October.

His yard struggled for much of last year, but is enjoying a much better time in 2013, with 8 winners from just 42 runners on turf. He finished off well at Windsor last time, which will put him spot on for this, and he will be running on when the leaders have hit the wall. As I've said, he shouldn't be good enough to beat a few at the head of the market, but if the early pace is overly strong, then he will be advantaged, and isn't the worst outsider at the meeting by any means.

I fancy Sir John Hawkwood to spring something of a surprise in the Hardwicke. Sir Michael Stoute has done well over the years in this race, winning it 7 times, and regularly producing horses who had been well shy of top class as 3-y-o's to victory. Sir John Hawkwood looked promising enough last year, but needed a gelding operation in order to focus his attention, and has improved markedly this year, winning at Chester and York in the style of a pattern-class performer.  Some will be put off by the fact he comes here via handicaps, but it's a ploy which the master trainer has used time and again with his late-developing types, and I recall Pilsudski in the same silks winning much weaker races before proving himself one of the best in the world. 

Recommendations:

Back Sirius Prospect to place @ 13.5 in the 15:45

Back Sir John Hawkwood @ 10.09/1 in the 15:05

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