Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot Day Five Tips: Kevin Blake likes Mill Stream in Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on Saturday

Betfair horse racing tipster Kevin Blake
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Kevin Blake aims to round off a successful Royal Ascot with another winner as he previews Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes and picks the one to back...

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It's been a great week for Ryan Moore at Royal Ascot as he surpassed Frankie Dettori as the winning most jockey at the Royal meeting among those still riding as well as bagging some big-race victories.

Ryan has another strong book of rides today including one on last year's St Leger winner Continuous in the 15:05, and if you fancy the combination to finish in the top two in that race then you can back it now at 1/12.00, boosted from 4/71.57!

Day five! While Royal Ascot doesn't suffer from preview overload as the likes of the Cheltenham Festival does, one tendency that they share is for it to fly along once it starts. It has been a solid week for this column so far (at the time of writing on Friday morning, at least) and hopefully it can finish with a bang.

The final race that I will focus on this week is the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (15:45) and despite its Group 1 status, it is as tricky as any of the notorious Royal Ascot handicap puzzles to solve.

Kevin Blake's Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes preview

In terms of pace, there looks to be good pace and much of it is concentrated in a relatively small section of the draw. Quinault (9) is a regular front runner. Art Power (7) and Washington Heights (10) tend to make the running or race prominently. Shartash (2) has pushed the pace and raced prominently over seven furlongs in two starts since joining his current trainer.

One horse that would very much enjoy a solid pace is the Charlie Hills-trained Mitbaahy. The five-year-old has shown steady progression through his career, but made a big breakthrough when winning the Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh on his latest start. On that occasion the leaders went overly hard and played into the hooves of those that were held up and Mitbaahy proved to the strongest of the swoopers on the day.

A similar pace setup would help him here, as it would his stable mate Khaadem, but there is a slight worry about the form of the Charlie Hills stable which hasn't had a winner for the better part of three weeks at the time of writing.

A younger contender is the George Boughey-trained Believing. She progressed very well last season, highlighted by her close third in the Haydock Sprint Cup in September. It speaks for the regard that Boughey holds her in that he sent her down to Hong Kong to take on some of the very best sprinters in the world in the Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin in April and while she didn't compete there, she has proven to be better than ever in two starts since she returned to Britain.

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Both of those starts came over five furlongs, with her winning a Listed race at Haydock in great style prior to running a huge race to finish a close fourth to Asfoora in the King Charles III Stakes here on Tuesday. She has been shaping as though the return to this longer trip will suit her and a big run on her second outing of the week wouldn't surprise.

Royal Ascot - 15:45: Back Mill Stream

The one I like the most is the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Mill Stream. The four-year-old was a smart two-year-old, but showed very impressive progression as a three-year-old last season. Having started the campaign with a disappointing return in Group 2 company, he reverted to handicaps and restarted his progression with two strong runs in defeat in valuable handicaps.

Returned to stakes company, he continued to improve to win a Listed race and a Group 3, both at Deauville in August. He finished his campaign with two solid runs in Group 1 company.

Having had wind surgery during the winter, hopes were high that he would continue to improve this season and that has proven to be the case. Making his return in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket, he was ridden like a horse that was expected to need the run, making good headway to challenge, but not being put under heavy pressure and fading close home to finish ¾-length second to Washington Heights.

As hoped, he improved from that effort to win the Duke Of York Stakes at York last time, overcoming an interrupted passage to get up and beat Shouldvebeenaring by a nose.

Mill Stream shapes as though this stiffer six furlongs will very much play to his strengths and importantly, he is drawn in amongst all the strongest pace in the race. He could well improve again and it wouldn't at all surprise to see him gain his first Group 1 win here.

Head to our Royal Ascot 2024 HUB for more tips and insight

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