Royal Ascot Day Five Preview: Can Wichita beat Pinatubo in the St James’s Palace Stakes?
Drew Goodsell | 20 June 2020
We look over the best action from the festival’s final day
We head into the final day of this year’s Royal Ascot Festival with eight more great races to enjoy today.
After we saw Frankie Dettori ride his 70th winner on Friday, our attention shifts to some great Group 1 contests, including the Coronation Stakes, the St James’s Palace and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Before the action gets underway from the festival’s final offering in 2020, we’ve had a look at what’s on offer with a preview of the pick of the action…
12:40 Silver Wokingham Handicap
13:15 Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies)
13:50 Coventry Stakes (Group 2)
14:25 Coronation Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies)
15:00 St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) (Colts)
15:35 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1)
16:10 Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
16:40 Queen Alexandra Stakes
Seven are declared to run in this year’s Coronation Stakes, and it’s Alpine Star, the half-sister to Alpha Centauri, that looks the best prospect from the field here. She progressed well at two-years-old and showed excellent attitude and form to win the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at The Curragh.
After winning all three starts in 2019, Quadrilateral hasn’t been seen in her best form in 2020 yet. She refused to settle and ran home third in the 1,000 Guineas but has plenty more potential to show.
Run Wild managed to improve on her form as a two-year-old in her winning run over 10f in a Listed race at Newmarket. She’s a big, strong filly who warrants respect and travels with enthusiasm when ahead. She should have no problem returning to 1m.
Wichita looked a shade disappointing in the Dewhurst, but that could be put down to the softer ground. He looked much more assured in the 2,000 Guineas, losing by a neck to Kameko with Pinatubo third. If on form, Aidan O’Brien’s inmate should be the one to beat here.
After stretching his unbeaten run to three races on his return in a 1m Handicap at Newcastle, Palace Pier could pose the biggest threat. He looked very smart in that run and could make his presence felt.
Pinatubo was outstanding in his two-year-old season, putting together a 6-6 record, beating Wichita in the Dewhurst. He finished a length behind Wichita on his return in the 2,000 Guineas, with no apparent excuses. Will need to improve to challenge in this one.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the highest-rated sprinter in Ireland, Sceptical, who looks best placed over the 6f course here. He’s got excellent pedigree and bolted up in a 3l win in the Listed race at Naas. Denis Hogan’s speedster could be dangerous with Frankie Dettori on board.
Dream Of Dreams won his first two starts of last season, and produced a career best run despite falling just short as he tried to overhaul Blue Point here last year. He’s not produced the same level since but could return to form easily.
One Master won the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp for the second straight season in October and followed up with a strong second in the Champions Spring at Ascot too. The six-year-old mare could suit the soft turf which would increase her chances.
The lightly raced Bielsa heads the field with a 4-5 record after scoring in a 6f handicap at Doncaster back in October. He’s a big player in the field, despite the 8lb rise, and has the potential to improve even more.
Highland Dress, the former Irish-owned four-year-old scored a hat-trick for his new yard over 6f in races at Southwell and Newmarket. He’s an interesting prospect with more to come and seems to be in excellent hands since the yard switch.
All odds and markets are correct as of date of publication.