Five days have come to a close. Five days of drama. Five days of performance. Five days of sport. Royal Ascot finishes with its Saturday crescendo. World travelers - Australia, Japan, America, France ...
Race 1. 9:30 a.m. The Chesham Stakes. Last chance for 2-year-olds to claim Royal Ascot glory. Godolphin and John Gosden unveil Cymric, a first-time starter by Kitten's Joy. Ken Ramsey will be watching him and also Love The Kitten, his homebred daughter of Kitten's Joy who comes in off two seconds in North America. Ryan Moore aims to bolster his lead at the top of all Royal Ascot jockeys, taking the helm on Ballydoyle, who lost her debut as the favorite.
The Picks: Tonkinese, Ballydoyle, Suits You.
Race 2. 10:05. The Wolferton Handicap. Listed handicap attracts 16. Mahsoob is undefeated in three starts for John Gosden. Super Moon ventures from Japan. Collaboration has won his last three for Andrew Balding. Ryan Moore returns on Provenance.
The Picks: Mahsoob, Collaboration, Ayrad.
Race 3. 10:40. The Hardwicke Stakes. Group 2 stakes going a mile and a half. Eagle Top dominated the King Edward VII Stakes last year, in just his third career start. The son of Pivotal has only run twice since, finishing fourth both times. He's had his prep and he's trained by a master. Hillstar ventured to Woodbine last fall to win the Canadian International. He hasn't run since. The great Red Cadeaux makes a rare appearance in his homeland, a minor check would put the world traveler over $7 million in earnings. And then there's Telescope, the favorite finished fourth behind Main Sequence in the Breeders' Cup Turf last year and has done little wrong since. Some race.
The Picks: Eagle Top, Telescope, Postponed.
Race 4. 11:20 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Group 1 attracts a world-class group of sprinters. World class. Brazen Beau takes his game on the road from Australia, he won the prestigious Newmarket Handicap in March at Flemington. American-bred, Irish-trained Due Diligence tries to improve on his runner-up finish last year. Gordon Lord Byron aims at win No. 12. Mustajeeb travels from Ireland. Pearl Secret finished fourth in the King's Stand four days ago. American Undrafted finished fourth behind Slade Power in the July Cup last summer. Wandjina carries the hopes of international trainer Gai Waterhouse. A stunner.
The Picks: Brazen Beau, Mustajeeb, Due Diligence.
Race 5. 12:00 p.m. The Wokingham Stakes. Class 2 handicap going 6 furlongs. 28 runners. It looks like a spilled box of Cheerios to us.
The Picks: Intrinsic, Huntsmans Close, Robert Le Diable.
Race 6. 12:35. The Queen Alexandra Stakes. The finale. Fittingly, it traverses 2 3/4 miles to close out an epic week of racing. Willie Mullins has produced a three-race win streak with Wicklow Brave, winning the Vincent O'Brien Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, a maiden flat win at Gowran Park and an amateur flat win at Listowel. This will make it four. Fittingly, Ryan Moore is aboard.
The Picks: Wicklow Brave, Teak, Brave Richard.