Royal Ascot Saturday: Undrafted tries for Double

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The final serving. Royal Ascot’s five-day extravaganza comes to a close with another six-race menu of 2-year-olds, distance and sprint handicaps, Group 1 sprinters and a stamina-zapping 2 3/4-mile handicap. Aidan O’Brien leads all trainers with five wins while Frankie Dettori, with four wins, holds a one-race lead over Ryan Moore.

As for Friday, it belonged to Dougie Costello who guided Quiet Reflection to win the Commonwealth Cup for trainer Karl Burke. The former jump jockey earned his first Group 1 stakes win on the flat, 18 months after switching codes.

“It’s unbelievable. I wouldn’t be in this situation without Karl. This filly is one of a kind and you haven’t seen her full potential today. I am just unbelievably lucky. There are plenty of good jockeys without the opportunity,” Costello said. “Karl asked me at the Arc meeting last year (to ride for him). Some things are too good to be true, but when I started working with Karl I could tell we were singing from the same hymn sheet and it could be true.”

Race 1. 9:30. The Chesham Stakes. 2-year-olds. Listed. 7 furlongs. $117,500.

Cunco, a son of Frankel, won his debut at Newbury in May while Frankuus, you guessed it, a son of Frankel, won his debut in June. Team Valor sends out Thora Barber, winner on the all-weather in April. Coolmore launches Churchill, third in his debut.

The Picks: Cunco, Aiming For Rio, Magillen.

Race 2. 10:05. The Wolferton Handicap. 4-year-olds and up. Listed. 1 ¼-miles. $117,500.

Maleficent Queen rides a win streak for Keigh Dalgleish, the filly takes on the boys here. Our Channel, a son of English Channel, and Maverick Wave, a son of Elusive Quality, try to add to America’s docket.


The Picks: Oceanographer, Maleficent Queen, Revolutionist.

Race 3. 10:40. The Hardwicke Stakes. Group 2. 1 ½-miles. $331,000.

Eagle Top finished second in this race last year and has had one start this year. Exosphere is a budding superstar for Sir Michael Stoute and Juddmonte. Wicklow Brave has posted brave performances over hurdles and the flat.

Nothing like a stakes in England, a 7-year-old hurdler and a Group 1 stakes-winning filly.

The Picks: Exosphere, Dartmouth, Eagle Top.

Race 4. 11:20. The Diamond Jubilee. Group 1. 6 furlongs. $882,000.

Rain diminished this race, ousting American rocket Acapulco and others, but don’t be dismayed, it’s still an international gem. Gold-Fun has earned $4.7 million in Hong Kong. Holler won the Group 1 Canterbuy Stakes in Australia. Magical Memory has won his last two, Group races, in England. Signs Of Blessing ventures from France. Undrafted tries to win back-to-back renewals for Wesley Ward and, this year, John Velazquez.

Ward worries about Undrafted’s mental state, not about his physical ability.

“He’s a really quirky dude as soon as you take him out of his tobacco barn where he lives at Keeneland. At the Breeders’ Cup, he was an eighth of a mile from where he lives, he circled the stall, washed out,” Ward said. “Last year, he settled right in at Manton and we get to Ascot early, that really helps him, he gets the nervous jitters out the first day and then settles right in, I hope it’s the same this year.”

The Picks: Magical Memory, Suedois, Undrafted.

Race 5. 12:00. The Wokingham Stakes. Heritage Handicap. 6 furlongs. $257,500.

Yearn for big fields? Well, here you go, 29 runners. Yes, 29 runners. Just nine pounds separate high-weight Tupi and a host of low-weights at 127.

The Picks: Brando, The Happy Prince, Tupi.

Race 6. The Queen Alexandra Stakes. Conditions Race. 2 ¾-miles. $117,500.

A box of chocolates – hurdlers, a veteran of 47 starts, a neophyte with two career starts and everything in between.

And that’s all, folks.

The Picks: Magic Circle, Amour De Nuit, Sandro Botticelli.