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Diamond Jubilee Stakes preview

The final Group I of the week and it doesn't look the strongest encounter. The Aussie mare is a decent horse but I wouldn't put her up as one of the best we've sent across. But then again, this isn't an inspiring field. What does Lara Pocock, @lara_pocock, have to say about it? Read on....

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Diamond Jubilee Stakes

The final Group One of the Royal Ascot meeting, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, looks to be a rather open contest, with no hot favourite and a number of leading contenders sure to make it a great race. Run over six furlongs many horses have gone to run in this race after running in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes on the opening day of the meeting and it is surprising none are backing up this year in such an open race. Last year's renewal was a hotly awaited race as it was the British public's only chance to catch a glimpse of the great Black Caviar, who just held on to win.

The expected rain has not arrived at the Ascot course and so Saturday's ground is going to be quicker than expected and predicted to be good to firm, with possibly some firm patches, however it is looking unlikely that this race will be run at record time.

1. Dandy Boy - Winner of the Wokingham Stakes handicap at this meeting last year and recorded another Ascot success in May 2010 when winning over seven furlongs. Recent form suggests you look elsewhere.

2. Gammarth - French raider who has won a Listed race but is likely to be outclassed.

3. Gordon Lord Byron - The second favourite won the Group One Prix de la Foret last year, with his last success coming in a conditions race at Dundalk in March. He was third to Society Rock in the Group Two Duke Of York Stakes at York in May but was down the field in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last year, his only start at Ascot to date.

4. Havelock - Trained in the USA by Darrin Miller, Havelock is looking to add to the fine record of international-trained horses in this race and certainly has the credentials to do so. He has won at Grade Two level in the States and will be partnered by Frankie Dettori, who has something to prove.

5. Hawkeyethenoo - Veteran campaigner who will have his 40th start today. Was fourth in the Duke Of York Stakes and fourth to Tickled Pink in the Group Three Abernant Stakes and although he is fancied others should finish in front of him.

6. Krypton Factor - Sixth to Black Caviar last year, this Bahrain-trained five-year-old has been out of the headlines this year but with a win in the Group One Golden Shaheen under his belt he should not underestimated. He put in two good performances in Dubai this year and could run a big race at a big price.

7. Lethal Force - Dark Angel colt who was second in the Duke Of York and could be a major danger here. Beat Strong Suit, who has since gone to America, in last year's Group Two Hungerford Stakes and has only been out of the frame in four of his 13 starts. He looks to be improving but his only start in Group One company to date yielded a disappointing tenth in the Prix de la Foret to Gordon Lord Byron.

8. Maarek - Winner of The Group Two British Champions Sprint Stakes over course and distance last October on soft ground. The six-year-old has put in some solid performances this season, winning the Listed Woodlands Stakes at Naas in April and second in another Listed race on Sunday at Cork. Outside chances of a place.

9. Reply - Listed winning son of Oasis Dream who was fifth over seven furlongs on his last start to Leitir Mor, who was disappointing earlier this week in the Group One St James's Palace Stakes. Has already had five starts this season but dropped back in trip may suit.

10. Sirius Prospect - Outsider who should finish down the field.

11. Slade Power - Lightly raced four-year-old who was only out of the frame once in seven starts, in last year's British Champions Sprint Stakes when he finished eighth. Form does not go higher than Group Three level but in this race that should not be a hindrance.

12. Society Rock - Winner of the Group Two Duke Of York Stakes and the winner of this race in 2011. He is likely to go off the favourite but has suffered two defeats in the race, last year to Black Caviar and then to Starspangledbanner in 2010. The quick going will suit him, he could only manage fifth in the Champions Sprint on soft, but still needs to bring his A-Game in order to secure victory in this large field.

13. Soul - Australian-bred who won the Group Three Hackwood Stakes by four lengths. He was fourth in this race last year and if he can reproduce that form could be a lively outsider.

14. Intense Pink - Listed winner who was third in a Group Three over seven furlongs on soft ground, the same conditions of her stakes win. This course and going may not suit her and she will surely find the going too tough in this field.

15. Mince - Won the Group Three Bengough Stakes last year, beating Soul, but could only manage tenth behind Society Rock in the Duke Of York earlier this year. Will probably have to settle for another unplaced run.

16. Sea Siren - Triple Group One winner for the yard of John O'Shea. She was disappointing in Hong Kong on her only international start to date and it looks to have taken a while to find her form again. Was second in the Group One Doomben 10,000 on her final Australian start and when I went to see her gallop last week she looked in fine form so a big run is expected.

17. Zanetto - Three-year-old Listed winner who won the Tattersalls 3YO Sprint earlier this season. This is a big step up in class for him and he looks unlikely to figure.

18. Rosdhu Queen - An interesting runner. The three-year-old was third in the Group Three Fred Darling Stakes after an unbeaten run and the step back in trip is interesting. The Haggas team thought a lot of her last season and it will be interesting to see what they make of her.

Verdict:
Although many of these are evenly matched on form there are only five Group One winners in the field and no many have form above Group Three level. Many of the field are open to improvement but I think it will be the seasoned performers who could lead proceedings. If Sea Siren has travelled in better form than she did in Hong Kong I think she is major danger. She looks in fantastic order and is a beautiful looking filly with a giant rear-end and if she stays in Europe this season, as planned, it will be interesting to watch her progress. Rosdhu Queen stepped up in trip on her last start and could be a forgotten horse here. She was a Group One winner over six furlongs last year and her stable hold her in high regard. Society Rock proved himself earlier this season and although he will run a big race again he may have to settle for another placing behind an international runner. Favourites do not have a good record in this race, with only two taking the honours since 1998, Black Caviar and Starspangledbanner.

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