Aljamaaheer rates a Diamond bet
Simon Holt previews the final day at Royal Ascot and fancies Aljamaaheer to land the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
- Related Content
ALJAMAAHEER, a high class horse over a mile who finished second to Declaration Of War in last year's Queen Anne Stakes, can transfer that quality to six furlongs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
Roger Varian's charge, who has an excellent record at Ascot and won a Group Two here last July, ran an encouraging race over this trip at Newmarket in May in a race dictated from the front by Jamie Spencer on Hamza.
Short of room and forced to switch at a crucial stage that day, the bird had flown by the time Aljamaaheer got going but he finished very well and my immediate impression was that this race over a stiff six could prove ideal.
The obvious dangers are Gordon Lord Byron, who finished fourth to Lethal Force in this race last year, and Slade Power, winner of the Champions Day sprint over the course and distance - but on soft ground - in October.
Gordon Lord Byron (who slammed Slade Power by three lengths in the Betfred Sprint at Haydock in September) is a smart and wonderfully versatile customer but it remains to be seen if he returns at top form after trips to Australia and Hong Kong in the spring.
Victory for Slade Power would provide a remarkable double for connections after Sole Power's second Kings Stand win on Tuesday but ground conditions look like being quicker than ideal and he could finish only seventh last year.
French challenger American Devil is another possibility after two solid wins this season, though he is held by Gordon Lord Byron on their running behind the brilliant Moonlight Cloud at Longchamp in October while course specialist Medicean Man makes a quick reappearance after finishing a creditable fourth on Tuesday.
It could be a memorable day for the Varian team as ROCKY GROUND looks well handicapped in a typically competitive renewal of the Wokingham.
This lightly raced son of Acclamation showed improved form to win a listed race at Windsor in fluent fashion 19 days ago for which he has picked up a 5lb penalty. However, Rocky Ground is set to race off a 5lb higher mark in future races and, well regarded by his shrewd handler, could well be a Group horse in the making.
Frankie Dettori's mount appears more progressive than many of his rivals and could be hard to beat.