Racing: Royal Ascot preview for Saturday, June 20

Postponed is fancied for the Hardwicke Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Postponed is fancied for the Hardwicke Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Due Diligence hit the bar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes last year but should make no such mistake this time around on the closing day of Royal Ascot.

Admittedly Aidan O’Brien’s charge does not come into the race this time with quite as progressive a profile as last term, but he still appears to be a horse on the up.

The four-year-old started life with Todd Pletcher in America, racing twice in the States before switching to the care of O’Brien last term.

After an initial third, he won his next two starts and was reasonably well fancied coming to Ascot, where he put in a cracking performance to be beaten a length and a half by Slade Power.

However, he was subsequently sidelined by injury and did not reappear until lining up in the seven-furlong Gladness Stakes at the Curragh in April.

Due Diligence finished seventh that day but it would be very surprising if he did not come on from that run, particularly dropped back to a seemingly more suitable sprint trip.

O’Brien’s runners appear to have found their stride of late after a more sedate than usual start to the season and Due Diligence can keep up the good work.

O’Brien can also strike with his yard’s namesake, Ballydoyle, in the opening Chesham Stakes.

Postponed should have both his optimum trip and conditions in the Hardwicke Stakes.

Luca Cumani’s charge demonstrated his immense promise when graduating to a Group Two win in the Great Voltigeur last year and he looked in similar sort of heart when chasing home the reopposing Western Hymn on his reappearance at Sandown in April.

The ground was probably a shade too slow for him there and he showed himself to be of Group One class when a narrow third in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on his most recent outing.

* Selections -

Ascot: 2.30 Ballydoyle, 3.05 First Flight, 3.40 Postponed, 4.20 DUE DILIGENCE (NAP), 5.00 Tatlisu, 5.35 Marzocco.

Ayr: 1.50 Cape Speed, 2.20 Get Knotted, 2.55 Off Art, 3.30 Mica Mika, 4.10 One Chance, 4.50 Lexington Place, 5.25 Jinky.

Newmarket: 2.10 Jassur, 2.45 Paris Snow, 3.20 No Delusion, 4.00 Druids Ridge, 4.40 Maljaa, 5.20 Direct Times, 5.55 Use Your Filbert.

Redcar: 2.05 Blue Humor, 2.40 Sail With Sultana, 3.15 King Torus, 3.50 Penny Royale, 4.30 Karate Queen, 5.10 Red Harry, 5.45 Thesme.

Haydock: 6.15 Love On The Rocks, 6.45 By Rights, 7.15 Finn Class, 7.45 Sirheed, 8.15 Alasaal, 8.45 Newera.

Lingfield: 6.00 Linguist, 6.30 Racing’s Dream, 7.00 Mister Brightside, 7.30 Whitecrest, 8.00 Daisy Dip, 8.30 May Queen, 9.00 Golly Miss Molly.

Double: Due Diligence and Postponed.