Platinum Jubilee Stakes Tips: Ward and Ortiz can avenge Day One horror show
It was a case of Australia vs America in the first big sprint of the week, the King's Stand back on Day One at Royal Ascot. The Australians won decisively with Nature Strip destroying the field and confirming himself as the world's best sprinter. America's leading challenger Golden Pal finished stone last after a nightmare ride from Irad Ortiz. In this Platinum Jubilee Stakes, it is another runner from Down Under that dominates the betting, but Billy Grimshaw thinks the American team can get revenge...
Home Affairs is a warm order here to complete a brilliant sprinting double for Australia and jockey James McDonald at Royal Ascot. With Nature Strip's stunning success proving the power of the sprinting division Down Under, it will be a brave punter who rules the favourite out entirely in this race. On his penultimate start back in February at Flemington he actually beat Nature Strip a short head, which is a serious bit of form. That effort was over five furlongs, however, and with this race being over a stiff six then stamina questions have to be asked. Home Affairs was a disappointing ninth last time out over six at Flemington and so at odds of 2/1 or under he can be swerved from the betting standpoint, for all he obviously has an outstanding chance.
The second favourite tag is shared at the time of writing by Creative Force and Artorius. The former has a superb record at Ascot after winning last year's Jersey Stakes before following up by winning the British Champion Sprint in October. This track and trip look ideal and he is a serious rival to the favourite for Buick and Appleby. Artorius is another Australian raider and could prove to be just as intriguing a runner as favourite Home Affairs. He has not done much winning Down Under but is a consistent type and looks the sort to relish the test that this specific race will offer for the Freedman team.
Sacred was just touched off in second in the 2020 Queen Mary by a filly we will come to later, and so is clearly a fan of Ascot. At odds of 14/1 at present she looks a decent each-way proposition, as does Alcohol Free at an even bigger price. She has been attempting to stretch out to a mile but connections have given up on that for now and I think six furlongs at Ascot could be tailor-made for her. There are a host of other runners down the market who will fancy their chances of being in the mix come the final furlong, and one of the most intriguing is King's Lynn for the Queen, who will be attempting to back up after appearing earlier in the week. He was no match for Nature Strip in the King's Stand, but there is no shame in that and providing he is still in good form and not worn out, the extra furlong here should suit and he could outrun massive odds.
The conqueror of Sacred back in 2020 was CAMPANELLE, a now two-time Royal Ascot winner who I fancy can make it a hat trick in this race. Her Queen Mary win was a brilliant performance over five furlongs as a two year old, but her win last season in the Commonwealth Cup was definitely her best performance to date on British soil. She actually finished second that day but was awarded the race after a huge amount of interference from first past the post Dragon Symbol. Her running style suits this course and with another year's experience and Ward's prowess with these rapid runners, Campanelle looks one of his best chances of the week and can give connections some respite after a miserable start to the week. Jockey Irad Ortiz will be desperate to atone for his panicky ride aboard Golden Pal in the King's Stand, in which he missed the kick when expecting to front run and then threw away any chance by forcing his colt to use his stamina to get to the front. He finished stone last and the rider was widely derided by the British racing community, but Ortiz is a world class rider and will have learned from his error. He can have the last laugh and win this Group One for the trainer who has placed such faith in him to bring him to Royal Ascot this year aboard this talented and tenacious filly.