The Diamond Jubilee Stakes began life as the All-Aged Stakes in 1868. It was renamed the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1926, in honour of Richard Boyle, 9th Earl of Cork. He had served three separate stints as Master of the Buckhounds in the 1860s and 1880s, an office which at that time entailed being Her Majesty’s Representative at Ascot. It was renamed the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2002, and given Group I status at that time to celebrate fifty years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. In 2012, it received its current name to honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
That Diamond Jubilee year produced the race’s most memorable edition in recent times, when undefeated Australian racemare Black Caviar prevailed by a head over Moonlight Cloud despite sustaining a muscle tear in the race. From a breeding perspective, the most important winner of this race in recent times was Danehill (1989). After his racing career he became the first well-known shuttle stallion, and topped sire lists in Australia, France, and Great Britain and Ireland.
Black Caviar wins the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, carrying her undefeated record through 22 races. She would retire the next year, a perfect 25 for 25.
Through last year, three-year-olds and up were permitted to enter the race. Starting this year, the race is restricted to ages four and up; three-year-olds preferring the six-furlong trip can instead enter the Commonwealth Cup (GI – ENG) on Friday of the Royal Ascot meet. Despite the change in allowed ages, the purse holds constant compared to last year: £525,000.
On American shores, Paul Mazur takes a look at the Ohio Derby, also scheduled to run on Saturday.
Race 4: Diamond Jubilee Stakes (GI – ENG), four-year-olds and up, six furlongs on the straightaway turf course, post time 10:20am CDT
DUE DILIGENCE disappointed in his first race of the year, finishing seventh beaten six lengths in a Group III at the Curragh. However, a few things weigh toward his improvement here. In addition to a little crowding in his trip, that last out race was at seven furlongs, and he has done his best work at five and a half to six furlongs — right in range of this race. He has shown form at Ascot before, finishing second behind Slade Power in this race last year. Finally, he races for red-hot rider Ryan Moore. Moore did not ride him in his last race, but they did unite for that second-place finish here last year. No one has been hotter than Ryan Moore at Royal Ascot this year; after only three days, he tied the record of eight wins at one Royal Ascot meet. Wesley Ward trainee UNDRAFTED out here after two races earlier this yar at Keeneland and Churchill. He has not won either, but he showed improvement in both, and last out finished second in the Churchill Downs Turf Sprint (GIII) behind Power Alert. Power Alert has proven himself, at least in American ranks, to be a solid five-furlong horse. UNDRAFTED, on the other hand, prefers the longer trip he will get here. He has already proven his mettle against top-class European sprinters; last year he shipped out to Newmarket for the July Cup (GI – ENG), and finished a creditable fourth behind Slade Power. The rain in the forecast for Saturday should not hurt his chances, either; though he can run well on firm going, he has also shown form on soft turf.
In the turf sprint division, it is hard not to give the Australian set some respect. In this race, we see two shippers from down under: BRAZEN BEAU and WANDJINA. WANDJINA has a bit of longshot appeal; having gone longer earlier in his career, trainer Gai Waterhouse is now trying him at the shortest distance of his career, and he has shown enough speed going seven furlongs to suggest he may handle six. However, between the two, BRAZEN BEAU gets the nod despite being the likely race favourite. He has the best form against the best class horses of anyone in this field. His last three outs have all been in Grade I company. He has won the two at six furlongs, and was second going five. The distance will suit. The biggest question about BRAZEN BEAU is the ship from Australia to England; this will be his first ship off the Australian continent before, so the question remains if he can hold his form on the ship. Taking him at a short price with that uncertainty may not be wise. However, if he does carry his form from Australia to England, the rest here will have a tough order to beat him.
#5 DUE DILIGENCE (8/1)
#13 UNDRAFTED (9/1)
#3 BRAZEN BEAU (11/4)
Odds reflect William Hill book odds as of publish time. Actual odds will vary based on the bookmaker or the pari-mutuel pool in the United States.
Longshot: If you recognise #11 PEARL SECRET (16/1), there is good reason for that: he just raced in Tuesday’s King’s Stand (GI – ENG) at Royal Ascot, and finished a late-running fourth beaten three quarters of a length. His connections think enough of her to wheel her back in this spot just four days later. He has been wheeled back almost as quickly once before, last year, when he came back after a handicap-level win on August 30 to try the Betfred Sprint Cup (GI – ENG) on September 6. He stretched from five to six furlongs on that wheel-back as well. He had a bit of trip trouble in that return, and finished fifth. However, he seems to be holding better form against better horses this year than last. If his price in the American pool stays near what we see in books a day out, his recent improved form and his connections’ confidence to wheel him back merit a punt each way.
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