Horse Betting: She will sparkle...
Black Caviar bears a Timeform weight-adjusted rating 149, some 10 lb clear of her nearest rival
Timeform analyse a weekend dominated by the final day of Royal Ascot 2012 on Saturday and a little Aussie battler we all know and love...
The outstanding sprinter Black Caviar will grace the Ascot turf on Saturday in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Unbeaten in 21 starts, Black Caviar bears a Timeform weight-adjusted rating 149, some 10 lb clear of her nearest rival, and the stage would appear to be set for her to record yet another magnificent victory.
Last year's winner, Society Rock, trained by James Fanshawe, appeals as one of the more likely to follow the great mare home, given his apparent suitability to this venue, whilst Pastoral Player and Moonlight Cloud may also have a say in who makes the places.
The 2012 renewal of the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes looks a belting one, with it being possible to make a case for any number of the participants. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sea Moon was high class last year, demolishing his rivals in York's Great Voltiguer Stakes and finishing an arguably unlucky third in the St Leger before putting up an excellent effort when finding only St Nicholas Abbey too good in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He looked rusty when just seeing off Dandino on his return this season, but strikes as the type to make an even better four-year-old.
Memphis Tennessee is worthy of plenty of respect following his Group 3 win at Chester last time, as is Yorkshire Cup scorer Red Cadeaux. The John Gosden-trained Aiken is certainly one of the more intriguing contenders, as he has improved with each and every run and won on the six occasions since his Sandown debut. He almost certainly has more to come, and has to be considered.
The Wokingham is one of the most competitive handicaps of the season, with 29 horses going to post to contest the six-furlong sprint. Currently heading the market is Macs Power, who did well to finish eighth in this race last year having pulled clear of his group on the less favoured side.
Timeform Horse in Focus, Maarek, trained in Ireland by David Nagle, has won his last two starts at Naas and Newmarket, impressive on the latter occasion as he made rapid progress from the rear to deny Shropshire by half a length.
Another more than worthy of a second look is Lightening Cloud, who finished fifth in the Victoria Cup, here over a furlong further, last month. That was his first outing for eight months, and an even better effort can now be expected.
A race of note at Ayr on Saturday is the listed Land O'Burn Fillies' Stakes, contested over five furlongs, in which Ladies Are Forever is taken to gain compensation for an arguably unlucky defeat at Haydock last time. She had to pick her way through the field that day, ending up in the centre of the track and sticking to her task.
Duchess Dora and Angels Will Fall may be the pair to follow her home, although My Propeller, who is a real speedball, is likely to prove suited by this return to the minimum trip.
There is also racing from Haydock, Lingfield, Redcar Newmarket and Down Royal on Saturday.
The come-down from Royal Ascot week is evident on Sunday, with National Hunt meetings at Hereford, Hexham and Gowran Park alongside the sole Flat action at Pontefract.
The last-named plays host to an interesting eight-race card, with the feature being the listed Pontefract Castle Stakes over a mile and a half. Just five runners are entered, but numbering among them is Brown Panther, second in last year's St Leger and looking to get himself back on track following a disappointing return at Chester, Jet Away, last seen when winning a Goodwood listed event last month, and Lost In The Moment, who was second in last year's Goodwood Cup and sicth in the Melbourne Cup.
Completing the field is Glen's Diamond, second to Red Cadeaux in the Yorkshire Cup, and Qushchi, who will need to improve to take this.
The Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud features among the international action on Sunday, the Group 1 over a mile and a half seeing Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Danedream take on the top-class Cirrus des Aigles in what should prove a fascinating event. Galikova, half-sister to the fantastic Goldikova, also features, as does Shareta and Meandre.