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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Chris Wright

Horse Power: Artorius can win the QEII Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot 2023

ARTORIUS can win the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (British Champions Series) (3.40pm) on the final day of Royal Ascot 2023.

The Aussie raider can go a few places better than 12 months ago and land the Group One feature on day five at the Berkshire track. Anthony and Sam Freedman’s four-year-old, twice a Group One winner Down Under, ran a fine race on his debut in Britain last year when he dead-heated for third with American raider Campanelle behind Godolphin duo Naval Crown and Creative Force in this six-furlong contest. He didn’t get a clear run and finished less than a length behind that duo, who won’t be in opposition this year. He also finished third following a slow start the following month in the July Cup at Newmarket before disappointing in softer conditions in the Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville on his final start of 2022.

But the son of Flying Artie has warmed up for a return trip to Europe with his second Group One victory in the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick in his homeland over six-and-a-half furlongs. He was then fourth, not beaten too far, when stepped up to nearly a mile at Rosehill a couple of weeks later. It looks like he has had everything geared around this bid for glory at Ascot and he has the right blend of speed and staying power to go much closer this time. Ground, track and trip all look ideal and Artorius can follow Choisir (2003) and Black Caviar (2012) as the latest Aussie winner of the QEII Jubilee Stakes. John Quinn’s Highfield Princess – second in the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes at the meeting on Tuesday; the Willie Haggas-trained Sacred; and course and distance winners Kinross and Rohaan all look to have the best chances of the home team.

Changingoftheguard, ridden by Ryan Moore, on the way to winning the King Edward VII Stakes on day four of Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on Friday, June 17 2022 (David Davies/PA)

Aidan O’Brien’s CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD can win at the Royal meeting for a second successive season with victory in the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes (4.20pm). The four-year-old son of the great Galileo won over course and distance last year when just landing the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes. He had previously won the Chester Vase on the Roodee and finished fifth to Desert Crown in the Derby at Epsom.

Changingoftheguard returned to action this season back at Chester but stepped up to 1m5f and on soft conditions he could only finish third to Hamish in the Huxley Stakes. Conditions were clearly against him there but it was a stepping stone back to Royal Ascot. Back on a sounder surface and back down in trip Changingoftheguard may so something similar to stable-mate Broome last year and lead some better fancied rivals – like favourite Hukum and the John and Thady Gosden-trained Free Wind, a winner of her last four starts at Deauville, Doncaster, Haydock Park and York – a merry dance from the front and hold on to victory. The Willie Muir and Chris Grassick-trained Pyledriver is a former Royal Ascot winner and also took the Group One King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes over course and distance last year. He should go close again but after a year on the sidelines through injury this is more a warm-up for his bid to win the King George again next month.

Liverpool FC fan Karl Burke’s LETHAL LEVI can win the always-competitive Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (5pm). The four-year-old won four times last season, including a similar event at Newmarket in July. The gelded son of Lethal Force was a neck second to the reopposing Bielsa in another big-field sprint handicap at York last month and may be ready to go one better from stall 10 which the winner of three of the last four Wokinghams has come from. The aforementioned Kevin Ryan-trained Bielsa; Roger Teal’s Chipstead; Juan Les Pins – from the Mick Appleby stable; and Apollo One are others who could be in the shake-up.

Covey, ridden by Frankie Dettori, wins the Betfred Silver Bowl Handicap at Haydock Park Racecourse on Saturday, May 27 2023 Picture by Tim Goode/PA (Tim Goode/PA)

On the final day of his final Royal Ascot, Frankie Dettori can have a winner with COVEY in the Group Three Jersey Stakes (3.05pm). The improving John and Thady Gosden-trained three-year-old son of Frankel made it three wins in a row following earlier successes at Newmarket and on the all-weather at Newcastle with a superb victory in the Betfred Silver Bowl Handicap at Haydock. Under Dettori, Covey led from start to finish in the prestigious mile handicap, scoring by three-and-a-quarter lengths from Royal Cape. He looks like a horse on the up and the drop back to seven furlongs and the step up into Group Three company shouldn’t be a problem. He can continue his progress with a fourth win in five starts and potentially give popular Italian jockey Dettori a final winner at Royal Ascot before his impending retirement at the end of the year.

Ballydoyle trainer O’Brien has won four of the last seven runnings of the Listed Chesham Stakes (2.30pm) and he may grab another victory with PEARLS AND RUBIES. The two-year-old daughter of No Nay Never will only be having her second career start but she heads to Royal Ascot on the back of a narrow success at Navan at the start of the month. Pearls and Rubies just got the better of I Am Invictus by a neck in the five-furlong maiden, getting on top late on. She should have benefitted from that experience and can take another step forward stepped up in trip to seven furlongs in this Listed event which O’Brien has won with the likes of Maybe, Churchill and Point Lonsdale in recent years. Stable-mate Content and fellow Irish raider Nemonte – trained by O’Brien’s son Joseph – also look to hold a chance of going close.

Charlie Johnston’s KNOCKBREX can land a second win from four starts in the Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) (5.35pm) – and provide Dettori with possibly his final ever Royal Ascot winner.

National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ryan Moore teamed up to win with Vauban on the opening day and they can do similar in the finale and the longest race of the week, the Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions Race) (6.10pm), with dual winner STRATUM. Now a 10-year-old Stratum was down the field over an inadequate 1m6f in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown last month. But that was just a stepping stone ahead of his hat-trick bid in this race – a treble he looks set to complete.

Away from Royal Ascot at Newmarket Ed Dunlop’s RED TREASURE – a winner at Yarmouth on his seasonal return at the start of the month – can go in again in the Racing TV Handicap (3.52pm); while the Karen Jewell-trained RED FLYER can triumph in the Winners Wear House Of Cavani Handicap (3.17pm).

At Haydock Park on Saturday night Tim Easterby’s GOLDEN MELODY – who has won at the Merseyside track in the past – can take the MB Health Handicap (7.40pm).

Others who may triumph at Haydock are the David O’Meara-trained MAY BLOSSOM in the EBF Fillies’ Handicap (6.35pm); Karl Burke’s JO’S RAINBOW in the Lathom Handicap (8.10pm); and course and distance winner SUCELLUS – from the Cheshire stable of Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero – in the finale, the Bickerstaffe Handicap (8.40pm).

Wright Ones


2.30pm Buttons
3.05pm Covey
3.40pm Changingoftheguard
4.20pm Artorius
5pm Lethal Levi (NAP)
5.35pm Knockbrex
6.10pm Stratum


1.32pm Ancient Wisdom
2.07pm Sophia's Starlight
2.42pm Imperial Emperor
3.17pm Red Flyer
3.52pm Red Treasure
4.32pm Danzart
5.09pm Laheg


1.37pm Brave Empire
2.12pm Pound Off You
2.47pm Powerful Response
3.22pm Cruyff Turn
4.02pm Match Play
4.38pm Rooska
5.13pm Glendown


1.15pm Jehangeer
1.50pm Jojo Rabbit
2.24pm Run Cmc
2.59pm Kihavah
3.34pm Nymphadora
4.14pm Newyorkstateofmind
4.54pm Sam’s Call


6pm Chronograph
6.35pm May Blossom
7.10pm Nellie Leylax
7.40pm Golden Melody
8.10pm Jo’s Rainbow
8.40pm Sucellus

SUNDAY’S NAP: Fairmace (5.45pm Pontefract)

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