The 2013 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the annual Royal Ascot meeting are named in honor of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's ascent to the throne. It marks the final Group 1 race at Ascot Racecourse, so there will be no shortage of anticipation on Saturday.
This is a race that only covers six furlongs, yet has so much on the line. The 18 horses that will compete in such tight quarters will make for one of the most compelling races of the 30 Royal Ascot fosters.
Society Rock won the Golden Jubilee Stakes two years ago and the six-year-old is the odds-on favorite. However, he fell short the last time around, winding up in fifth as the Black Caviar raced to her 22nd straight victory. She finished her career on a 25-race winning streak.
Let's take a look at the complete field, as well as some predictions for how the top-three will pan out amidst the final day in this grand British spectacle.
When: Saturday, June 22—post time is 10:45 a.m. ET
Where: Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire, England
TV: Channel 4 (UK)
Listen: BBC 5 Radio Live
Post Positions and Complete Field
Silvestre De Sousa
Saeed bin Suroor
Gordon Lord Byron
David Peter Nagle
|Gammarth||Fabrice Veron ||H-A Pantall ||50-1|
|7||Hawkeyethenoo||Graham Lee ||Jim Goldie ||14-1|
|8||Society Rock ||Kieren Fallon||James Fanshawe ||10-3|
|9||Havelock||Frankie Dettori ||Darrin Miller ||20-1|
|10||Rosdhu Queen ||Richard Hughes||William Haggas ||16-1|
|11||Mince||James Doyle ||Roger Charlton ||12-1 |
|12||Sirius Prospect ||Jim Crowley ||Dean Ivory ||40-1 |
|13||Sea Siren ||Ryan Moore ||John O'Shea||7-1|
|14||Intense Pink||Seb Sanders||Chris Wall||33-1|
|15||Lethal Force||Adam Kirby||Clive Cox||12-1|
|16||Krypton Factor||Luke Morris||Fawzi Abdulla Nass||20-1|
|17||Slade Power||Wayne Lordon||Edward Lynam||14-1|
|18||Reply||Joseph O'Brien||Aidan O'Brien||16-1|
*Horses, jockeys, and post positions are courtesy of RacingPost.com. Odds were obtained from William Hill and are current as of 10 a.m. ET on 6/21/2013.
Win: Gordon Lord Byron
The seventh-place finish in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen is somewhat of a red flag for Gordon Lord Byron, where he also had William Buick as his jockey.
Buick is a promising youngster, but has yet to develop the savvy to consistently ride winners. However, this seems like an ideal time for a landmark win, because Gordon Lord Byron enters in solid form and there is some history between the two.
The Group 2 Duke of York Stakes presented legitimate competition in pre-race favorite Society Rock, and Gordon Lord Byron managed to Show.
Additionally, Buick rode the five-year-old gelding across the finish first in October 2012 in the marquee, Group 1 Prix de la Foret.
Gordon Lord Byron's cause to chase down Society Rock on the turf track may be helped by Mother Nature, too. According to the BBC, Ascot will experience early rain that should clear in the morning, but could lend itself to heavy showers later on, making the horses sink further into the track.
Look for Gordon Lord Byron to avenge the loss to Society Rock and second-place finisher Lethal Force in the Duke of York Stakes and capture this prestigious race.
Due primarily to presence of the O'Briens, this is a longer shot that can't be counted out. To kick off the racing on Day 1 of Royal Ascot at the Queen Anne Stakes, Joseph O'Brien rode Declaration Of War to the winner's circle.
The 20-year-old jockey also won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes to start Wednesday off, getting the mount atop Gale Force Ten.
O'Brien is establishing himself as one of the better jockeys at such a young age, and his father and trainer Aidan O'Brien continues to turn to him in big races.
Reply has had O'Brien aboard in each of his past three races. Preceding an underwhelming fifth-place effort at the Ballycorus Stakes was the horse's second win since April 2011 at the Owenstown Stud Stakes and a runner-up effort at the Greenlands Stakes.
Thus, there has been mostly steady improvement under the guidance of O'Brien. From a betting standpoint, Reply represents extremely good value currently at 16-to-1.
Show: Society Rock
A late break in last year's race cost Society Rock a chance to repeat, but his closing speed to the finish was stellar. It's a difficult balance to strike with regard to pacing and speed because of how quickly the six furlongs fly by.
Society Rock, though, has won this very race before, and is rightly considered the 10-to-3 favorite. He is coming off of a victory in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes.
Veteran Irish jockey Kieren Fallon will be in the saddle for this one, as he was in the most recent of Society Rock's two wins in the aforementioned race and the Sprint Cup—a Group 1 race where the six-year-old breezed six furlongs in 1:10.20.
As mentioned before, weather could be a factor for Society Rock, but his familiarity with Ascot Racecourse should allow him to still have a solid run.
With a second-place showing preceding his 2011 victory, Society Rock has clearly had a lot of great history here. However, over the short stint of six furlongs, anything can happen. There are other viable contenders to choose from to prevent Society Rock from being labeled as a shoo-in for the win.
If it's any consolation to his connections, the veteran horse will still finish in the money, though the payout won't be very fruitful should it happen.