Royal Ascot 2019 Hardwicke Stakes Preview
The Hardwicke Stakes (15:40 22nd June) is a Group 2 Race run over 1 mile 3 furlongs and 211 yards on the final day of the Royal Ascot Meeting. It was established in 1879 and is often used as a stepping-stone to the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes run at Ascot in July. Horses that have won both these high-profile races include Doyen and Harbinger.
Check out our 10-year-trends, runner-by-runner guide and free tip for the 2019 Hardwicke Stakes.
Hardwicke Stakes 10-Year-Trends
The last 10 winners of the Hardwicke Stakes have all been aged four, with all winners drawn in between stall-two and stall-nine. All the winners in the last decade had a prep race between 22 and 49 days earlier. Seven of the winners won their prep race, whilst two finished second and the other finished sixth.
Sir Michael Stoute is the race’s top trainer with six winners in the last nine years, whilst Aidan O’Brien has trained two winners in the last eight years. Ryan Moore has ridden five of the last nine winners, four for Stoute and one for O’Brien. Winners were returned at odds ranging between 4/6 and 12/1.
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Hardwicke Stakes Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
This Mark Johnston trained four-year-old heads the nine entries for the 2019 Hardwicke Stakes. He looked good when beating Defoe two starts ago, but that re-opposing rival turned that form around by nine-lengths last time. Communique has also failed to win a handicap and a Group 3 on his previous two runs at Ascot and hasn’t won any of his three starts with Franny Norton in the saddle.
Hit and miss five-year-old that is now the second highest-rated horse in the field after beating two higher-rated horses in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on his last start. However, it’s hard to know whether he’ll repeat that performance here at Ascot, where he’s never run before. His trainer’s horses have also been running averagely so far at the meeting.
The 2018 Derby winner hasn’t been seen since winning the biggest race of all, but that absence means he doesn’t have to carry a Group 1 penalty. 385 days off the track still makes winning this race a tough ask for him, although this does not look the strongest Hardwicke Stakes ever run.
Five-year-old trained by Sir Michael Stoute, but he hasn’t achieved the same level of form of many of his trainer’s previous winners. He’s been beaten on all three of his runs at Ascot, including at the last two Royal Ascot Meetings.
The oldest horse in this year’s field at the age of six, but he seems to still be improving, aided by soft ground and a step up to 12-furlongs or further on his last few starts. However, after a seriously impressive win in the mud at Chester two starts ago, he flopped badly in the Coronation Cup on faster ground. He probably needs the heavens to open, having been beaten at last year’s Royal Ascot.
Five-year-old French-trained runner who has won a Listed Race but has so far come up short in group races. He’s also rated 16lb inferior to the top-rated horse and it’s difficult to make a case for him.
Has run two decent races to finish second and third in the last two Coronation Cups at Epsom, but the gut feeling is he tends to find at least one horse that stays this trip more strongly than he does. That looked the case when he finished fourth over course and distance in last year’s King George, but he still has an each-way chance.
Aidan O’Brien has trained this four-year-old like he’s always considered him a stayer, but he’s been noted travelling well at today’s distance when outstayed over 14-furlongs on his last two starts. Ryan Moore has got him within a length of winning on both occasions he’s ridden him, and he could go close today if he’s improved from his last run behind Stradivarius.
Lah Ti Dar
Interesting four-year-old filly, whose win on this year’s seasonal debut was boosted when the winner finished second in a Group 2 this week. She was also the 11/4 favourite for the Coronation Stakes (winner Defoe 11/1), when she didn’t seem to like Epsom, but is now a much bigger price than Defoe. The form of her one previous run at Ascot also looks decent, as she finished just behind Magical who was second in this week’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and Coronet who won at Royal Ascot in 2017 and was third in the 2018 King George.
Hardwicke Stakes 2019 Summary
There are several five and six-year-olds that have a chance on their best form, but Salouen may lack the required stamina. That shouldn’t be an issue for Morando, but he may need softer ground. Despite being trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the form of Mirage Dancer doesn’t look good enough, whilst Defoe hasn’t run here before and his stable looks a little out of form.
Four-year-olds have won the last 11 editions of the Hardwicke Stakes, but Communique might not be good enough. The jury is also out on Southern France, who hasn’t proved up to this class so far and he may have been flattered by his proximity to Stradivarius last time.
If there’s money for Masar, it could be that last year’s Derby winner is back to his best after being absent from the track for over a year, but no recent winner has defied such an absence. That’s why I’m willing to take a chance on Lah Ti Dar, who would be a much shorter price if she hadn’t blotted her copybook at Epson last time. I’m happy to forgive any horse a bad run at that quirky track, and her form at Ascot looks good enough to win this, especially as Frankie Dettori is riding brilliantly this week.
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Lah Ti Dar (Each-Way) @ 7.00 Boylesports, Marathon[/su_service]
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