Chris McGrath

Chris McGrath is Racing Correspondent for The Independent.

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Johnny Murtagh’s mount Thomas Chippendale races to victory in the Hardwicke Stakes only to collapse and die shortly

Chippendale's sombre end for stirring week

How credulously, in its hour of need, did the British Turf embrace the random favours of fortune as evidence of some balance or redress. In consecutive races last week, famous wins for his widow and sovereign respectively seemed calculated to console many who had gone to Royal Ascot grieving the most prolific trainer in its history. But those closest to Sir Henry Cecil will convene for his funeral today freshly versed in the callous indifference of fate's every dispensation.

Sky Lantern (L) powers past the field to win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Lantern shines for Hughes to dispel doubts
and frustration

1,000 Guineas heroine gains spectacular win in Coronation Stakes under trademark ride

Dandy looks fine for Jubilee celebration

With the scores level between Ireland and the host nation, on three apiece, the final Group One race of the meeting can tilt things in favour of the raiders.

The Last Word: From film star to director, Pirlo is the legend with a living legacy

He is unlikely to match Zanetti for longevity but his look implies virility

Glory for Queen – and King of Ascot

Estimate lands first Gold Cup for monarch after emotional triumph for Henry Cecil's Riposte

Frankie Dettori seeks a first Group One win since his return

Maureen can deliver Frankie Dettori redemption at Royal Ascot

Hearts will rule many heads tomorrow, albeit resistance should perhaps be fairly minimal anyway after events here. For it is not just sentiment that will unite punters behind two Warren Place runners who seek to emulate the success of Riposte. The form book, after all, gives Joyeuse and Disclaimer strong claims – quite apart from the air of destiny preceding both. But that does not alter the fact that those hard enough of heart might find better value elsewhere.

James Doyle on Al Kazeem (right) collars Mukhadram, ridden by Paul Hanagan, to land the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot

James Doyle treble rallies home spirits at Royal Ascot

Al Kazeem spearheads 892-1 three-timer for jockey after Irish again claim early success

Indian Chief’s Dante form gives him strong claims

Altano the value alternative in Gold Cup

She may own the stage, but thoroughbreds are too addicted to improvisation to permit even the monarch to write the scripts. So while the royal colours are carried on Ladies' Day by the Gold Cup favourite, Estimate, those punters driven by profit – rather than patriotism – should perhaps pledge allegiance to one of the foreign invaders instead.

Declaration Of War stormed home to win Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes

Aidan O'Brien's Ascot double opens up new front for Coolmore turf war with sheikh

After their unprecedented depredations at the Cheltenham Festival, the Irish plundered the first four races in Britain's equivalent carnival for Flat racing. Chauvinism aside, however, the deeper gains were perhaps made by those superpowers discreetly manoeuvring for supremacy in the global bloodstock market.

The John Gosden-trained The Fugue has a good record fresh

Fugue best played at rapid tempo for Royal Ascot

Gosden filly can spring surprise against Derby winner Camelot and his Curragh conqueror

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