Anyone who has been shedding funds and confidence during its first four days will do well to turn things round on the final afternoon of the meeting, a hugely competitive card having been rendered more complicated still by deterioration in the going.
All things being equal, punters could find sanctuary in the first two races through a pair of Ballydoyle bankers, Maybe and Await The Dawn. Maybe has a Classic pedigree, by Galileo from the family of Dancing Rain, but proved far more precocious than the market had anticipated on her debut at Naas. Second and fourth proceeded to dominate a Listed race on their next start, and Maybe (2.30) should relish the extra furlong in the Chesham Stakes. So long as she handles conditions, she can have too much gas for some middle-distance sorts in the making.
Still very lightly raced, Await The Dawn again exuded Group One quality on his reappearance. The possibility of an extreme emphasis on stamina, however, makes the step up to a mile and a half a matter of some concern for the son of Giant's Causeway. He could win by a street, but those nervous of the odds are recommended an each-way interest in the rank outsider, Kings Gambit (3.05). For such a dour type, his stamina has remained strangely unexplored.
The final Group One race of the meeting, the Golden Jubilee Stakes, looks a minefield. Conditions are a big concern for Delegator, duly supplanted as favourite by Star Witness, who looked likely to appreciate the extra furlong here on Tuesday. But the Australian raider seemed to be living on his nerves somewhat, and it remains to be seen how he takes to a quick return. Bated Breath is perhaps the most progressive in the field, but a low draw has been a hindrance this week. Perhaps Hooray will be fast enough to bring the far side into play, but for now Bated Breath's stablemate, Definightly, seems well placed to grab the stands rail on ground he loves. It was a very similar story when he beat Dalghar in France last autumn, but they start closer together this time. And Dalghar (3.45) retains scope for improvement, being largely unexposed both at this kind of trip and above all for his new stable.
Deacon Blues and Mac's Power will have been expertly prepared for the Wokingham by James Fanshawe, and it is not difficult to picture both showing up in the Golden Jubilee next year. But everything has to fall right in a stampede like this, and Nasri (4.25) has long appealed as the type to prosper for another chance at this trip.
Modun certainly looks as though he is only in transit through handicaps but will offer little value for the final one of the meeting, having been raised 15lb for his win at Newbury. Heddwyn (5.00) could prove rather better value, being hardly less exposed, better drawn, and as hungry for this extra distance. Elyaadi (5.35) is suggested for that long goodbye, the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Heddwyn (5.00 Ascot)
One of few in the field eligible for major improvement, having few miles on the clock and shaping as though he will relish the step up in distance.
Maybe (2.30 Ascot)
Exciting Galileo filly who could prove a cut above the norm for this race, so emphatically did she dispose of some decent fillies on her debut, altered conditions today looking the one quibble.
One To Watch
Cape Dollar (Sir Michael Stoute) had looked outclassed in the 1,000 Guineas but confirmed that she has plenty of ability when fourth at Ascot on Wednesday, finishing well after being badly hampered.
Where The Money's Going
Lui Rei is 16-1 from 25-1 to complete an amazing week for Prohibit's trainer, Robert Cowell, in the Wokingham.