Darley-sired action on day five of Royal Ascot

Pinatubo aiming to follow in Shamardal’s footsteps in G1 St James’s Palace Stakes; progressive Sceptical lines up in Diamond Jubilee

The fifth and final day’s racing at Royal Ascot 2020 undoubtedly offers the best card of the week, with three G1 contests and two juvenile Group races to keep racing fans entertained.

The opening race is the G2 Queen Mary, won last year by talented filly Raffle Prize (Slade Power).

Exceed And Excel will aim to sire his second winner of the race, following Best Terms, who went on to take the G2 Lowther Stakes.

His runner this year is Sacred, a homebred for Cheveley Park Stud. She has had just one start, winning by nearly two lengths in a Newmarket maiden that has already thrown up several subsequent winners.

The two-year-old colts are up next in the Coventry and outstanding father/ son combination Dubawi and Night Of Thunder have three runners between them.

Creative Force (Dubawi) won at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting (pictured) and will aim to keep up the family tradition at Ascot as his half-sister is 2017 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Persuasive. With three winners to Thursday, Dubawi is currently leading sire at this year’s Royal meeting.

Night Of Thunder, already responsible for Jersey Stakes winner Molatham, is double handed in the Coventry with Qaader and Thunder of Niagara both lining up.

Qaader was very impressive on his debut, winning by four lengths at Newbury, while his stablemate Thunder of Niagara beat a subsequent winner when landing a Newcastle maiden by nearly two lengths.

Former shuttler Sepoy is represented by Army Of India.

This race was won by Buratino in 2015 and Dawn Approach in 2012.

Last year’s undefeated Champion juvenile Pinatubo will bid to return to winning ways in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes. Third in the fastest ever running of the 2,000 Guineas last time out, Pinatubo will also be aiming to emulate his late sire Shamardal, who won this race when it was run at York in 2005.

The aforementioned Dawn Approach won this race in one of the finishes of the meeting in 2013.

Next up is the G1 Diamond Jubilee, the scene of the second leg of Blue Point’s remarkable sprint double last year.

Sceptical (Exceed And Excel) has been an absolute revelation this year, rising through the ranks on the All Weather over the winter. He took the Listed Woodlands Stakes at Naas on his turf debut this year, winning by three lengths.

Should he win on Saturday, he would become the tenth G1-winning sprinter for Exceed And Excel.