2023 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes Recap

The final instalment of the five-day Royal Ascot extravaganza was as painful for chalk players as the rest of the week had been, with Saturday’s 2023 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes going to 80-1 poke Khaadem, winning his first race at the top level-after eight previous defeats. The 22-1 longshot Age Of Kings outran his odds to take the G3 Jersey, and public favourite Pyledriver returned from almost a year off the track to get the job done in the G2 Hardwicke.

Breeders Cup Odds

2023 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes

G1, $1,000,000, 6f turf (straight), 4yo+

Khaadem a killer for bettors

The utterly mystifying results at Royal Ascot this week kept coming on Saturday when Khaadem, who had never even hit the board in eight G1s, came from nowhere at 80-1 to win the feature Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee from Sacred and the valiant Highfield Princess.

England’s sweetheart Highfield Princess made a bold bid to go gate-to-wire just four days after finishing runner-up in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes, but she was running on empty in the last half-furlong and first Sacred and then Khaadem came through to take over, with the boxcar longshot going home the best under Jamie Spencer to win by a neck. The favoured Highfield Princess was a length and a quarter back in third, and Artorius was the best of the Australian challengers in fourth.

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“He’s got his quirks but is very fast on his day,” said trainer Charlie Hills. “I’ve always had faith in him and it’s fantastic that he’s finally won a big one.”

The seven-year-old gelding was fourth in this race in 2020 and unseated his jockey as he left the gate 12 months ago, so the third time was a charm. His share of the purse made him a sterling millionaire. 

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes Payouts

HorseWin (£)Place (£)
1. Khaadem81.0017.45
2. Sacred3.55
3. Highfield Princess1.80

Winning time: 1m 12.42s

2023 Hardwicke Stakes

G2, £250,000, 1m 4f turf (round), 4yo+

Pyledriver lands a knockout blow

The hugely popular Pyledriver shrugged off a long absence from the track to post his third victory over course and distance in the Hardwicke, finishing off too strongly for West Wind Blows and Changingoftheguard.

The six-year-old, a 7-2 second-choice following the scratch of paper favourite Hukum, pulled very hard in the early stages but had plenty left for the business end. He ran down long-time leader West Wind Blows at the furlong pole and kept on strongly to win by a length and a quarter, jagging sharply to his right late on under jockey PJ McDonald but surviving a stewards’ inquiry. There was a length between the board horses, while the new favourite Free Wind made no show, finishing fifth.

“That was a hell of a performance because he’ll improve so much for the run,” said trainer William Muir, who shares the licence with Chris Grassick.

The next stop for Pyledriver will be the £1.2m G1 King George over course and distance on July 29, the most prestigious all-aged race in Britain and a race he won last year at outsider’s odds of 18-1. Bettors won’t make the same mistake again.

Hardwicke Stakes Payouts

HorseWin (£)Place (£)
1. Pyledriver4.501.40
2. West Wind Blows2.20
3. Changingoftheguard2.00

Winning time: 2m 29.60s

2023 Jersey Stakes

G3, £150,000, 7f turf (straight), 3yo

Kings takes the pot

There was another upset winner in the Jersey, when Aidan O’Brien’s second-string Age Of Kings made light of his 22-1 odds to lead home a monster trifecta over 22-1 Zoology and 28-1 Streets Of Gold.

It was a thoroughly dominant and straightforward performance from the longshot, who stalked the pace of the favourite Covey until moving to the lead with a furlong and a half to run. From that point, he was all heart, and turned back the rallying Zoology by a length, with Streets Of Gold a neck further back. Covey dropped right out to be ninth.

O’Brien’s stable jockey Ryan Moore chose to ride The Antarctic, who finished 13th of the 15 runners, and the experienced Wayne Lordan – a long-time ally of O’Brien’s – was the super-sub getting his moment in the spotlight.

“He tries really hard, he always gives his best,” said Lordan. “He was a little weak at two but he has come forward nicely as a three-year-old.”

Missing out didn’t affect Moore overmuch as he was the leading jockey of the meeting with six winners, while O’Brien was the leading trainer with four victories. The father-son team of John and Thady Gosden also had four winners, but O’Brien prevailed on countback with many more placed horses than the Gosdens.

Jersey Stakes Payouts

HorseWin (£)Place (£)
1. Age Of Kings34.708.40
2. Zoology8.65
3. Streets Of Gold8.10

Winning time: 1m 26.93s

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