Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes Odds & Betting Picks

Something for everyone on the final day of Royal Ascot on Saturday, with the feature G1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes lit up by the swift return of Highfield Princess, who takes on crack overseas speedballs Artorius and Wellington in a race that promises to be a real burn-up. Route runner Hukum gets his chance to shine again in the G2 Hardwicke, while the fascinating G3 Jersey brings together the progressive Covey, Enfjaar, Olivia Maralda and the stretching-out The Antarctic over the specialist seven-furlong distance.

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes

G1, $1,000,000, 6f turf (straight), 4yo+, 10.40am ET

The first three in the betting market for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, the headliner of Saturday’s final-day card at Royal Ascot, are from different countries, emphasising the international nature of the big meeting – but nevertheless the question in most people’s minds is ‘can she do it this time?’.

The hugely popular Highfield Princess turns out again four days after running second in the G1 King’s Stand here over five furlongs, beaten a length after being slightly hampered in the closing stages, with Cannonball last of 17.

Neither the swift turnaround – happens frequently with sprinters in Europe – nor the extra yardage should be a problem and she’s clearly on top of her game.

Hong Kong speedball Wellington is the second-best sprinter in that jurisdiction and his victory in the six-furlong G1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December reads very well here. He has been beaten by the HK champion sprinter in his last four starts and this could represent a little class relief.

The Australian challenge is spearheaded by Artorius, a dead-heat third in this race 12 months ago when beaten three-quarters of a length – with Sacred fifth, Highfield Princess sixth, Kinross eighth, Run To Freedom tenth and Emaraaty Ana 15th – and in sparkling form Down Under, winning a G1 at Randwick in March.

He has a big class edge over compatriots The Astrologist – beaten twice in lower grade in Britain this year – and Cannonball and has improved as he has matured, and he could be near his peak now.

Sacred usually works the seven-furlong beat and saw off Sandrine at that distance in the G3 Chartwell at Lingfield on her seasonal bow, drawing off to win going away by two and a quarter lengths. She may find more with that under her belt but neither horse will be suited by the cutback.

Conversely, Run To Freedom relishes the six and ran arguably a career-best in a stakes at Salisbury last time, getting up late for a narrow win with the veteran Khaadem third, beaten three-quarters of a length, Sandrine fifth and Ascot specialist Rohaan a no-show eighth on his first start of 2023.

Run To Freedom’s chance would improve if it rained, which also goes for Rohaan, who has won four times over course and distance, and for Kinross, who was in majestic form last autumn and was an easy winner of the G1 British Champions Sprint over course and distance before hitting the board in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile. The first run of the year may not be the best time to catch him.

Art Power reserves his best for The Curragh, Al Suhail appears better at seven furlongs, but US tourist Big Invasion ran a career-best when runner-up in the six-furlong G1 Jaipur at Belmont Park two weeks ago, and wouldn’t be the worst longshot if the travelling hasn’t had an effect on him.

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
ArtoriusJames McDonald+400
Highfield PrincessJason Hart+550
Wellington Ryan Moore+550
KinrossFrankie Dettori+800
SacredTom Marquand+800
RohaanAdam Kirby+1200
Al SuhailWilliam Buick+1600
Art PowerOisin Murphy+1600
Big Invasion Jim Crowley+1800
SandrineDavid Probert+2200
Run To Freedom Dane O’ Neill+2500
Coeur De PierreTony piccone+2800
CannonballDaniel Tudhope+4000
Emaraaty AnaNeil Callan+4000
The AstrologistDamian Lane+5000
KhaademJamie Spencer+6600

The usual minefield, but last year’s third ARTORIUS has improved from three to four, may well move up further, and his experience of this track is a positive.

Hardwicke Stakes

G2, £250,000, 1m 4f turf (round), 4yo+, 11.20am ET

Pedigree watchers get something to think about in the Hardwicke, the highlight of the undercard, with the early favourite showing that breeding racehorses really is an inexact science.

The name in the frame is Hukum , a late-maturing stamina-rich runner whose brother Baaeed was the best horse in the world last year at a mile. Hukum doesn’t have the same fast-twitch muscles but he’s formidable when he gets rolling, as he showed when winning the G1 Coronation Cup at Epsom over a mile and a half a year ago, romping by four and a quarter lengths from Pyledriver.

Hukum was sidelined after that but returned as good as ever when winning the G3 Brigadier Gerard at Sandown over an inadequate ten furlongs, and should show even more now stretching back out.

Pyledriver went on to win the showpiece G1 King George over course and distance, a superb effort albeit aided by several of his main rivals running below form, and he’s likely to need the run after an 11-month layoff.

Another long-term absentee is Deauville Legend , off since finishing a gallant fourth in the two-mile G1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington in early November. His form at a mile and a half in Britain last summer was highly progressive, winning at G2 and G3 level, but the layoff doesn’t speak to his chance against race-fit opposition.

Twelve months ago Changingoftheguard and Grand Alliance were separated by a whisker when they filled the exacta in the G2 King Edward VII over course and distance, and Grand Alliance would have prevailed but for his habit of hanging badly left. He won the G3 John Porter at Newbury last time, but that’s a left-handed track, and he’s likely to give away a lot of ground now going the ‘wrong’ way around.

Changingoftheguard wasn’t suited by the tight track at Chester on his first start since that King Edward win, and is a dour front-runner who will be on the lead for sure. Class is a concern but he could get the run of the race out front.

Free Wind is riding a four-race winning streak and has the pace for shorter and the stamina to go longer. Her defeat of Rogue Millennium in the G2 Middleton at York was boosted by the runner-up’s win here on Wednesday (albeit at a different distance), and she’s still upgrading after just eight races in four campaigns, but it’ll be much tougher against the boys.

Being gelded has given West Wind Blows a boost as he ran a career-best last time when winning the G3 La Coupe at Longchamp, but the fast ground isn’t a positive, while Ardakan has fair form behind the likes of Rebel’s Romance, Broome and Siskany but has only ever won in Italy, and needs a career-best here just to have a chance.

Hardwicke Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
HukumJim Crowley+200
Free Wind Frankie Dettori+250
PyledriverP J McDonald+750
Deauville LegendDaniel Muscutt+800
ChangingoftheguardRyan Moore+1000
ArdakanJames McDonald+2000
West Wind BlowsJamie Spencer+2000
Grand AllianceWilliam Buick+3300

Everything is set up perfectly for HUKUM, who will be spot-on after his recent G3 victory over a shorter distance and will relish stretching out again.

Jersey Stakes

G3, £150,000, 7f turf (straight), 3yo, 10.05am ET

A big field of improving – in most cases – sophomores makes the Jersey a tough game for bettors, although the presence of a shortish favourite does help with a place to begin the search.

John Gosden hasn’t won this race for more than 20 years but sends Covey, who displayed excellent credentials for this test when rolling coast-to-coast for a romping score by three and a quarter lengths in handicap company at Haydock, adding victory at a mile to two previous wins at today’s distance.

This is a class hike but he’s ready – interestingly, the last horse to beat Covey was Zoology, who put him away by a neck on the Southwell synthetic in early April. Zoology didn’t like the mud when well beaten next time and is an exotics possible.

The sky could be the limit for the unbeaten Enfjaar, two-for-two after hosing moderate rivals by six lengths in a minor-league show on the synthetic surface at Chelmsford. He’ll need more but there almost certainly is more to come.

His barnmate Olivia Maralda found the G1 1,000 Guineas mile too far but clicked straight away when dropped back a furlong. She ran out a convincing winner of an Epsom stakes by two and a half lengths from perennial runner-up Holguin, who had no response when the winner flashed past, with the rallying Streets Of Gold another length and a quarter back in third, and she’s not necessarily a second-string.

The speedy The Antarctic, a brother to former champion sprinter Battaash, stretches out for the first time after being G1-placed last year and winning the G3 Lacken at Naas over six furlongs last month, with Thunderbear a staying-on fourth, beaten a length and a quarter. He made all there but might struggle to make that stick in this tougher test, although he certainly has the pace to get out front.

Woodbine G1 winner Mysterious Night has been gelded since showing absolutely zero when last of seven in a G3 on his first start of 2023, and there’s no knowing whether that will help him recapture his previous fine form. The 2,000 Guineas (British and Irish) also-rans Holloway Boy, Flight Plan, Quar Shamar, Alexander John and Age Of Kings are all tough to like dropping down a furlong, although Holloway Boy won a stakes over course and distance at this meeting 12 months ago – his most recent win – and that’s in his favor.

Jersey Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
CoveyFrankie Dettori+225
The AntarcticRyan Moore+500
EnfjaarJim Crowley+800
Olivia MaraldaKevin Stott+800
Mysterious NightWilliam Buick+1000
Holloway BoyClifford Lee+1100
Quar ShamarRonan Whelan+1400
ZoologyOisin Murphy+2000
Flight PlanDaniel Tudhope+2200
HolguinDavid Probert+2500
ThunderbearJamie Spencer+3300
Streets Of GoldCharles Bishop+4000
Age Of KingsWayne Lordan+6600
Empty MrtaphorHollie Doyle+10000
Alexander JohnTom Marquand+30000

Seven furlongs is a specialist distance and OLIVIA MARALDA, beaten in a mile G1 two starts ago, ran a career-best at 7f last time and can move up again.

Check out the 2023 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes Recap

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