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Hardwicke Stakes

16:20 Royal Ascot

2023-06-24

Winner: £141775

Runners: 7

Going:Good To Firm

No. of hurdles:

Distance: 1m3f211yy

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The Hardwicke Stakes is a Group 2 contest run over 1m4f. It takes place at 15:40 on Saturday 24th June, which is the fifth day of Royal Ascot 2023. View the runners here, and also make sure to check out the odds and tips on offer for this race.

NO.DRAW
FORM
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HORSE
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ODDS
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JOCKEY& TRAINER
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AGE
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WGT
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OR
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RPR
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NR(4)
/171-1
silk
Hukum

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T: Owen Burrows
6
9-3
122
136
Raced mainly on good/softer; multiple winner at 1m4f-1m6f; displayed surprising versatility by turning over Desert Crown in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes over 1m2f at Sandown last month, when having first run since readily beating Pyledriver in the 2022 Coronation Cup; solid record over C&D includes a handicap success at this meeting in 2020 and good third in this race the following year; better horse now and holds leading claims back up in trip.
6(5)
/0421-
silk
Pyledriver

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J: P J McDonald
T: William Muir & Chris Grassick
6
9-3
124
136
Won the 2021 Coronation Cup but proved no match for Hukum in same contest last year; finished in front of that rival at Meydan the time before, however; landed the 2022 King George over C&D (on fast ground) when last seen but the race fell apart with most rivals failing to show their form; had a couple of setbacks since and may need this outing to put him spot-on for another crack at the July showpiece.
8(8)
11/1-1
silk
Free Wind

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J: Frankie Dettori
T: John & Thady Gosden
5
9-0
115
131
Talented daughter of Galileo; acts on soft and good to firm ground; overcame severe interference to win the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock (1m4f) on sole run last season; followed up in the Middleton at York (1m2f; another Group 2) on 2023 reappearance, taking career record to 6-8 and beating Rogue Millennium who gave the form a timely boost by winning the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes here on Wednesday; very productive and could well rate higher still; highly respected back up in trip.
2(1)
1151-3
silk
Changingoftheguard

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J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
4
9-3
109
125
Front-running Ballydoyle colt who held on narrowly from wayward Grand Alliance in the King Edward VII Stakes at this meeting last year (1m4f, good to firm; final 3yo start), following his fifth-place finish in the Derby; may still have more to offer and looks interesting back here with Chester reappearance (third in the Ormonde; seemed to need the run) under his belt.
3(3)
21214-
silk
Deauville Legend

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J: Daniel Muscutt
T: James Ferguson
4
9-3
116
129
Progressive and has a solid record; won Group 3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket (1m5f, good to firm) and Group 2 Great Voltigeur at York (1m4f, good) last summer, then ran creditably when favourite for the Melbourne Cup; may well improve further this year and has possibilities on reappearance.
1(6)
34-324
silk
Ardakan

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J: James McDonald
T: Marco Botti
4
9-3
110
127
Successful in last year's Italian Derby when with a German yard; consistent efforts over 1m6f/2m at Meydan for new stable this year, most recently fourth in Group 2 contest; doesn't shape as if he's crying out for this return to 1m4f; faces a tough assignment on ratings to boot.
7(7)
613-31
silk
West Wind Blows

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J: Jamie Spencer
T: Simon & Ed Crisford
4
9-3
111
127
Gelded prior to Group 3 win at Longchamp (good to soft) two weeks ago, taking strike-rate over 1m2f to 4-5; not disgraced in Jockey Club Stakes the time before but that took his 1m4f record to 0-3 and he should be more interesting when back down in distance.
4(2)
2853-1
silk
Grand Alliance

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J: William Buick
T: Charlie Fellowes
4
9-3
106
123
Quirky sort who might have collared Changingoftheguard in the King Edward VII over C&D 12 months ago had he kept a true line; regained the winning thread in Group 3 at Newbury (1m4f, soft) on sole outing this term, despite again hanging badly left in latter stages; this is a harder task.

RACING POST TIP

circle_v2
silk
Free Wind
Productive mare FREE WIND (nap) is 3-3 since upped to Group 2 level and, in receipt of the 3lb allowance back against males, is taken to extend her winning sequence. She should be suited by the step back up to 1m4f and, from a figures perspective, gives the firm impression she can rate higher still. Hukum, whose Sandown success shows that he retains all of his high-class ability, is feared most on form. Deauville Legend (third choice) and Changingoftheguard are interesting contestants who remain open to further progress. Pyledriver has the ability to play a huge role but may need this reappearance run.

Verdict

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Past 10 Winners

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YEAR WINNER [DRAW] AGE WGT SP TRAINER JOCKEY
2022 Broome [7] 6 9-3 6/1 A P O’Brien Ryan Moore
2021 Wonderful Tonight [11] 4 8-12 5/1 David Menuisier William Buick
2020 Fanny Logan [8] 4 8-12 17/2 John Gosden Frankie Dettori
2019 Defoe [7] 5 9-1 11/4F Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni
2018 Crystal Ocean [4] 4 9-1 4/7F Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore
2017 Idaho [7] 4 9-1 9/2 A P O’Brien Seamie Heffernan
2016 Dartmouth [4] 4 9-1 10-1 Sir Michael Stoute Olivier Peslier
2015 Snow Sky [2] 4 9-1 12/1 Sir Michael Stoute Pat Smullen
2014 Telescope [8] 4 9-1 7/4F Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore
2013 Thomas Chippendale [8] 4 9-0 8/1 Lady Cecil Johnny Murtagh
2012 Sea Moon [3] 4 9-0 3/1F Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore

Key race stats

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  • Group-race winner, 10/10
  • Adjusted RPR of at least 128, 10/10
  • Rated within 8lb of RPR top-rated, 10/10
  • Aged four, 9/10
  • Top-two finish last time out, 9/10
  • Distance winner, 9/10
  • Finished in the first three in a Listed or Group race that season, 8/10
Other factors
  • Six winners scored last time out.
  • Four winners were RPR top-rated.

What happened last year?

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A race that had been so heavily dominated by four-year-olds in the past had the previous year’s St Leger winner and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe third Hurricane Lane as the odds-on favourite, but he could manage only third. The front-running Broome made most under Ryan Moore to become the first six-year-old to win the contest since Maraahel in 2007, while Mostahdaf, also a four-year-old, finished well for second.

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