CONNECTIONS of Magical Memory are hoping his class will shine through in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Royal Ascot’s final-day highlight.
Trainer Charlie Hills is proving a master with his sprinters, having charted the path of last year’s champion Muhaarar, and Frankie Dettori is so far unbeaten on the progressive four-year-old in four races following a victory in last month’s Duke Of York Stakes on Knavesmire.
Sam Hoskins, representing owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds said: “In an ideal world, I think we’d want better ground.
“In saying that, in most of the races this week, class has risen to the top.
“He was third in the Sprint Cup on slow ground and it was pretty slow ground when he won the Abernant, so he can handle it.
“We’re happy with the draw, near to Holler, who I expect to set to the pace, and if he can finish in the top three that would be great.”
Magical Memory will once again do battle with Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara’s Suedois, who was second on Knavesmire.
There’s further local interest courtesy of Tim Easterby’s Mattmu, who was a Group Three winner in Ireland last season – the four-year-old was only just beaten by Magical Memory at Newmarket in April.
A truly international race includes Holler from Australia, who bids to match the success of Black Caviar, the ‘thunder from Down Under’, four years ago.
“He’s no Black Caviar – he’s just a good, weight-for-age performer,” said trainer John O’Shea.
“He’s a big, tough galloping horse and I think the track will be okay for him.
“The horse is fine, it’s just the trainer who has had to try and get his head around the new environment. It’s very difficult the first week knowing where to work them, and how to work them.
“He’s on the speed, he’s a leader. He’s got great gate speed and he’ll be right up on the bunny. He’s a multiple weight-for-age performer in Australia at sprinting and that, by definition, means if he can bring his A-game he will be competitive.”
Adding further overseas interest is Gold-Fun, trained by Englishman Richard Gibson in Hong Kong.
“We wanted to come last year but we had a chip in his ankle removed so we’ve campaigned him lightly this year, he’s had six runs,” said Gibson.
“He’s been a great servant for us, he’s won lots of money and as he’s got older he’s got faster.”