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Chris Waller and James McDonald out to claim huge Royal Ascot sprint double

The final Group One race at Royal Ascot has been renamed the Platinum Jubilee Stakes as the queen marks 70 years on the British throne.

Given her long years of service to the Commonwealth, it’s perhaps rather fitting that the favourite for this year’s race is Australian challenger Home Affairs, who will attempt to give trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald a huge sprint double after the victory of Nature Strip in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday.

Home Affairs has a victory over Nature Strip to his credit when beating the best sprinter in the world by a short-head at Flemington in February and he will likely be a short-priced favourite to follow his stablemate into the winner’s enclosure on Saturday.

The speedster’s 26 rivals include challengers from all across the world, with Campanelle from the United States, Japanese raider Grenadier Guards and fellow Australian Artorius taking on the best the British and Irish have to offer.

Of those British and Irish runners, A Case Of You has taken his form to a different level in the past year, winning the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye in France in October and the Group One Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai in March.

He has been drawn on the wing in stall 27, which may not be ideal, but he should continue to give a good account, while the improving mare Highfield Princess could give a decent sight from the front.

The Group Two Hardwicke Stakes (2,400m) features an eight-runner field in which most of the runners are just bubbling under the elite level.

Only two contenders have Group One winning form and they are owned by the powerhouse operations of Coolmore and Godolphin. Hurricane Lane runs for the boys in blue and has three victories at the elite level under his belt with wins in the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger.

A fantastic third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last season, he makes his first start for 258 days but has previously gone well fresh, winning at Newbury after a break of 188 days last season.

Broome won the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in June 2021 but has been disappointing for the most part since despite finishing second at the Breeders’ Cup in November. He will need to bounce back to his very best to figure.

Hurricane Lane is well clear on ratings but Solid Stone could give him most to do coming into the race off an easy three-length win at Group Two level in the Huxley Stakes at Chester.

The Group Three Jersey Stakes (1,400m) can go the way of Samburu, who is unbeaten in three starts and is improving rapidly. He should be able to continue his rise through the ranks under Frankie Dettori.

British punters love solving a big-field handicap so the Wokingham Stakes (1,200m) is always one of the most popular races of the meeting.

While with 30 runners there is plenty of choice, Quarantine Dreams has been running on strongly over 1,000m in his two starts this season and can take advantage of this extra furlong.

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