06/19/2014 11:17AM

Slade Power aims for first Group 1 win in Diamond Jubilee


Slade Power, the winner of four European group stakes for sprinters in the last year, will be favored to win the first Group 1 race of his career in Saturday’s $894,705 Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in England.

In his first start of 2014, Slade Power won the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes over six furlongs at The Curragh in Ireland on May 24. Last October, Slade Power won the Group 2 British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot and was 10th in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin Racecourse in December.

A 5-year-old Irish-bred by Dutch Art, Slade Power is trained by Edward Lynam for owners David and Sabena Power, who teamed to win Tuesday’s Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes with Sole Power.

Slade Power is part of a field of 15 in the Diamond Jubilee, run over a straightaway six furlongs. His main rivals are the two-time stakes winner Aljamaaheer and the 3-year-old Due Diligence.

Aljamaaheer, trained by Roger Varian, won the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot last July. Due Diligence, a Kentucky-bred War Front colt, began his career with Todd Pletcher last year. Due Diligence won a maiden race at Saratoga last August and was fourth in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park last October before being sent to current trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Saturday’s six-race program begins with the $102,250 Chesham Stakes for 2-year-olds over seven furlongs.

American trainer Wesley Ward has two runners in Cordero, a first-time starter by Giant’s Causeway, and Crown the Kitten, second in a maiden race at Belmont Park on June 6. Ryan Moore will ride Cordero, while Victor Espinoza will ride Crown the Kitten.

The Chesham drew a field of 15, including the stakes-placed maiden Toscanini and the O’Brien-trained Dick Whittington.

Leading Light wins Gold Cup

On Thursday at Royal Ascot, last year’s English St. Leger winner, Leading Light, won the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup over 2 1/2 miles, outfinishing 2013 winner Estimate by a neck despite running erratically late.

Missunited, who set the pace, finished third in the field of 15.

Leading Light, the 10-11 favorite, took the lead in the final furlong and was fully extended under jockey Joseph O’Brien to win the longest race of his career. Leading Light, a 4-year-old colt by Montjeu, is trained by O’Brien and owned by Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor.

Earlier on the program, To Be Determined, trained by Ward and ridden by Espinoza, finished last of 10 in the Group 3 Norfolk Stakes for 2-year-olds, a race won by Baitha Alga, who has won his last three starts.

Baitha Alga (8-1) won the five-furlong Norfolk Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths over 14-1 Mind of Madness.