Magical Memory connections say they have “got to be delighted” with the draw as they look to avenge last year’s near miss in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Twelve months ago Charles Hills’ Magical Memory failed by just half a length to win the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and today he returns to try his luck again in the Royal Ascot feature contest (4.20).

A 7/1 shot with Betfred, the five-year-old gelding finished fourth in a blanket finish behind Twilight Son in last year’s big race having previously landed the Group 3 Abernant Stakes and the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes.

This term connections have taken their time with the horse who won the Stewards’ Cup as a three-year-old, and he has been trained specially with this afternoon’s six furlong event in mind. He ran a pleasing race at York last month on softer ground than ideal, chasing home Tasleet who he meets once again this afternoon.

“Charlie is very happy with the horse and I think we’ve got to be delighted with the draw in stall 18,” said Sam Hoskins, racing manager to Magical Memory’s owners, Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds. “It’s sad Frankie [Dettori] is injured and can’t ride as he knows the horse so well, but James Doyle [who won Thursday’s Ascot Gold Cup on Big Orange] is a great substitute and we’re all really looking forward to the race.

“He ran a cracker in the race last year to be beaten only half a length and we were really happy with his reappearance at York. We’re cautiously optimistic. It looks like we’re drawn on the right side and hopefully we’re in with a shout.”

Betfred make Henry Candy’s smart Limato a 9/4 market leader, while James Fanshawe’s classy The Tin Man is next in the market at 11/2.

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Odds subject to change.

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