Jack Hobbs put in a disastrous performance at the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing last in the prestigious race. The five-year-old was considered the favourite to win the meet, but put in the worst display of his career as he faded drastically down the final furlong.
The brown horse had won four races heading into the contest, including his last outing at the Meydan, but he could not replicate his form bringing up the rear of a talented field.
John Gosden will have learned a great deal about his charge from the experience at the event and should be putting the five-year-old through its paces ahead of its return to the racecourse.
As a result, backing Jack Hobbs in the latest horse racing betting odds to return to his best at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at 10/1 provides value, although the brown horse will have to produce a flawless performance given the talent of his competitors.
Jack Hobbs had an extremely impressive start to his career, winning his opening two races. He made his debut at the Maiden Stakes at Wolverhampton, securing the victory by a comfortable margin.
Gosden’s charge followed that performance with a dominant run at Sandown Park, beating his nearest rival by 12 lengths, highlighting the quality of his performance.
Although Jack Hobbs had a promising start, even he could not match the pace of the legendary horse Golden Horn at the Dante Stakes and The Derby, finishing second behind his stablemate at York and the Epsom Downs respectively.
His first encounter with Highland Reel proved to be a success as the brown horse rose to the occasion in the Irish Derby in Curragh to win the race by five lengths, with his future foe placing well off the pace in fifth.
The September Stakes provided Gosden’s charge with the perfect opportunity to warm up for the Champions Stakes at the end of the term. Once again he cruised to victory, meeting expectations with a dominant outing.
However, he failed to capitalise on his momentum at Ascot, and although he led for a portion of the Champion Stakes, Jack Hobbs lacked the pace in the closing stages allowing Fascinating Rock to claim the victory, while Found edged ahead into second.
The majority of the horse’s 2016 season was lost due to injury, pulling up in his opening meet at Newmarket. He competed just once after the incident in April at the Champion Stakes towards the end of the campaign.
Even though he had limited race action, Gosden’s charge still put forward a solid display, finishing third – only narrowly off the pace.
Jack Hobbs hit the ground running at the start of the 2017 term, beginning with a fine run in Meydan at the Sheema Classic, defeating a talented field by two-and-a-half lengths.
All signs suggested that the five-year-old was poised to shine at his return to Ascot, but he put in the worst display of his career, finishing last for the first time. Gosden’s charge never found his footing in the race and lacked the sufficient pace down the final stretch to improve his standing.
Gosden and jockey William Buick will know that the horse cannot perform worse than his last outing, but will also feel that Jack Hobbs at his best can dominate. If the five-year-old produces a flawless display he could well take home the crown to atone for his failure at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.