If ever a race was tailor made for one trainer then it has to be the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes over a mile and a half for four-year-old and upwards at Royal Ascot (3.40) which is simply bread and water to Sir Michael Stoute.

His whole training philosophy is centred on horses progressing with age and giving them plenty of time to mature and, once again, he appears to have the ideal candidate to fit the bill in Exosphere.

The Freeemason Lodge trainer won the race for the first time with Dihistan in 1986 and a further eight runners from his team have come here to land the spoils with Rock Hopper (1991 and 1992) and Maraahel (2006 and 2007) both duel winners.

The 73-times winning trainer at the Royal meeting bids for a hat trick in the race this afternoon after the recent successes of Telescope and Snow Sky and it would take a brave man to oppose his latest contender Exosphere.

The Beat Hollow colt had a favourable first season when winning three of his six starts but had clearly improved beyond recognition on his reappearance in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket (1m 4f) at the end of April when dishing out a comprehensive four length defeat to the St Leger winner Simple Verse.

He appears to have been trained clearly with this race in mind and could earn his place in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes back here next month if victorious. He looks worth a 2pt investment.

Stoute’s former assistant James Fanshawe could be the man to follow with The Tin Man in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (4.20).

The lessons learnt at Freemason Lodge were clearly not lost on the trainer affectionately known as The Skeleton Man and in this son of Equiano he appears to have a sprinter very much on the upgrade.

The Tin Man is a half-brother to Deacon Blues, who was another that improved markedly with age for Fanshawe and ended his four-year-old campaign with five straight wins, which culminated in a length and a half victory from Wizz Kid in the British Champions Sprint over this course and distance in 2011.

If ever a jockey deserved to be seen in his true colours on the big stage then it has to be Tom Queally who just hasn’t received the patronage his talents deserve since the glory days of Frankel but possesses the touch of class that makes the difference on the big days.

Queally had an able partner in The Tin Man when he reappeared at Windsor last month, where he ran on strongly for a decisive two length success from Watchable and, with the ground in his favour and plenty of improvement likely to come, he looks worth a 1pt investment.

Mark Johnston is another who rarely leaves the Royal meeting without a winner and could end the final day with a double courtesy of Revolutionist and Oriental Fox.

Revolutionist has a high draw (15) to overcome in the Listed Wolferton Handicap (3.05) but that was no barrier to success in the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar last time when he readily repelled the potentially smart Central Square by a length and a quarter.

The ground should be very much to his liking and James McDonald’s journey to England for the meeting can be made very worthwhile for the Kiwi jockey.

Last but not least Oriental Fox can once again command the Queen Alexandra Stakes (5.35).

The Markus Graff-owned eight-year-old is another for whom the ground holds no fears and he is has been trained specifically for this marathon event after his seven length demolition of Taws here last June.

Both of the Johnston contenders look worth 1pt investments.
Exosphere - 2pts @ 5/2
The Tin Man - 1pt @ 4/1
Oriental Fox - 1pt @ 5/1