The Andre Fabre-trained French raider Waldgeist was sent off at 3/1 for the Irish Derby when last seen, eventually finishing fourth, beaten less than two lengths. Two of the horses who finished ahead of him – namely Capri and Cracksman – have both won since, so the form looks very solid, and he looks the one to beat in Ascot’s Cumberland Lodge Stakes at 14:25.
Don’t be a silly sausage, back him to win.
One-time Derby hope Midterm, and Secret Number, the 2013 winner of this race who ran well under a double penalty at Newbury last time, look to be his biggest dangers.
The American singer/actress Eartha Kitt was once described as “the most exciting woman in the world” by Orson Welles, however the same couldn’t be said about her equine namesake, trained by Tom Dascombe.
She runs in the fillies’ handicap at Newmarket at 14:05, and though respected with the return to six furlongs in her favour, it’s Marie of Lyon who looks the one to beat. She’s on a hat-trick after wins at Brighton and Pontefract and looks sure to go well for Ryan Moore.
Staying at HQ, the Sun Chariot Stakes at 14:40 is the only domestic Group 1 this weekend, and it’s a race in which French runners have had plenty of joy. Sahpresa’s three consecutive victories (2009-2011) have contributed to six Gallic wins in the last eight years, and three horses represent the French Tricolore this year.
Siyoushake and Usherette both have a big chance on Timeform figures, however the ratings are topped by Qemah. She may not have matched her Coronation Stakes win of last year in four runs this season, but she should prove suited by the likely stronger pace here. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Roly Poly and Matron Stakes third Persuasive look her biggest dangers.
Back at Ascot, Blue Point appeared to be unsuited by conditions when a below-form fourth in the Sprint Cup at Haydock when last seen, and connections will be praying the rain stays away ahead of the Bengough Stakes at 15:00.
However, this looks a competitive race, certainly on weight-adjusted Timeform ratings, and there may be some value to be had with Danzeno.
Mick Appleby’s sprinter wasn’t disgraced under a big weight in the Stewards’ Cup last time and should appreciate a return to his favoured venue; his record at Ascot reads 2-3-5-1.
While the preparations for the Grand Final are completed at Old Trafford, the Challenge Cup takes place 200 miles away in Ascot’s 15:35. Mojito, who completed his hat-trick at York in August, looks to have another big rum in him and is respected, as is hold-up horse Mitchum Swagger who should get a strong pace to chase.
However, Makzeem and Raising Sand look the two to focus on. The latter ran well in defeat over C&D last time, but may prefer an extra furlong, so preference is for recent Newmarket winner Makzeem, who is on course to match his close relation Al Kazeem’s achievements if continuing in the same vein.