Jason Weaver: Dark horse Royal Cirque looks ready to rumble at Ascot

It's the joy of six for the Weaver Shark on Saturday.


Haydock 13:50 Alemagna @ 8/1

There’s no doubt she needs to step up to take a hand in this contest, but she is getting lumps of weight from her older rivals and is an improving three-year-old type. Her win over slightly shorter at Goodwood was fairly impressive suggesting that the step up in distance and the softer ground are going to play to her strengths.

This 1m 6f trip is going to be a real stamina test and she looks tailor-made for it at an each way price.

Haydock 14:25 Great Scot @ 7/1 

Ran really well in top-level company as a juvenile last backend and again produced solid form in the early part of this season in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury. He needs to regain that form to figure, but under what could be ideal conditions, he can step up to the plate,

The Tom Dascombe team are in red-hot form and together with Richard Kingscote, usually punch above their weight at this track.

Ascot 14:45 Sanaadh @ 12/1

Has produced some decent efforts lately, most notably in the Bunbury Cup, when he was arguably unlucky. That can always be the case with hold-up horses, but his last run is the one that I’m really interested in when a massive eye-catcher at Goodwood. Held up at the back of the field, he wasn’t going anywhere until his jockey asked for effort in the final 100 yards.

He fairly flew home then and could be under the radar in this hot heat where Paddy is paying the first 5 home.

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Haydock 15:35 Time to Study @ 9/1

Has dropped a whopping 15lbs in the handicap from his peak of 108 and finally got his head in front for the Ian Williams’ yard in France last time. He could be dangerously well treated given that young Cieren Fallon takes another 5lbs off his back now. The trainer has three runners in the line-up – but the selection looks his major dart.

Ascot 15:55 Cirque Royal @ 10/3

It’s interesting that this is Charlie Appleby’s runner first effort on turf – having won two of his three races on the all-weather,

Given his pedigree, there is no reason that he will not improve again, now that he’s switched to the green stuff.

He’s also been gelded since we last saw him on the racecourse and with the market speaking in his favour he could make a mockery of a handicap mark of 96.

Most of his rivals seem to have found their level, but the selection is still a bit of a dark horse on turf.

Haydock 16:10 Brando @ 8/1

Kevin Ryan’s runner so deserves another Group 1 having been placed at the highest level so many times. It was a tremendous effort to finish second in this last year to The Tin Man who re-opposes, but is not in the same sort of form as 12 months ago, while Sir Michael Stoute’s Dream of Dreams needs everything to fall right for him.

Everything looks as if it will finally fall into place for the admirable Brando to get another Group 1 victory and the team is operating at a 26 per cent strike rate at the moment.

*Prices correct at time of publishing but the markets are as fluid as Brexit 

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What do you think?