Some good action on the Sky Sports Racing from Ascot on Friday so I’ve put four picks together to see if we can hit the board.
A classified Stakes race over a mile on the straight course and previous form at Ascot is always a plus.
William Haggas and Tom Marquand team up with Piranes who was second over 1m 2f at Newbury on soft ground in August to Simon & Ed Crisford’s Without A Fight (whose won again since at Haydock) and runs in the 2.30 on this card. He beat Prince of Hearts at Haydock on heavy ground and if the rain arrives at Ascot, he’ll be a leading player again.
Tulfarris has plenty of course experience with three of his last four runs coming on this track. He was very disappointing at Newmarket last time, but his trainer Charlie Fellows has reached for the visor to sharpen him up. He has already finished in front of today’s rival Grove Ferry here and with very little difference in the weights, it’s hard to see Grove Ferry reversing that form.
Tulfarris gets the nod.
There’s only four runners and you can make a case for them all but this looks like too good an opportunity for Berkshire Rocco to miss.
He’s capped a fine season already by chasing home Galileo Chrome in the St Leger at Doncaster, having earlier finished second at the Royal meeting to Santiago in the Queens Vase. He has strong form on all types of going so is a good ally to have on side.
Without a Fight has won his last three starts and is proven on slow ground, but has a little to find on ratings with Berkshire Rocco. He may not have reached his ceiling yet though and a big run by Piranes in the opener would only enhance his chances.
Albaflora is by a champion sprinter out of a mare by Galileo and she stays really well. A good second last time at Doncaster, she needs to step up again to win here. Table Mountain was very disappointing at Goodwood but won nicely over two miles at Ascot on quick ground before that.
The booking of 5lb claimer Ray Dawson for Ebury is eye-catching as he’s one of the apprentice finds of the season and rides like a seasoned pro. Ebury has run in a few big handicaps this season, but has yet to get his head in front since winning at this track last September, where he beat Tulfarris over a mile.
The three-year-old Raaeq is interesting, having won at Sandown and Newbury in two of his four runs. As long as it doesn’t get too soft, has to be short-listed. Hieronymus has been in winning form on the all weather, but does have form on soft ground too.
My preference is for Breanski who is a model of consistency and his rating has not altered much in the last year. The champion jockey Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride.
Andrew Balding’s Natural History returned from a lay-off to win at Chester and has gone up only 3lbs for that win. Beholden won a bumper at Newton Abbot and has run well on the Flat since, so this 2m trip will be right up his street and doesn’t look badly handicapped off 76.
Cest no Mour ran well at Yarmouth to finish third to Bodyline and and very well at Goodwood when second to Seinesational on soft ground.
Calling the Wind was a good winner at this track over 1m 6f in July, beating Rajinsky a neck. He finished fourth to Humanitarian at Newbury over 1m 4f and the step up to 2m should suit.
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