Dan Collins: 13.55 Ascot – Cape Byron
Cape Byron hasn’t been seen since disappointing in this race last year but he goes well fresh and, barring that blip, has a great record at the Berkshire venue – including two wins over this course and distance. He was due to run in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes that he won last year (comfortably beating Donjuan Triumphant who went on to land the Champion Sprint) before the meeting was abandoned so is obviously ready to roll, and the fact Roger Varian has decided to bring him back out at this late stage of the season suggests he can do himself justice.
Paddy Desmond: 15.40 Ascot – Magical
Magical is the best horse in this race and is going for three wins in a row at the meeting. This is her time of year. 2/1 or bigger is a very good price.
Conor Magner: 14:05 Ballinrobe – Grimm Star
An unplaced maiden hurdle may not grab the headlines with the day that’s in it but Grimm Star has excellent credentials here. He narrowly qualifies for this race having finished fourth in a race at Punchestown recently that looks very strong form in the context of this event. That was only his second start for this yard and there should be more progress to come.
Lorcan O’ Rourke: 15:05 Naas (Sunday) – My Minervina
Although still a maiden, Jessie Harrington’s filly looks to have a great chance here at a decent price. She finished ahead of impressive Group 3 winner A Case Of You on debut who was fit to go having won a barrier trial, and was last off the bridle last time out before fading late, in a red hot Curragh maiden won by antepost favourite for the 2021 Oaks Santa Barbara. Both runs were over a mile, this drop down to 7f should suit this strong travelling filly who can get a nice tow into the race from the prominent running Snapraeterea drawn beside her.
Ryan McCue: 16:25 Ballinrobe – Weihnachts
Travelled like the winner last time out at Galway before fading late on, but that was his first run since March and it was over 2m2f. He drops back slightly in trip here and Simon Torrens is a very good jockey booking in the context of this race so everything points to a good run.
Jamie Smyth: 16.15 Ascot – Raaeq
Has been hugely progressive this season and the visually impressive nature of his latest win was backed up by an extremely strong performance on the clock. He gets to run here under a penalty which results in him carrying five pounds less than for future engagements and a return to a mile is also in his favour. It would be no surprise to see him hold his own in group company next season and he looks a solid betting proposition even allowing for the extremely competitive nature of this event.
- 13.55 Ascot – Cape Byron
- 15.40 Ascot – Magical
- 14:05 Ballinrobe – Grimm Star
- 16:25 Ballinrobe – Weihnachts
- 16.15 Ascot – Raaeq
- 15:05 Naas (Sunday) – My Minervina
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