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Ascot 12:50 – Stone of Destiny
Andrew Balding’s runner has been aiming very high at the top level of the sprinting division and will appreciate the drop back down into handicap company – despite having to carry top weight.
He was successful at this meeting in 2019 and can get another slice of the action at rewarding odds again. He should get a perfect lead into the contest as the pacey King Of Stars is drawn right next door in stall two. It should give Stone of Destiny the perfect set up.
Ascot 13:25 – Indianapolis
A previous course winner at this meeting 2019, although that was over 1m 4f handicap. This 2m trip seems to suit him better now and he retains a very potent change of gear at this distance. Indianapolis has dropped an awful long way down the handicap since then and I’m going to forgive him a below par effort last time. Indianapolis can bounce back at his favourite venue.
Ascot 14:00 – C’est No Mour
A model of consistency lately for the Simon Hodgson team – one of the smaller trainers in the UK. His team are always immaculately turned out and we can expect more of the same from C’est No Mour in the paddock. It would rate one of the big winners for the yard so far and C’est No Mour couldn’t be coming in any better form. Provided he gets it right at the gates as he can sometime be slowly away he rates a big player.
Haydock 14:25 – Fantastic Fox
A half-brother to the top-class Dream of Dreams, Fantastic Fox who is not short on ability himself and has shown it in a limited race career so far. He arguably should’ve won last time when held up too far out of his ground, allowing his rivals to get first run up the home straight at Ascot. I’d imagine he won’t be too far away from the front-end in this small field and he can readily put these to the sword from a lenient looking rating of 94.
Ascot 1435 – Ouzo
Richard Hannon tried him over the 10 furlongs at Glorious Goodwood a week ago and he quite clearly failed to stay. Remarkably, he has been dropped in the ratings recently despite not running too badly. A quick look back at both of his tries over this track and he has been close behind some very decent types in Sir Busker and Real World in the Royal Hunt Cup. Ouzo is flexible regarding ground conditions and he is seriously flying under the radar at the prices under Andrea Atzeni.
Newmarket 14:50 Wild Beauty
Charlie Appleby’s runner had been going through the gears very smoothly racking up a couple of back-to-back victories in tidy fashion. Surprisingly, he still looked a little bit green and babyish at Sandown when bumping into what could be a potential superstar in Inspiral last time. She now sits towards the head of the 1,000 Guineas market for next season and Wild Beauty is unlikely to bump into anything of that ability in this Group 3 contest.
Ascot 15:10 – Barn Owl
A beautifully bred colt by Frankel who is only having his sixth lifetime start to date. He put up a fairly tidy performance when winning at Ripon. Originally the form didn’t look too strong, but the second came out and won on the bridle at Bath the other day. Barn Owl is in the right hands with Roger Charlton to continue his progression up the ladder and this trip on a beautiful, galloping, track should play to his strengths. Plenty of the opposition are fully exposed.
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Ascot 15:45 – Royal Scimitar
A non-runner at Glorious Goodwood owing to the soft ground. Provided the rain stays away, he looks to have outstanding claims in the lucky last judged on his return to sprinting at headquarters last time. Royal ScimItar wasn’t far behind the very talented Blackrod and if he can build on that, he looks a serious three-year-old sprinter to follow in the coming months.
Haydock 16:10 Real World
Every young jockey needs a big horse to get them noticed and Real World has fallen right in Marco Ghiani’s lap. He bolted up at the Royal meeting in the Royal Hunt Cup and was raised a whopping 14lbs by the assessor for that high-profile and commanding win. Despite that hike in the ratings, he made no mistake when stepping up in distance and grade at Ripon next time. He is now perched on a mark of 116 and that rules him out of handicap company. This Group 3 contest could also prove a stepping stone to bigger things as he has some big engagements towards the end of the season in Group 1 company.
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