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A team-format for the annual Shergar Cup day at Ascot gives the racing a slightly different look than normal. There’s many well-known faces in here against the less well-known riders, but there’s not the same advantages you’d normally get. Let’s try to get a couple on the board.
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Ascot 12:50 – Tis Marvellous
Stone Of Destiny has been struggling of late so best to ignore him, even though his trainer Andrew Balding is flying high in the trainer’s championship. Tone The Barrone is trained by Stuart Williams and has been running on the all-weather without success. The last time he ran on turf was at this venue and he won nicely which is a good omen. Tis Marvellous ran a blinder at the Royal meeting here and shaped well last time when third to Mountain Peak also at this venue. Kevin Stott on board is a positive, so fingers crossed.
Ascot 13:25 – Island Brave
Uber Cool made a fantastic comeback at Chester after two and a half years off the track when winning from Buriram. Only up 5lbs for that win he has to be respected having been given plenty of time to recover from that effort. Mickaelle Michel has been champion apprentice in France and she gets the leg up on Call My Bluff for Dominic French Davis. He’s been in cracking form winning at Chester and Nottingham but this is tougher. Cieren Fallon takes the tide on Island Brave after a really smart performance when second – but placed fourth to Nicholas T in the Northumberland Plate. He’s won here on fast ground previously.
Ascot 14:00 – Hms President
Nicola Currie takes the ride on Hms President who seems under-rated in the market to me. He looks a very good each-way bet in an open-looking handicap. Sam Cooke has been disappointing on occasions but if he settles he has a much better chance, as he showed when running on at Chester when fourth to Snow Ocean.
Ascot 14:35- Lord Rapscallion (each way)
He ran a blinder in the Buckingham Palace handicap at the Royal meeting when fourth to Highland Princess, finishing in front of quite a lot of these. I like horses who are proven at the track, especially the straight mile and Lord Rapscallion fits the bill. Raising Sand for Jamie Osborne is another that has to be respected especially if the ground comes up slow. He will revel in that and has run some great races at the track and is hovering below a winning mark at this venue.
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Ascot 15:10 – State of Bliss
A model of consistency for Mark Johnston and was only narrowly beaten last time at Goodwood behind Wink of an Eye. He is tough and versatile on the ground and is ticking a lot of the right boxes in this three-year-old handicap. Barn Owl could be a typical Roger Charlton improver and that rates as the main danger to the selection, State of Bliss.
Ascot 15:45 – Popmaster
There Is very little to choose between quite a few of these on previous runnings. However, Popmaster is on a roll after a decent win last time at Doncaster and can win the finale in what is a trappy contest to end this year’s Shergar Cup.
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