Ascot 2.30 – Servalan
Jessica Harrington is enjoying another fine season and she can upset the front of the market here with Servalan, a willing filly who beat well-regarded stablemate Chicas Amigas in a Listed race at Naas. Interestingly, that is a stiff 6 furlongs and she cuts back to 5 here, but there is a deal of one-dimensional speed on here, and she’ll be finishing off much better than most.
Ascot 3.05 – Almoghared (each way)
Several possibilities here, including 3 O’Briens and a couple of Gosdens, one of whom is unexposed Almoghared, who is a big price. He only has a Chepstow maiden win to his name, but he pulled miles clear with a fairly talented rival that day and looked a very strong stayer. This is unsurprising given he is related to the two Gold Cup winners Enzeli and Estimate as well as being a half-brother to Oaks and King George heroine Taghrooda.
Ascot 3.40 – Urban Fox
Hydrangea might be a tough nut to crack here, but I’ll give it a go with Urban Fox who was having her first run for William Haggas when winning a warm handicap here last month. She beat Tribute Act (supplemented for this subsequently), giving her seven pounds and, though the runner-up caught the eye finishing well, the winner stayed on powerfully and might be open to a bit more progress.
Ascot 4.20 – Poet’s Word
Clearly if the real Cracksman shows up, he’ll be impossible to beat, but there’s just a lingering doubt in the mind after that slightly odd performance at Epsom notwithstanding his head banging in the stalls. In addition, this will easily be the fastest ground he has encountered in his career. Those factors will persuade me to back Poet’s Word, who might have improved again this year judged on his cosy win in the Brigadier Gerard.
Ascot 5.00 – Flaming Spear
A horse with an inconsistent record, Flaming Spear nonetheless has loads of ability. Even when disappointing, he has often cruised effortlessly through the early stages of a race. Evidently, he has been quite a challenge to train, but this is just the type of horse who might benefit from the specialist attentions of Dean Ivory, a trainer who has done so well with horses moving from other stables.
Ascot 5.35 – Emaraaty
A hugely able horse who has required patient handling owing to his slightly flighty temperament, Emaraaty is starting to look a more complete athlete and ran a massive race off a big weight in a very competitive handicap at Goodwood last time. This stiff, straight seven furlongs on fast ground should suit ideally, and he should go very close.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.