Lingfield 1.55 – Perfect Clarity (11/2)
By Nathaniel – the same sire as last year’s Oaks winner – this promising filly looked the part on her debut last year at Nottingham, quickening up smartly to beat more experienced rivals. She’s from the family of Claxon, who won this very race, and should stay really well. Needless to say the Ballydoyle filly Flattering will take some beating, but the selection is a nice each way bet at around 10/1.
Haydock 2.00 – Debece (5/1)
I love this horse, who jumps well and has a terrific attitude. He ran a little too free on his comeback from a long absence at Aintree, but still kept on for a decent fourth. His front running style should suit this track well and he’ll appreciate a bit of nice ground. He’s not badly handicapped and can make up for lost time last season. Enniscoffey Oscar could also go well at decent odds.
Ascot 2.15 – Speedo Boy (8/1)
I’ll be doing duty for Racing UK at Ascot today. A few possibles here, but it’s worth remembering that the selection split Permian and Khalidi this time last year and is now running off his lowest mark since. As we saw at Chester yesterday, the trainer is in barnstorming form and the booking of William Buick looks a signal of positive intent. Count Calabash and Humble Hero are others if interest in a really competitive race.
Lingfield 2.30 – Knight to Behold (8/1)
Again, Aidan O’Brien’s Kew Gardens sets a pretty good standard here and deserves to be favourite, but there are several with significant potential and Knight to Behold might be the best of them. Only greenness stopped him beating Craven runner-up White Mocha on his debut before making amends against a hardy Godolphin rival at Newmarket. His form has a bit of substance and he has a nice pedigree for the job (related to former winner and Derby 3rd Let the Lion Roar). Southwold Star is another who can outrun his price.
Ascot 2.50 – Mirage Dancer (9/2)
A lightly raced son of Frankel, he ran an absolute screamer in a very good time when third here to Benbatl in the Tercentenary. He regressed in two starts after on softish ground, but wasn’t overdone as a three year old and always looked a work in progress. I’m hopeful he can prove the value against Barsanti.
Haydock 3.10 – Hassle (22/1)
Taking a bit of a flyer here that Dr Newland can work his magic on this horse after a longish absence. From this stable, you know he’ll be fit, but the break means he’s been dropped 5lbs & has a featherweight plus Sam Twiston Davies. He’s already a winner at Listed level on good ground, so conditions are fine and he doesn’t mind the cut and thrust of a big field.
Ascot 4.00 – Spanish City (14/1)/Firmament (14/1)
I’m chucking a couple of darts at the Victoria Cup. Spanish City needs to prove he’s up to this grade, but he’s progressing nicely & is from a good stable. He was impressive at Newcastle and form on synthetic surfaces often translates well to the straight track at Ascot (progeny of his sire Exceed and Excel also have a very good record here). Firmament is a regular in these races and has seen it all before. The back of last season was spent racing on unsuitably soft ground and he’ll prefer today’s offering. He loves the track and a strong pace and – though he’s a bit of a monkey – he could easily be placed.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.