Ascot stages the first of its two-day October meeting today and puts on a varied and competitive card on ground that should suit just about everyone.
Feature race is at 3.45 when the LondonMetric Noel Murless Stakes takes place over 1m 6f and all six runners are in with some sort of chance.
Favourite for the race is the Ralph Beckett trained Mount Moriah, which, although it may sound like an invitation from Miss Carey’s pimp, is actually the site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
This Mount Nelson gelding has been plying its trade in lofty Group company, finishing 3rd behind Crystal Ocean in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and 3rd again in the Irish St Leger. Prior to those two excellent performances, it won a handicap over this very course and distance and should be backed with confidence this afternoon at the available 9-4.
The Neptune Investment Management Classified Stakes at 2.35 is a 0-90 affair, which has attracted a field of 12.
William Haggas’ runner Zwayyan scrambles in right on the button, having been dropped a pound by the nice handicapper and also drops down to a mile from the 10 furlongs trips it has just not seen out in recent runnings. Add the first time blinkers and the services of the Mad Italian and we have a recommended wager at 7-2.
First time blinkers and him again attract us to Nobly Born in the Original Harrogate Water Handicap over 6f at 3.10. Almost, but not quite, fulfilling his immense promise as a juvenile in four runs this season, this son of Mayson has become really well handicapped and is the value punt here at an each way 10-1.
The Troy Asset Management Handicap over 7f at 4.20 looks at the mercy of Clive Cox’s Graphite Storm, who lived up to his name by storming away with a Class 3 Leicester handicap last time out and a 5lb rise looks unlikely to stop him today. A win bet is recommended at 3-1.
The day ends with the 2 mile Cannaccord Genuity (no, me neither) Gordon Carter Handicap for which the Braveheart trained 3-y-o Dominating is favourite at 3-1. With the youngsters not favoured so much by the w-f-a scale at this time of year, this is no value and we prefer an each way bet on Altaayil at 6-1. Now with Gary Moore, this 6-y-o was a failure over hurdles, but made an eye-catching return to the Flat when staying on into second at Epsom last month and, off the same mark, could make them all go today.
Also in this race, we can’t resist recommending a small e/w bet on Perfect Summer, who could outrun her odds of 20-1.
Mount Moriah 3.45 win @ 9-4
Zwayyan 2.35 win @ 7-2
Nobly Born 3.10 e/w @ 10-1
Graphite Storm 4.20 win @ 3-1
Altaayil 4.55 e/w @ 6-1
Perfect Summer 4.55 (small) e/w @ 20-1