TV cameras are spread far and wide today, with the meetings at, to dive into the vernacular, Leafy, Haddock and, er, Ascot.
We’ll start at the Berkshire track, where the main event is the Tote Victoria Cup at 4.00, in which 26 thoroughbreds will hurtle down the straight 7f track in the hope of bagging just over 65 grand.
Just about every runner has some sort of chance in this and luck in running will play a part, but we think Presidential, trained by Roger Fell has as good a chance as any and is our each way selection at 9-1.
The proceedings start with the Les Amassadeurs Casino Handicap at 2.15 which sees the second run back after a long absence of Setting Sail, trained by Charlie Appleby.
Could not have been much more impressive on comeback when sauntering home in a Wolverhampton maiden last month, but that was a Class 5 event not a Class 3 as today and an opening mark of 96 looks less than generous.
At even money we will take it on with an each way bet (2 places) on Autumn War, trained by Charles Hills. This 4-y-o made a highly promising reappearance at the end of April, staying on pleasingly over 10 furlongs at Doncaster and the step up to 12 this afternoon may well eke out a bit more.
Take the 8-1 on offer.
The St James’s Place Wealth Management British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap (snappy, eh?) at 3.25 has an open look to it and we go for a surprise result here by suggesting a modest each way investment on Bubble And Squeak at a juicy 22-1.
Thought good enough to contest two Listed events in France at the end of last year and with a promising recent run under her belt, Sylvester Kirk‘s young lady may just cause a surprise.
Up at Haddock, the action switches to the jumps with the Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at 3.10, a race in which the 2017 winner John Constable has been backed as if there is no tomorrow.
Completely out of form since that victory, Evan Williams‘ charge is now 22lbs lower in the ratings than when finishing tailed off in this race last year and despite the break that refreshes and a wind op, we can’t believe in miracles, even from a trainer who regularly farms this event.
Our idea of a value bet is each way Flying Tiger at 20-1.
Winner of the Fred Winter in 2017, FT hasn’t troubled the judge since, but has been running with credit in some top races and is now 3lbs below its last winning mark. From an in-form yard, aimed at this race and with 5 places on offer we recommend an each way investment.
And now to Leafy, which hosts its usual Classic Trials, the RaceBets Money Back All Losers Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes at 1.55 being the first.
You get the feeling that John Gosden has a stable full of very talented 3-y-o fillies and he saddles two in this race, our choice being Anapurna, which is available at 7-2.
An easy win on the All Weather may not sound much, but this daughter of Frankel was green as Tom Jones that day in January and we are about to see a very different girl – we hope.
The RaceBets Derby Trial Stakes at 2.30 has our old friend Aiden O’Brien supplying the short priced favourite with Anthony Van Dyke.
We have, in the past, carefully explained why these AO’B horses won’t win and then sat back and watched them sluice up hard on the snaff and we may be about to do it again. Training set back, no stamina on the dam’s side and no experience of soft ground – there you go, it’s a certainty.
We suggest a wimpy each way bet on the second favourite Cap Francais at 4-1 (9-2 if you are lucky).
Ed Walker‘s horse is not entered in The Derby but connections are considering supplementing, depending on today’s performance, and the second to Cape Of Good Hope in the Epsom trial last month makes it the one to be with.
The RaceBets Million Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at 3.40 is also on our screens and, in the hope that all 8 declarees stand their ground, we recommend an each way bet of the 3-y-o French raider Devant at 4-1.
Meaning ‘in front’ en Francais, let’s hope she is at the jamstick.
Presidential 4.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (5 places)
Autumn War 2.15 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (2 places)
Bubble And Squeak 3.25 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 22-1
Flying Tiger 3.10 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (5 places)
Annapurna 1.55 Lingfield 2pts win @ 7-2
Cap Francais 2.30 Lingfield 2pts e/w @ 4-1
Devant 3.40 Lingfield 2pts e/w @ 4-1