Shergar Cup day at Ascot this afternoon with a somewhat weird and wonderful array of jockeys on show for the annual razzamatazz. Our main hope is that the band shuts up before the stalls open, but we have some good looking selections as well.
With the riders randomly allocated it’s pot luck time insofar as riding tactics are concerned so we’ll concentrate on the form and hope for the best.
Pursuing our avowed policy of avoiding sprints, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap at 1.40 is our first port of call and our selection in this is Blue Laureate, trained by Ian Williams.
This 4-y-o has made the frame in all three runs at this venue and looked suited by the step up to today’s trip last time out when a close third just two weeks ago. Ridden by Japan’s leading laydee rider Nanako Fujita, who can claim a valuable 3lbs, Blue Laureate rates the value bet each way at 13-2.
The Challenge Handicap (we will dispense with the first bit from now on) at 2.15 is a 4-1 the field affair and our pick is Indianapolis, trained by James Given. This 4-y-o has been threatening to win a decent handicap all season and the addition of cheek-pieces may just provide the little extra he needs. Jockey used to ride for Godolphin in Australia, so if he’s good enough for them …………………….
Back this horse each way at 6-1.
The Mile Handicap at 2.50 should be within the purview of Power Of Darkness and is ridden by a jockey with track experience in C Y (Vincent) Ho, so, at 4-1 we recommend a win bet.
Also in this race we suggest an each way bet on Another Batt, now with Richard Hughes and a horse which ran much better than its placing suggests last time out in the International Stakes on this course last time out. Take the 13-2 available, please.
The Classic Handicap at 3.25 over 12 furlongs looks at the mercy of the Andrew Balding trained Never Do Nothing which finished strongly into a close third over this CD 4 weeks ago and a repeat will see it home this afternoon under Mark Zahra. A win bet at 7-2 is advised.
Markets are being offered on the winning-most jockey and the winning team and we think that Mark Zahra e/w at 12-1 and The Rest Of The World team at 4-1 represent value bets – just for a giggle.
Cameras are also at at the meetings at Haydock and Newmarket and although space/time considerations prevent much detailed analysis we suggest the following bets:
Newmarket 3.45: Ultra Violet win at 3-1
Haydock 1.55: King’s Pavilion e/w @ 10-1
Haydock 1.55: Humble Gratitude e/w @ 16-1
Haydock 2.30: Miss O Connor win @ 11-8
That should keep you occupied for the afternoon – bonne chance!
Blue Laureate 1.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 7-1
Indianapolis 2.15 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 6-1
Power Of Darkness 2.50 Ascot 2pts win @ 4-1
Another Batt 2.50 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 13-2
Never Do Nothing 3.25 Ascot 3pts win @ 7-2
Shergar Cup Silver Saddle Mark Zahra 1pt e/w @ 12-1
Rest Of The World team 2pts win @ 4-1
Ultra Violet 3.45 Newmarket 2pts win @ 3-1
King’s Pavilion 1.55 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 10-1
Humble Gratitude 1.55 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 16-1
Miss O Connor 2.30 Haydock 4pts win @ 11-8