Top class stuff on the telly this afternoon, from the meetings at Ascot and Newmarket, with races to suit all tastes.

Most valuable race on the Ascot card is the bet365 Challenge Cup at 3.10, a 7f handicap worth a lip-smacking £112,050 to the winner and it’s no surprise to see the likes of Raising Sand, Rip Orff and Kynren turn up yet again to do battle on their favourite track.

We have little doubt those three will run well again, but we stick our corporate necks out and oppose them with So Beloved and Battered.

So Beloved is getting on a bit and has the look of a perennial loser, but one day everything will fall into place and it is so well handicapped, we can’t resist an each way play at 12-1.

Ralph Beckett‘s runner Battered has run two much improved races since being given a break and has ground and trip in its favour plus a favourable mark, so, under the fit again SDS should be backed at 11-1.

The card starts with the UK Hi-Fi Show Live Rous Stakes over 5f and, although we have respect for the credentials of the favourite Dakota Gold, we oppose with the potentially big improver Maygold. Ed Walker‘s 4-y-o filly has made giant strides of late, taking a handicap in the mud at Haddock last time out off a mark of 90. She will have to better that today, but the way she disappeared into the sunset with the rest of the field toiling in her wake suggests that is entirely possible. We suggest a slightly cautious each way bet at 4-1.

At 2.35 the Property Raceday Targets £3M Cumberland Lodge Stakes over 12 furlongs has Morando installed as favourite at 11-4 but we think the value lies with the second in, the William Haggas trained Faylaq, which made a stunning return to action with a cruise to victory at Kempton just 10 days ago. Never off the bridle then, this 3-y-o falls into the ‘could be anything’ category and we suggest a win bet at 100-30.

The John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes at 3.40 completes the coverage from Ascot and this race sees the return to sprinting of Cape Byron after its third place in a Group 2 at York over 7f. With a course record of 3-6 and needing soft ground to be at its best a win bet at 2-1 is recommended.

Over at HQ, action starts with the British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap at 1.40 and we think that the favourite, Eva Maria is well worth a bash at 3-1.

Impressive when stepped up to today’s trip last time, Bill Gredley‘s 3-y-o can take the rise in rating and class in her stride under Paul Hanagan.

Also in this race we can’t resist having an each way bet on Torochica at a handy 20-1. John Best‘s filly also showed a deal of improvement when stepped up to this distance and could outrun her odds.

We hope we will be forgiven for bypassing the 28 runner Sales race at 2.15 and moving on to the Group 1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at 3.25.

This race features the sixth match up between the Irish raiders Hermosa and Iridessa and they are first and second in the betting. The current score is 3-2 in Iridessa‘s favour and we marginally favour Joseph over Aiden in the battle of the O’Briens. Have a win bet on Iridessa at 7-2.

Longchamps beckons tomorrow, for the Enable three-peat.


So Beloved 3.10 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)

Battered 3.10 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places)

Maygold 2.00 Ascot 2pts e/w @ 4-1

Faylaq 2.35 Ascot 2pts win @ 100-30

Cape Byron 3.40 Ascot 4pts win @ 2-1

Eva Maria 1.40 Newmarket 3pts win @ 3-1

Torochica 1.40 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (5 places SkyBet)

Iridessa 3.25 Newmarket 2pts win @ 7-2

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