Many thanks to Louis XV of France for today’s headline, which is descriptive of the conditions at Ascot this afternoon, with heavy rain forecast for the duration.
Four races are on the box from the Berkshire course, beginning with the Listed Rous Stakes at 2.05, for which our selection is Keep Busy.
John Quinn‘s 4-y-o loves to get her toes in, which makes her latest strong finishing third of 16 on good to firm ground all the more meritorious and this heavy ground Listed winner can shine today. Have an each way bet at 17-2.
The Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at 2.40 is next up, with three of the 8 runners vying for favouritism at around 3-1.
We think the newly gelded Title is the one to be with, after running away with a Doncaster handicap off a mark of 103. The well beaten third has since finished a close second in a Listed race at Goodwood, while the only time Title has encountered heavy ground at Ascot, he/it came third to no less a horse than Alenquer in a Group 2. Have a half decent win bet at 100-30.
At 3.15 we get the John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes, for which Glen Shiel and Great Ambassador share favouritism at 7-2.
Glen Shiel is the class act in the race, having won a Group 1 on his course last October, but has been completely out of form of late, while Great Ambassador has not encountered ground like today’s and may not like it.
We’ll take a bit of a flyer and suggest an each way punt on Lullaby Moon at a tasty 22-1.
This 3-y-o filly is back with Joseph Tuite after her owner’s well publicised spat with Ralph Beckett, in whose hands she won a Chantilly Group 3 on bottomless ground last October and Mr Tuite, who trained Lullaby Moon to win on racecourse debut, is hopeful she can go close.
The statutory ‘impossible’ handicap is the Challenge Cup at 3.50 with 17 runners having a hurtle down the straight 7f. Without going into unnecessary detail, we throw two darts – River Nymph at 5-1 and Al Rufaa at 10-1.
ITV cameras are also at Newmarket for three races, beginning with the Premier Fillies Handicap at 1.45. This is a wide open event at 6-1 the field and we think that Our Hayley‘s mount Atavique is overpriced at 28-1 and should be backed each way. We also give another chance to State Occasion, which was an unlucky second last time out and may appreciate the slight step up in trip. 8-1 are the odds of reward.
The 28 runner Tattersalls October Auction Stakes at 2.20 would usually be avoided like the proverbial plague but Fearby looks completely in a class of its own amongst this lot so we recommend a modest win bet at 11-4.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at 2.55 which witnesses Mother Earth taking on Snow Lantern in what should be a heavyweight shoot out.
We, however, have a sneaking regard for the chances of Tahlie, on first run for Roger Varian. This 3-y-o filly won a Listed and a Group 2 when trained in France and finished 3 lengths behind Mother Earth at Deauville when last seen in August. However, she was given a ‘military’ ride by Olivier Peslier (left, right, left, right) and had no chance to show what she could do.
Jack Mitchell has a go today and, at 16-1 could be the value.
Now, where’s that umbrella?
Keep Busy 2.05 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 17-2
Title 2.40 Ascot 3pts win @ 100-30
Lullaby Moon 3.15 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 22-1 (5 places Skybet)
River Nymph 3.50 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (6 places Skybet)
Al Rufaa 3.50 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (6 places Skybet)
Atavique 1.45 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 28-1 (5 places SkyBet)
State Occasion 1.45 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places Skybet)
Fearby 2.20 Newmarket 2pts win @ 11-4
Tahlie 2.55 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (5 places Hills/Skybet)