After Laydees Night at Carlisle and the Racing League at Doncaster, today we get the longest standing piece of frippery known as the Shergar Cup
Now in its 20th year, the usual cornucopia of jockeys have pitched up for the ‘fun’ on a course that takes a bit of knowing. The only sensible approach is to concentrate on the form not the riders, so that’s what we’ll do.
First televised race is the Classified at 1.35, which is three runners short of the intended 10 and looks a good opportunity for Divine Magic.
Marco Botti‘s 4-y-o just failed to reel in the winner at Newmarket two weeks ago off a mark of 88 and can take this under potential Japanese superstar Takeshi Yokoyama at the attractive odds of 9-2.
The Dash at 2.10 can, hopefully, be left to Our Hayley, who has drawn the ride on the only 3-y-o in the race, Manaccan.
John Ryan‘s horse seems to improve with every run and the close second behind a big improver last time looks key form. Take the 7-2.
The Stayers Handicap at 2.45 sees the reappearance of unlucky Goodwood second Super Superjack just 8 days on, 4lbs higher and without the usual headgear.
At 2-1 we are of a mind to oppose with each way bets on Rock Eagle at 5-1 and Make My Day at 11-1.
The Challenge Handicap at 3.20 has, perhaps, thrown up one of the stronger bets of the day in the rapidly improving Pride Of Priory.
Willie‘s horse has won its last two, just doing enough both times, which makes life difficult for the assessor and a 5lb rise for the last victory may not be enough. Lucky draw with the jock too, with Danny Tudhope up top so we recommend a decent win bet at 100-30.
On to the Mile Handicap at 3.55 which has another Willie jobby as favourite in Montassib which steps up to this trip for the first time. Could run well, but at a skinny 7-4 we prefer to go each way on Bopedro at 13-2.
David O’Meara‘s 6-y-o has run two really good races on this course since joining the yard from Oirland, finishing strongly last time out into fourth. Let’s put our faith in Frank and have a bash.
It would be unusual for Andrew Balding not to be on the scoresheet at this meeting and we think he might get there after the Classic Handicap at 4.30.
Berkshire Breeze is the beastie in question, who just failed to get the better of Bague D’Or here last time out, form that has been franked twice since. At 9-2 we suggest a safety first each way punt.
Proceedings close with the Sprint Handicap at 5.05, in which we go for another Willie runner, Rezeyna.
When winning narrowly at Carlisle last time out, this 3-y-o looked to have quite a bit in hand and is just 4lbs higher this afternoon.
A chance is taken on the pilot, who, we confess, we’ve never heard of despite his being 51 years old, but you never know. Another 9-2 special.
Divine Magic 1.35 Ascot 2pts win @ 9-2
Manaccan 2.10 Ascot 2pts win @ 7-2
Rock Eagle 2.45 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Make My Day 2.45 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (4 places)
Pride Of Priory 3.20 Ascot 3pts win @ 100-30
Bipedro 3.55 Ascot 2pts e/w @ 13-2 (4 places)
Berkshire Breeze 4.30 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places)
Rezeyna 5.05 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 9-2 (4 places)