Another near miss for Steven Dowler who nailed 5/6 races in his Place 6 preview yesterday after scooping it twice last week. He’s back to take on Friday’s £3,000 Place 6 at Ascot. Read his Ascot betting tips and join his Syndicate.
Ascot betting tips
13.55 – Novice Stakes – 6f
TWILIGHT CALLS shaped really well on debut when fifth at Newbury, for which he travelled extremely well only to be denied a clear run two furlongs out. Even so, he still looked the winner afterwards before finding no extra inside the final half-furlong. The form of that race has taken a boost with the winner Cairn Gorm going on to claim a Group Three since. With plenty more improvement expected, Henry Candy’s colt is a huge danger to all.
Richard Hannon’s PURE DREAMER wasn’t given the best of rides when fourth in a nursery last time at York, coming from off the pace to be nearest the finish. His close-up third at Sandown reads well, and his sixth at Newbury on debut looks solid form, given the first, second, fourth and fifth placed horses have all gone on to advertise the form respectively. Therefore, that collateral form gives Richard Hannon’s colt a great chance of opening his account who is included in the opening leg of my Ascot betting tips.
Selections: TWILIGHT CALLS, PURE DREAMER
14.30 – Novice Stakes – 6f
GEORGE SCOTT looked promising when staying on to finish fifth on debut at Wolverhampton and he could easily take another step forward with Hayley Turner taking the ride on this occasion.
Of the newcomers, perhaps SOLID GOLD could represent some decent value. Trainer Mohamed Moubarak has a good strike-rate at this track and Andrea Atzeni is a positive jockey booking for this debutant.
Unexpectedly, LOCKDOWN hasn’t progressed, but he’s consistent and shouldn’t be far away in a winnable contest under Cieren Fallon, who has started his new role at Qatar Racing in good style.
Selections: GEORGE SCOTT, SOLID GOLD, LOCKDOWN
15.05 – Maiden Stakes – 7f
Escobedo shaped well when third over C&D on debut, but it could prove informative to follow some interesting debutants, who have outstanding pedigrees, and possibly represent some value on this leg of today’s preview.
John Gosden saddles HIGHLAND ROCKER, who is the mount of Rab Havlin. He’s by the high-class Gleneagles and cost 105,000 Guineas. He’s bred to be very smart, and could go well in this wide-open event.
Incidentally, connections also run DERAB, who can’t be dismissed either. He’s by the high-class Sea The Stars, and is a half-brother to the brilliant Enable. If stall 15 doesn’t hinder his chances, he could go very close to winning this.
Roger Varian does exceptionally well with two-year-old’s, and his newcomer GREATGADIAN is another fascinating addition to the race. He is also bred to be useful, and shouldn’t be underestimated with Andrea Atzeni doing the steering.
Selections: HIGHLAND ROCKER, DERAB, GREATGADIAN
15.40 – Handicap – 1m3f
This looks ferociously competitive, but DASH OF SPICE has been given plenty of respite by the handicapper of late. He’s been lightly-raced in recent years and is now 2lb below his last success, for which came at Royal Ascot two years ago over C&D. He missed last year, but has shown bits of promise in his three races in 2020. Furthermore, he’s back over his optimum trip today, with Cieren Fallon taking the ride. This track suits him well, as will the drying ground, and he makes fair each-way appeal given he’s likely to get an early prominent position.
Roger Varian’s rapid improver LOOK CLOSELY has to come into the reckoning based on his back-to-back winning C&D handicaps the last twice. He just got the better of a horse who ran well next time out off a mark of 99, so his mark of 99 here doesn’t look overly damaging and he’s going to be hard to stop bidding for the three-timer at a track he relishes.
Selections: DASH OF SPICE, LOOK CLOSELY
16.15 – Classified Stakes – 1m
A weak-looking event given no horse is rated beyond 90. With that being said, AL SALT could have enough in reserve to suggest he’s better than his current mark. He won a couple of minor events prior to claiming an excellent third at Glorious Goodwood. There should be more to come from him and he’s given a confidence vote to at least finish in the frame.
Jim Best’s PLANTADREAM did really well on the AW earlier in the year, winning by seven-lengths at Lingfield. He found life tough the next twice in a couple of class 2 handicaps at Royal Ascot and Epsom, but back down in grade under the in-form Jamie Spencer, he looks the overpriced runner in the race with an actual chance of taking top honours.
Selections: AL SALT, PLANTADREAM
16.50 – Handicap – 1m
This looks a good-quality handicap, and I’m going to throw a couple of darts at the race.
Ian Williams doesn’t go unnoticed at this venue and his runner WALHAAN has slowly come to hand this year for connections. He was second here two races ago, defying his 100/1 odds to be beaten only a couple of lengths. He was left with a lot to do at York since, coming from well off the pace to be nearest the finish when 8th of 17 runners. The assessor has surprisingly dropped him 1lb for that effort, so he remains one to keep on side.
AFAAK loves this place, having won the 2019 Royal Hunt Cup over C&D and wasn’t disgraced back in that same race this year with a creditable seventh. He always runs his race at this venue, so he has to come into the equation.
Selections: WALHAAN, AFAAK
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