Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Ascot and Haydock on Saturday. View selections below.
HASSLE (1.30) can provide Gallic great Olivier Peslier with a Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup success in the stayers’ race over two miles at Ascot. The four-time Arc winner is a serious asset in these types of events when there is a diversity of international riding styles and talents on display. Hassle comes into the race on the back of a second to Maid In Rio over course and distance last month. The five-year-old was well beaten by an in-form rival that day but he had the rest well strung out behind him. Hassle beat Alcaeus and Glenard in a blanket finish over the same course a fortnight earlier and he will handle conditions better than most should rain arrive.
Aussie Craig Williams has made a swift impact on our domestic scene since touching down last month and he has picked up a good mount in GOLDREAM (12.55) in the Dash. Robert Cowell’s gelding was just outclassed by progressive Muthmir at York over six furlongs and has the speed to cope with this drop in distance to the minimum trip.
MAGIC CITY (2.40) caught the eye at Glorious Goodwood when chasing home Red Avenger and Heavy Metal and Tom Queally can expect a good spin on Richard Hannon’s gelding in the Mile. Stall three is a nice draw on the round course and the rider forever associated with Frankel can assume a stalking position on this strong finisher.
HIGHLAND ACCLAIM (3.50) has the assistance of Richard Hughes in the saddle and David O’Meara’s hooded three-year-old has sound claims in the Sprint over six furlongs. He quickened decisively to beat Diamond Lady at Newmarket last week and is worth following while in such rampant form.
Away from the Shergar Cup hoopla, there is some excellent action at Haydock where NABUCCO (2.55) could cause a bit of an upset in the Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes. John Gosden’s five-year-old finished behind Amralah and Vancouverite at Newbury last month but is a much better horse with plenty of give in the ground. With rain forecast, conditions may turn his Nabucco’s favour come post time. Hillstar, with three second places to his name, has an obvious chance but is usually one to take on.
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