Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Ascot, Haydock and Ayr on Saturday. View selections below.
It’s that time of year when the Shergar Cup dominates the racing pages but Ascot’s international mixed-sex gig is usually treated with caution by punters.
Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, the meeting has an early 1.15 start but my first bet comes later in the shape of RUWASI (2.20) in the Shergar Cup Challenge.
This 1m 4f all-age handicap has attracted some out-of-form individuals but nothing could be further from the truth with hat-trick seeking Ruwasi.
James Tate’s five-year-old has turned over a new leaf lately, most recently beating Regal Monarch easily at Newmarket. Ruwasi, also a Doncaster scorer, had earlier given notice that he was an improved horse by giving much-improved Red Cardinal a scare at Yarmouth in June. Stall four is a good draw and Mr Ascot himself, Frankie Dettori, rides.
GEORGE CINQ (2.55) is another coming to the party with solid recent form, having being pipped by Muntadab (pair clear) at Thirsk last Saturday when looking all over the winner at the furlong pole.
That run came over seven furlongs but he has scored over a mile in the past. George Scott is a trainer in form and although stall 10 is problematical, Martin Harley will be looking to tuck in and find some cover.
Highland Colori threw away a golden opportunity at Newmarket last weekend by hanging badly left throughout the final furlong and getting done on the line by Oh This Is Us. He is another in fine fettle.
Betfred are backing an excellent card at Haydock and SCOTTISH (3.45) is a worthy favourite to land the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes, a Group 3 contest over an extended 10 furlongs.
Scottish has been sparingly raced, returning from a 250-day absence to finish third to Time Test in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May.
We had to wait another seven weeks to see him in action again, this time at Newbury when making all to brush aside Berkshire over today’s trip. Scottish’s rider William Buick has been among the winners since returning from his lengthy ban and he should know where he stands with one of his former mounts, Foundation, who represents the Classic generation.
Foundation chased home Stormy Antarctic in the Craven Stakes at HQ before finishing third to Wings Of Desire and Deauville in the Dante at York. He took a keen hold that day and didn’t enjoy the best of passages through the field. It is easy to forgive his flop in the French Derby at Chantilly on heavy ground and John Gosden applies blinkers.
ARCHIE (2.00) will go off at more tempting each-way odds in the Duke Of Lancaster Handicap.
Clive Cox’s four-year-old has been knocking on the door of late, finishing third to Fawaareq and Ifwecan on a slick surface at Newmarket over today’s trip of a mile, and again acquitted himself well when chasing home Capo Rosso over course and distance.
Archie seems to enjoy racing at Haydock as he also landed his maiden here as a juvenile when trained by Tom Dascombe. That win came on soft, so he doesn’t appear ground dependent.
MIME DANCE (6.40) should be worth the wait at Ayr. David O’Meara’s gelding was all the rage at Pontefract on Wednesday, being smashed into 7-4 favourite to land an open-looking handicap. Danny Tudhope’s mount was never quite able to reel in enterprisingly-ridden British Embassy but there was plenty of daylight back to the stragglers. Josh Doyle takes off 5lb this time and they are well enough berthed in stall six of the 10 runners.
Last year’s winner Jay Kay is only a pound higher and came back to form, although ultimately well beaten, behind Eastern Dragon. The winner has been slightly disappointing in two subsequent runs off his new mark and Mime Dance looks the one to be on.
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