The Channel 4 presenter fancies a Robert Cowell inmate in the 7f handicap (3.40).
The first of this afternoon’s bets comes in an admittedly competitive renewal of the Cumberland Lodge Stakes (2.30) at Ascot. I think WESTERN HYMN can repay the mid-season kindness shown by his trainer after a fairly busy spell earlier in the campaign, where he generally acquitted himself well despite facing some stiff tasks. His awkward run-style means he doesn’t endear himself to everyone but John Gosden's charge is broadly consistent and he represents the value on the best of his form against the Sir Michael Stoute pair, Arab Spring and Kings Fete
All eyes are going to be on Shalaa in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes (3.05) but, after such a long break, the percentage call has to be to have a dart at something at a bigger price and I fancy OUTBACK TRAVELLER to outrun his double-figure odds. Robert Cowell’s five-year-old looked a Pattern-race sprinter when winning the Wokingham here at the royal meeting, his second success at this track, and don’t forget he beat Brando that day, who has subsequently won the Ayr Gold Cup off top weight. Outback Traveller disappointed at York when last seen but he’s been given plenty of time to get over that run and conditions should be fine for him back on a course that clearly suits.
The 7f handicap (3.40) looks fiendishly difficult but SQUATS has been gradually coming to form this summer and I thought he shaped really well when probably given too much to do over this course and distance last time. The brilliant form of the William Haggas team has been well documented recently and Georgia Cox’s 5lb claim could prove crucial in such a tight contest. Squat looks decent value at 10-1.
Apologies for the complete lack of originality but I really do think that POSTPONED is a bet at the current prices for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (3.05). In the absence of Le Cressonniere and stable companion Almanzor, Roger Varian’s star is faced with a golden opportunity to land Europe’s most prestigious middle distance contest. I’m convinced he won the Juddmonte International despite not being at his best, his run style should suit Chantilly and he won't mind if they get some rain, so all roads point to Postponed justifying his position at the head of the market.
I would also have a few quid each-way on LEFT HAND at generous odds of 20-1. She represents the Le Cressonniere Prix de Diane form from earlier in the summer and it’s hard not to fall for a 3yo filly in this race, given their record.