FAIR EVA (Best price 4-5) is likely to be a short price to attempt to follow up her emphatic Haydock victory and she may well be the second progeny of Frankel to score on the card if Frankuus could win the opener. The selection won with a good degree of comfort that day despite running green and will be popular even if her draw could have been a little kinder. Kocollada (Best price 20-1) was a staying-on fourth behind Lady Aurelia in the Queen Mary Stakes and looks sure to find improvement upped to six furlongs as her style of racing to date has featured a strong closing burst.
TAUREAN STAR (Best price 9-1) has performed with great credit on fast ground this summer, including here in a course and distance handicap on his comeback when he finished to great effect off a strong pace. Michael Bell’s charge appeared to find the easier conditions beyond him last month when ninth in the Britannia Stakes at the Royal meeting and a faster terrain may see him bounce back to winning way with head waiter Jamie Spencer on board. Zodiakos tackled 10 furlongs for the first time on his latest start at Newmarket so it was strange to see him try and make the running. He is another to consider as he was an honourable seventh in the Britannia.
The each-way terms offered by some firms usually entice me to have a couple of bets in races of this nature. Some feel it is folly to try and make a profit in this type of event but there aren’t many opportunities during the week to have a punt on good quality horses at a price so the appetite is there today. The Bunbury Cup may have a major bearing on the result with Heaven's Guest (2nd), Mutawathea (3rd) and fifth-place FLASH FIRE (Best price 12-1) all on the scene that day. The trio all boast very solid Ascot form so should again be involved, with Flash Fire narrowly preferred now he returns to a track where he was a good winner in May.
The going stick suggests being drawn high should be no barrier to success so WITHERNSEA (Best price 33-1) could also be worth supporting. he was one of few at the July meeting to make ground from off the pace and seven furlongs on a stiff track look optimum conditions.
The loss of Postponed has robbed this year’s renewal of some glamour and lustre but the absence of the short-priced ante-post favourite has at least made it more of an interesting heat for the punter. WINGS OF DESIRE (Best price 4-1) was a smooth winner of the Dante before heading to Epsom for the Derby where, after understandably showing signs of inexperience, he finished an honourable fourth. The decision to swerve Ascot looked a wise one and the chance to return to some proper summer ground could induce more improvement.
PREDILECTION (Best price 5-1) was rather stuck in the mud in a warm handicap at Royal Ascot and the drop to seven furlongs on better ground should suit. John Gosden’s charge showed signs of greenness at Lingfield on his penultimate start and again last time but he looks the type to learn from the experience and he can convert his undoubted potential into victory this afternoon.
It is difficult to envisage defeat for Time Test providing the ground stays fast as he is head and shoulders above his four rivals here. Roger Charlton’s charge posted a fine effort on easier conditions than ideal in the Eclipse when chasing home Hawkbill and a reproduction would be sufficient here. Connections of MONDIALISTE will fancy the forecast berth given he is useful at this venue and has been forced to run twice on deep ground this term. He is worth searching out in the ‘without the favourite markets’.
Paul Midgley has his speedsters in good heart at present – Sunraider, Mr Orange and Monsieur Joe all winners for the yard this week – and NINJAGO (Best price 12-1) could be some value to upset the likes of Tanzeel and Kimberella. The six-year-old, formerly trained by Richard Hannon, has failed to make much of an impact on soft ground in two starts this term, but he returns to faster conditions and a favoured stomping ground so could be ready to strike from a decent draw.
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