The Shergar Cup may appear a bit of lottery for astute followers of the turf but if ever there was a marriage made in heaven for Saturday’s Ascot Jamboree it has to be the luck of the draw that has pitched together Frankie Dettori and Medicean Man in the Shergar Cup Dash (1.15).
It seems remarkable that it will be 20 years in September since Dettori created history when going through the card at Ascot and notching the Magnificent Seven and the nation’s most popular jockey has enjoyed some of his most notable successes since at the same venue.
Medicean Man may not have been blessed with similar success but he invariably reserves his best performances for this course and, having failed by a short head behind Goldream in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2015, returned to put up another fine effort in that contest in June when sixth, beaten only two lengths, to Profitable. He again ran well here when sixth, beaten four and three quarter lengths, to Alpha Delphini last month off a mark of 106 and the handicapper has relented slightly and dropped him 2lb for today’s event.
Dettori, who captains team Europe will be galvinised to get his team off to a winning start and Jeremy Gask couldn’t have asked for a better draw if he picked the balls out of the hat himself. Two course lovers together and worth a 1pt investment.
At Newmarket, Majoris is fancied to make it two wins from three starts in the Royal British Legion Nursery Handicap (2.40). The Frankel colt was in need of the experience when sixth on his debut over six furlongs at Haydock in May and still looked green and unsuited by the course when beating Fortune Of War three quarters of a length over seven furlongs at Brighton in July. That could well have assisted his handicap rating in getting a mark of just 76 and the runner-up ran well when just touched off at Yarmouth on Wednesday.
Majoris can only improve for that experience and this stiffer seven on a more conventional course can prove beneficial. He looks worth a 1pt investment.
At Haydock, it could pay to side with Wilamina in the Listed Betfred TV/ EBF Stallions Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes (3.10). The Martyn Meade-trained filly made a massive step up from an impressive maiden victory at Newmarket in June when failing by only a length and a quarter behind the front running Light Up Our World in a listed contest at Sandown in July when possibly ridden with a little too much confidence.
As event have turned out it was still a heartwarming performance as the winner was beaten only half a length and three quarters of a length when an honourable third to Thikriyaat and Forge in a Group 3 event at Goodwood last week and, with further improvement to come from Wilamina and a good draw in stall four, she is be worth a 2pt investment at a handsome price.