1.05 Ascot

An open race to start proceedings as the betting would suggest and preference for LEXINGTON ABBEY (Best price 11-2) can only be marginal. Obviously, the assistance of top Australian rider Kerrin McEvoy is a huge plus for the selection who didn’t gain the clearest of passages in a warm handicap won by Danzeno over course and distance last month. Hopefully the ground will continue to dry out and he can give a good account for a yard enjoying a decent run of things at present.

Lexington Abbey - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/2

1.40 Ascot

There is plenty of course form on offer here with the likes of old foes Swashbuckle and Graceland renewing rivalry. Both look to have clear form chances here, especially the latter given she has subsequently gone close at Newcastle behind the improving London Prize. However, there could be a little value in the chances of Northern raider EUCHEN GLEN (Best price 12-1 ) given he endured a desperate run in a hot Haydock handicap last time. He was only beaten five lengths by Dylan Mouth that day and the race has already thrown up tidy winners in the shape of Soldier In Action and Fabricate, while Blakeney Point and Big Country have been narrowly eclipsed in warm handicaps subsequently. The trip is an unknown but his rider enjoyed plenty of success in this event 12 months ago and the selection could surprise
Euchen Glen - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1

2.15 Ascot

The girls’ team appear to hold a strong hand in this renewal with recent Ascot runner-up Niblawi and the resurgent MUKHAYYAM (Best price 6-1) appearing big contenders, while Kapstadt adds a powerful third string to the girls team as he ran with credit in a valuable hurdle last time and had previously chased home Dylan Mouth at Haydock. The former looks to be peaking for his shrewd stable and probably bumped into a live one over course and distance on King George day in the shape of Royal Associate and the ninth home has won since to boost the form. However, Mukhayyam has hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks and he looked as good as ever in scoring handsomely at Ripon, enjoying the easy surface in the process. Raised 6lb for that cosy win, he is tactically versatile and should be thereabouts if in the same form.

Mukhayyam - 0.5pts e/w @ 6/1

2.50 Ascot

Stall one on the round track could be a little tricky for smooth Chester winner Breakable who is reluctantly overlooked in preference for NICHOLAS T (Best price 8-1) who couldn’t land a blow over seven furlongs in a Class 2 affair here a fortnight ago. The selection did make a little late headway from an uncompromising position and could go well at a price with Kerrin McEvoy on board now that he is returned to a mile. Jim Goldie appears to have a couple of live chances on the card and it could be worth recalling he has already enjoyed one successful venture south to the Berkshire venue this summer courtesy of Jack Dexter’s recent win.

Nicholas T - 0.5pts e/w @ 8/1

3.25 Ascot

A terrific renewal with the unbeaten Contango installed as a worthy market leader by the layers this week. He has only beaten a total of 19 rivals in winning his three races, but copes well with cut in the ground and looks as though he may find further improvement for a step up to 12 furlongs. He is reluctantly overlooked in preference for HOLD SWAY (Best price 5-1) who could also step forward again for a switch of headgear. The blinkers are equipped today and the move up to a mile-and-a-half could also help the son of Dubawi who ran respectably at Goodwood (10f) in a very strongly-run affair won by Good Omen last time. I can’t resist have a small each-way dart at RAKE’S PROGRESS (Best price 12-1) as well as his morning price looks an insult. Rider Neil Callan is excellent from the front and his mount could go well for his in-form stable if securing a cheap lead as he was mightily impressive at Newbury in a good event last time.
Hold Sway - 1pt @ 5/1
Rakes Progress - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1

4.00 Ascot

The unexposed NOBLY BORN (Best price 5-2) was having just the fifth race of his career when narrowly beaten in a hot Newmarket handicap last time and there is every chance there is more to come from John Gosden’s talented sprinter. A lack of experience was arguably the only thing that was missing from his performance that day and, as a son of Mayson, underfoot conditions should be to his liking here. Private Matter was seventh that day after being hampered late on and the first-time hood looks an interesting move by connections. I toyed with a saver, especially as there isn’t much juice in the price of the selection, but the claims of Private Matter aren’t quite compelling enough.

Nobly Born - 1pt @ 5/2

1.55 Haydock

Master jumps trainer Paul Nicholls has probably had his eye on this race for a while so that daughter Megan can ride ZUBAYR (Best price 11-4) who possessed the class over hurdles to finish second in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr in the spring. The five-year-old was also a creditable fifth in the Swinton Hurdle at this venue in May and the stable struck with Moabit on the level recently so clearly have their select team of flat performers in good heart at present.
Zubayr - 1pt @ 11/4

2.30 Haydock

Connections of SPARK PLUG (Best price 13-2) will be praying the damp weather stays away and he can fire to his full potential in this open event. Brian Meehan’s gelding certainly arrives in good heart courtesy of a stout Sandown victory where his turn of foot was perfectly employed by Ryan Moore and, although back-to-back wins have never been his trademark in the past, he has strung together a series of consistent efforts since handsomely winning the Cambridgeshire last autumn. A couple of the six-year-old’s immediate relatives, Pearl Of Africa and Slight Advantage, both operated well with cut in the ground so Spark Plug’s chance may not be compromised by recent rainfall.
Spark Plug - 0.5pts e/w @ 13/2

3.40 Newmarket

DANCE DIVA (Best price 4-1) looks ready for a step up to seven furlongs judged on her Ascot performance behind the classy Nyaleti. There is every chance she may have bumped into an improving filly that day and is afforded another chance to confirm the impression she created over six furlongs at this venue last month in Listed company. She should be at home with any cut in the ground and the only slight reservation about her chance is her position on the track in stall nine if the near side rail and the low draws enjoy a marked advantage.

Dance Diva - 1pt @ 4/1