14.40 Haydock

EXTRA ELUSIVE has got a bit to find on his latest effort behind Global Giant at Newbury, but if he runs to a similar level than he managed to achieve at the Berkshire venue, there’s more than a fair chance he will once again chase his old rival home and that likelihood makes him very appealing in the ‘without the favourite’ market. 

Held up off what turned out to be an electric early pace set by Pablo Escobar 20 days ago, Roger Charlton’s gelding still had a good bit of ground to make up in the home straight, but in making steady progress inside the final half a mile, he ran on strongly to claim a creditable runner-up berth behind the impressive winner. Easily posting his best set of figures in defeat, the son of Mastercraftsman arrives here in peak form and with a decent pace likely to be on the cards again this afternoon with Certain Lad and Crossed Baton in the line-up, he should get a similar set-up to last time.

Extra Elusive w/o Global Giant - 1pt

15.00 Ascot

AUSTRALIS (NAP) (best price 7-2) has been making waves on the all-weather scene for quite some time now, culminating in his tremendous effort in the Northumberland Plate last time out, and providing he can translate that top-class form he showed 42 days ago, Roger Varian’s gelding should have the measure of his ten rivals.

A well-earned victory over the similarly progressive Caravan Of Hope at Wolverhampton back in June set himself up for a tilt at the sought-after prize at the Gosforth Park venue later in the same month and although he narrowly failed to confirm form with his old rival, the fact the pair pulled well clear of a stellar field in a very fast time, strongly suggested he’d run to a career high in defeat. Indeed, the form of the race couldn’t have worked out any better since with the likes of Cosmelli, Rajinsky, Reshoun, and Just Hubert all flying the flag valuable 2m contest on their next starts and even though the son of Australia has been raised in the ratings as a result since, there’s reasons to believe he still might be south of his true capabilities. A keen sort, hopefully David Egan can drop his mount out the back and give him an archetypal Ascot hold-up ride and if so, the four-year-old can show what he’s made of in the latter stages.

Australis - 2pts @ 7/2

16.15 Cork

FRENCH RAIN (best price 11-2) was a shade unlucky in the fillies’ handicap won by Sonaiyla at the Curragh when last seen and she looks to have more than a fair squeak in this similar contest 20 days on. 

Held up towards the rear at the Co Kildare venue, Ger Lyons’ filly found herself in a pocket when seemingly going well approaching two out and while one of her main markets today, Music To My Ears, got a lovely clear run down the outside, she ended up having to wait until a gap appeared until making inroads into the lost deficit. Although it’s very difficult to gauge where she would have finishing with a clear run, she strongly suggested she would have been a bigger player than the official result indicates and, straight seven-furlongs on an easy track likely to plat into her strengths, the daughter of Siyouni rates a decent each-way proposition.

French Rain - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/2

17.30 Uttoxeter

Pacify rates an interesting recruit to the chasing ranks and he is likely to attract plenty of support in the market, but LONGHOUSE SALE (best price 2-1) has already proven that he can operate well over fences, and at a sound pace, and he is fancied to put his vital experience to good use.

Winner of his first eight races, Dan Skelton’s gelding rather lost his way towards the backend of 2019 and it was at that juncture when connections decided to tweak his wind in order to overcome a reoccurring breathing issue. Making his chasing debut after a promising comeback on the Flat back in February, the son of September Storm went through the well-run contest at the Midland venue like a horse who had regained his confidence and with a good jump at the last, he stayed on strongly on the run-in to reel in the positively ridden Scardura on close home. Clocking a fast time for a beginners’ chase, it was good to see the form already begin to take shape with the third home, Beat The Judge, lowering the colours of the useful Ashutor at Newton Abbot next time, and with Harry Skelton likely to be at his usual pro-active best again in order to steal a march on his main market rival, the six-year-old gelding has a decent chase of notching up another win on his already impressive CV. 

Longhouse Sale - 1pt @ 2/1

17.55 Cork

This appears a golden opportunity of Cayenne Pepper to resume winning ways after her brave effort in the Irish Oaks last time out, but she faces some stern competition for top honours in what looks an above-average Group 3 prize and BOLLEVILLE (best price 5-1) is one of several who can provide the favourite with an uncomfortable afternoon at the office. 

A useful filly around this level when trained by Pascal Bary in France, the daughter of Camelot made her debut for new connections at Leopardstown a month ago and in what looked a hugely competitive affair beforehand, she created a favourable impression by gunning down her field with a smart turn of foot inside the final two furlongs. Hitting the line hard with seemingly plenty more to give, she left the distinct impression she would be seen to even greater effect over further (won over 1m4f in France) and hailing from a team who show no signs of taking their foot off the gas, Joseph O’Brien’s filly rates solid each-way material. 

Bolleville - 1pt e/w @ 5/1