2.10pm – Shergar Cup Dash (Class 2 Handicap)
Arecibo has been running in competitive high-class races and drops in class here. He finished third in a Group Two at Haydock earlier in the season, behind King’s Lynn and Twilight Calls. On that form he is the one to beat and is likely to go well off a mark of 103.
Hurricane Ivor has been in poor form recently, but he may be capable of bouncing back now rated 104. He is 6lbs lower than when he made his first appearance this season, and that drop in the weights could help him rediscover some form. However, his only run on ground with firm in the description came when he was last seen at the track, finishing ninth of tenth.
King Of Stars is largely inconsistent, whilst Manaccan has been performing respectably in big fields, including when fifth at Royal Ascot, and should go well again. Count D’Orsay is talented on his day but has gone almost two years without a win and the yard is currently performing at a 6% strike rate having saddled 106 runners in the past two weeks. Ten-year-old Judicial has placed in Listed company over 5f, finishing behind Tis Marvellous at Beverley when he was last seen on Good To Firm ground.
He is capable of putting in a good performance and trainer, Julie Camacho, is currently enjoying a rich vein of form, performing at a 27% strike rate.
First reserve Dusky Lord is interesting if getting in, 1lbs up from his second-placed finish at Goodwood.
He appears a progressive type and will wear first-time blinkers if he lines up.
2.10pm Ascot – Judicial 1pt E/W @ 17/2 (best price – 4 places, 8/1 in places)
2.45pm Ascot – Shergar Cup Stayers (Class 2 Handicap)
Super Superjack is 4lbs higher for finishing second at Goodwood last time out. He was slightly unlucky there, short of room a few furlongs out, but he did stay on well. This is over a shorter trip of 2m, over which the five-year-old has enjoyed success this season, He is also a course and distance winner, having gained a length-and-a-half success over Make My Day here in May. There is plenty to like about Milton Harris’ gelding, but there are a number of strong stayers taking him on.
First reserve Red Force One has been in excellent form in recent months, in lower class races. He is now rated 80 on the flat, and could go well off a fairly low weight, sporting cheekpieces. Top-weight Rock Eagle ran well in defeat last time out at Newbury, but has gone up 1lbs and may find this tough against some in-form progressive stayers. Island Brave could give a better account of himself running at a lower mark of 95, and has each-way claims.
Going Gone finished fourth at odds of 50/1 in the Ascot Stakes, run over an extra half-a-mile. He has potential as a stayer and could well make the frame but hasn’t yet shown the same level of ability over 2m. There could be more to come from him and he is certainly one to watch. Make My Day has already been well-backed from a best-priced 33/1 on Thursday. He gave 15lbs to the favourite when they last met, but there is only 5lbs between them here. The Gary Moore-trained gelding is 1lbs lower for finishing tenth at Goodwood, but excuses can be made for that run and he has good form over this shorter trip.
2.45pm Ascot – Make My Day 1pt E/W @ 11/1 (generally – 4 places)
3.20pm Ascot – Shergar Cup Challenge (Class 2 Handicap)
Pride Of Priory is bidding for a hat-trick of wins running off a career-high mark of 92. He is lightly-raced, appears progressive and is well-bred. The yard has been in excellent form this season and the gelding could continue his winning streak here.
Charging Thunder is attempting a three-timer, 2lbs higher in ratings following a 1m6f handicap win at Newmarket last month, and returns over a shorter trip that has suited in the past. At York in May he finished second, with Pride Of Priory in fifteenth, but did have a 5lbs claimer aboard there and this may be tough carrying 10st 2lbs.
The Whipmaster recorded a four-timer before finishing second here off a mark of 89. He is 1lbs higher in ratings having his second crack at 1m4f.
Celtic Art is 1lbs lower-rated following a disappointing run over 1m6f when last seen. Prior to that he finished third at Wolverhampton over this trip but hasn’t won on turf since his maiden win in 2019 and more is required.
Another needing to show improvement is Pretty Sweet who recently finished fourth of seven in a Listed contest for fillies and mares at Newmarket.
She doesn’t appear well-handicapped and the yard has struggled to find winners in the last couple of weeks.
The lightly-raced mare Angel Power attempts 1m4f for the first time and has stamina to prove. She has been out of form this season and carries top-weight sporting first-time cheekpieces, but is a Group Two winner over 1m2f and has previously shown plenty of class.
State Of Bliss is another course and distance winner in the field but has been poor in recent runs. He won over this trip at Ripon in April and a rating of 89 gives him a chance at this level but he does need to bounce back.
3.20pm Ascot – Pride Of Priory 1pt win @ 10/3
3.55 Ascot – Shergar Cup Mile (Class 2 Handicap)
There could be a quick double on the card for William Haggas as Montassib heads the market in this 1m contest. He is lightly-raced, has recorded three wins from five in his career, and has put in respectable performances in his last two runs in big field handicaps.
There is plenty of speed in his pedigree, but also stamina on his dam’s side and despite not yet attempting a mile, he has seen out his races over 7f well and should be suited by the extra furlong.
Course and distance winner Isla Kai ran well in fourth last time out at York and is 1lbs lower here. He is fairly consistent and is a specialist miler likely to go well.
Recent addition to the David O’Meara yard Bopedro was a respectable fourth on debut for his new trainer having recently made the switch from Ireland. He has snippets of good form on the other side of the Irish Sea but can be inconsistent.
Irish-raider Jungle Cove drops back down to a mile and has plenty of experience in handicaps, as does top-weight Shelir who hasn’t been at his best at Ascot in previous runs.
Via Serendipity is capable of a good run over this trip and has been given a more workable mark of 92. He isn’t without chance if able to rediscover some form.
3.55pm Ascot – Montassib 2pt win @ 7/4 (13/8 in places)
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