Ascot Preview And Predictions
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Ascot Preview And Predictions

Ascot's September Meeting concludes on Saturday afternoon with a seven-race offering headlined by the Lavazza Stakes Handicap over a mile-and-a-half at 3.10pm. Ground conditions at the Berkshire venue are set to be 'Good-good to firm in places', and they race at Ascot from 2.00pm-5.30pm on Saturday afternoon. The Racing Post brings you their preview, analysis and selections for all the action.



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2.00 - National Racehorse Week British EBF Novice Stakes (7f)

Penalised though he is, it's hard to see beyond ALOTAIBI for John & Thady Gosden in this Ascot opener. The Acclamation colt made a winning start at Newbury (7f, good) last month and, while the margin of success was only a half-length, he seemingly had plenty in hand. The well-beaten Godolphin favourite New Kingdom came out and won at Haydock on Thursday, and in-form pilot Jack Mitchell will have high hopes of making it 2-2 now.

Wanees has more than seven lengths to find from that Newbury run, but Charlie Hills' charge should at least get closer now.

The trio of newcomers are worth watching for market vibes, with Gary Moore's Brilliant Blue and the Brian Meehan-trained Hannibal Barca making some appeal on paper - though no great shocks if they take some time to find their feet. The former is a son of Ribchester and cost £85,000 as a 2YO and could chase home the selection.

Selection: Alotaibi

Next Best: Brilliant Blue


2.35 - First Days British EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes (1m)

Destiny Queen began her career with a C&D win in July at odds of 28/1 for George Baker. The five she beat haven't managed to get their heads in front since, and, giving away a penalty in what looks a decent contest, she will surely have her work cut out.

BEAUTIFUL SECRET, by contrast, was an unlucky second on debut at Doncaster (1m, good to firm) last month. The Saeed bin Suroor-trained filly travelled stylishly through that race and, as such, found herself cruising to the front at the 2f-pole. She looked sure to win but was pipped on the line as main market rival Suspicious got the benefit of the running rail to come with a flurry.

That form hasn't been tested yet, but it might be worth speculating that the pair will be above average. Hayley Turner is on board the Godolphin filly this afternoon at a track she excels on and, with the benefit of that racecourse bow, Beautiful Secret could be hard to topple.

There are dangers lurking amongst the four newcomers, with Icy Lady and Mashaaer noted, but the one that stands out is the William Haggas-trained Ribchester filly Canterbury Bell. She's got a smart pedigree and is entered in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile, while she has Ryan Moore on board for this debut and is very much laced with potential.

Selection: Beautiful Secret

Next Best: Canterbury Bell

3.10 - Lavazza Stakes (Heritage Handicap, 1m4f)

After winning his first two this season, at Pontefract and Newmarket over 1m2f, Wahraan ran a solid race (fifth) at York's Ebor Festival recently when beaten two-lengths off this increased mark. Sir Michael Stoute's colt now goes up in distance for the first time and, with Ryan Moore back in the saddle, is an obvious form contender.

Royal runner Chalk Stream is 2-2 since going up to this distance for William Haggas and again won with plenty in hand at Ripon last month. The gelded son of Sea The Stars is now rated 8lb higher in the strongest race he has contested thus far.

State Of Bliss was rewarded for a string of consistent efforts when scoring over C&D at the Shergar Cup meeting last month under Nicola Currie. He was held since at York, but, interestingly, he appeared to thrive under hold-up tactics in that win here and again went forward from the get-go at York. This mark isn't beyond him if recapturing his earlier form here under similar tactics, perhaps.

Another that may be seeking to arrive on the scene late is IRISH LEGEND for the Hugo Palmer team. After winning on the Tapeta at Newcastle in May, he was a strong-finishing third in the Golden Gate Handicap over 1m2f here at the Royal Meeting in June on soft ground in first-time blinkers.

He has held his form since and was only just denied at Kempton (1m3f) on his latest start ten days ago, with the cheekpieces he sports now restored. He's 2lb higher back on turf but remains with more to offer in all probability and is fancied to give a good account at decent odds.

Selection: Irish Legend

Next Best: State Of Bliss


3.45 - Careys Foundation Supporting The Lighthouse Club Handicap (7f)

Last year's winner Documenting returns here now off the same mark as when scoring 12 months ago, and he shaped better than he has done all season when third at Doncaster last time. Kevin Frost's charge should be primed to defend this crown.

Cliffs Of Capri is a C&D winner in the past (2018) and has twice run well around here this season, either side of a laboured run in the Hunt Cup in June. He wasn't disgraced last time at York despite finishing mid-pack, but he needs things to fall just right, and others appeal more for win purposes.

Top Secret remains with scope for better in handicaps. He was a C&D winner in July - narrowly - and has gone down by similar margins in both subsequent starts at Newmarket over 7f/1m. He's up another 2lb and is now rising in class, but Nicola Currie's mount should get in the shake-up.

Via Serendipity won at Windsor recently and now must back that up from 4lb higher, something he hasn't managed in the past, so MAXI BOY gets a chance to shine for Cieren Fallon and Michael Bell.

The Oasis Dream colt hasn't won since his debut in 2019, but he missed more than a year at the end of his 2YO season, and he ran respectably here that season in the Coventry Stakes - his only Ascot start. He went close at Newmarket on his penultimate start at this trip and perhaps didn't quite see a mile out since. This return to 7f could be ideal for him, and he's got a good partner.

Selection: Maxi Boy

Next Best: Top Secret

4.20 - Iron Stand British EBF Premier Fillies' Handicap (1m)

Sunrise Valley won a Newmarket maiden (7f, good) in May on her second start, and Sir Michael Stoute's filly returned from a short break last month with a wide-margin success at Chelmsford in a novice heat. She started 1/12 fav there but scarcely came out of second gear in winning under Ryan Moore, and an opening mark of 85 could be well within reach as Cieren Fallon gets the shout here. She's got a leading chance, but this is a very competitive affair.

Nebulosa made a winning return at Goodwood in May and has gone close there and at Sandown (7f, good) in her most recent starts. From an unchanged mark and with William Cox now claiming 3lb, she's in the mix.

So, too, the likes of Passionova for the George Baker team and the other Stoute runner Star Seeking - who races in the Michael Tabor colours and, presumably, had first call on Ryan Moore's services ahead of Sunrise Valley today.

Don't Tell Claire backed up a Nottingham win with a good second at Newmarket three weeks ago and enters calculations, but maybe we haven't got to the bottom of ROMAN MIST just yet. Tom Ward's daughter of Holy Roman Emperor has won her last three starts and has been doing so in good style at Nottingham, Ffos Las and Wolverhampton. She is 6lb higher still for this assignment - her toughest so far - but cannot be opposed with any great confidence.

Selection: Roman Mist

Next Best: Sunrise Valley


4.55 - Fever-tree Handicap (6f)

Bottom-weight Fortamour won this 12 months ago and is back, having scored last-time-out at Ripon from 2lb lower than this. Even that still leaves him 4lb shy of last year's winning mark, and he's got to be taken very seriously as such.

Royal Scimitar beat only one home in a Listed Newmarket event over this trip last week and, while this is less demanding, he has passed up similar opportunities here and at Newmarket in recent months. That said, a big run wouldn't be a major shock.

Lexington Dash wasn't disgraced under this claimer at Epson on Monday, but perhaps Ryan Moore will have POPMASTER on song as he rides the Ed Walker-trained 3YO for the first time.

He is closely matched with Royal Scimitar on form this summer and perhaps used too much petrol making ground up when only fifth over C&D at last month's Shergar Cup meeting in a race that looks solid. There's no reason he cannot go close now.

Selection: Popmaster

Next Best: Fortamour

5.30 - Windsor & Eton Sea Cadets Handicap (5f)

The aptly named MINE'S A DOUBLE could give that man Ryan Moore a fine end to his Saturday afternoon at Ascot. The Mukhadram colt is 2-2 so far for Clive Cox, and he defied a penalty in a Leicester novice (5f, good to firm) in July when coming away by more than four lengths. He now moves into handicaps and, while an opening mark of 88 isn't going to be a doddle, it's very likely there's more to come from him, and he's taking on some exposed sorts now.

Blue De Vega gained a first win of the year at Doncaster under similar conditions on penultimate start, though he struggled next time at Sandown. He needs to leave that behind.

Noorban is fairly reliable and has place claims, with Devil's Angel took his form up a notch winning at Sandown last time as he dropped to this 5f trip (first attempt), and so he could be one with more to offer despite a 6lb rise.

Selection: Mine's A Double

Next Best: Devil's Angel


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