1.15pm Ascot: Ebury looks like a very big price to me around 20-1. That is because he was a bit disappointing at Newmarket last week but he pulled a bit hard there, and hopefully he will settle a bit better in this bigger field and he should get a nice tow into the race from his draw in three, with the likes of Gifted Master and Blown By Wind around him. He is a winner over a mile at Ascot and I think he would be a single-figure price had he not run below-par at Newmarket. That is obviously a concern but the price seems an over-reaction, given his overall profile. Unibet are paying SIX PLACES on this race.
1.50pm Ascot: The obvious horse in here is Circus Maximus. He is a dual Group 1 winner, and things didn’t fall his way when fourth at the Breeders’ cup on his final start. He is not the sort of horse to go and win his races by two or three lengths, so he unlikely to ever rate that highly, but he is the one they all have to beat. Unibet are paying AN EXTRA PLACE on this race.
2.25pm Ascot: This is a very open Ribblesdale and Gosden’s Frankly Darling is the one the market loves following her Newcastle win. But second favourite Trefoil has better form claims on her Newmarket third to Run Wild, who took advantage of a pace and ground bias, and the step up to 1m4f will suit Ralph Beckett’s filly.
3.00pm Ascot: An impressive winner of this could be first or second favourite for the Derby, and the market suggests that horse will be Mogul. You can see why. He won his Group 2 before going to Newcastle to for the Vertem Futurity. I was watched the race back and he travelled well into the contest, and didn’t pick up as expected. It could have been the surface. But his fourth to Kameko there was solid form, and you suspect he is better than that too, with the longer trip a plus. Obviously, I know Mohican Heights well, having won on him at Salisbury. That form has worked out well and what I loved about that performance was what he did in the final 100 yards, changing leads and hitting the line hard. The stable could do with a winner but we are pretty hopeful he will be a proper horse this season. If the favourite doesn’t win, then I would hope that he will, as he is going nicely at home.
3.35pm Ascot: Boring but Battaash. This is his for the taking for all he can run below par on occasions. But it is hard to see him losing, for all Glass Slippers is a progressive Abbaye winner whose chances would improve with rain.
4.10pm Ascot: I like Queen Power in here. Her stablemate Jubiloso is a shorter price in the betting but Queen Power has a lot going for her. She showed a lot of promise last season before getting injured at Windsor on her final start; she probably should have won when just touched off here first time up, she beat Lavender’s Blue and Star Catcher at Newbury, and then ran far too free here over 1m4f in the Ribblesdale. She was always up against it trying to reel in winner Terebellum from off the pace at Newmarket on her reappearance, but that was a good effort all the same, and if you fancy the winner for the Queen Anne then you have to like Queen Power in here. She does pull but if Silvestre can get her settled and relaxed, then I think she could be up to winning this, back to a mile.
4.40pm Ascot: I struggle to see why Verdana Blue is favourite and so short a price. I know she is 60lb lower on the Flat, but all her top class hurdling performances have come over 2m and I’d be very worried about her stamina here. Over hurdles you can get a breather into them as they pop their hurdles, but this 2m4f will be relentless. If she stays, she may well win, but I have my doubts. And even more so if we get rain. Blue Laureate is around the double the price of Moon King, who beat him a head at Haydock last week. That seems wrong given Blue Laureate is weighted to reverse the form and, given that he also finished third to Land Of Oz in the Cesarewitch Trial last season, I think Ian Williams has a fair shot of following up his win in the race last season. Unibet are paying AN EXTRA PLACE on this race.