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14:40 Ascot We kick off todays Channel 4 action with a big runner seven furlong handicap from Ascot. The current market leader is John Gosden’s Von Blucher who, as a three year old, has plenty of scope for improvement. The horse will have to improve based on its previous runs but a decent second placed finish at Newbury last time out should stand the horse in good stead however at 5/1 it’s way too short a price for a race like this. Firmament progressed from its success on the all-weather when winning at York, a reasonable rise of just six pounds for that success isn’t bad and it’s bound to be up there come the finish line. The one that gets the nod is going to be Godolphin’s Yattwee. The booking of Cameron Noble means Saeed bin Suroor’s charge now sit at a lower weight than its very credible Royal Ascot performance. The yard have been struck by a virus but the horses seem to be over the worst of it and hopefully they can come back with a bang in the form of Yattwee. Yattwee (E/W)

15:00 Haydock Pundit Rory Paddock covers this race exclusively in todays Racing Plus Newspaper

15:10 Ascot If the betting was anything to go by, despite their being twelve runners set to go to post, this should only be a two horse race between Dal Harraild and Stargazer. Obviously both horses deserve their spots as current joint favourites however this field looks relatively competitive and although both Haggas and Stoute runners will undoubtedly do well I have to look elsewhere for an each-way alternative. Combative renews rivalries with Danehill Kodiac on much better terms and I’d be surprised if the result isn’t reversed. Amanda Perrett does well with her horses here at Ascot and I expect a big run from her runner and at a double figured price it looks worth an each way bet today. Of the remaining runners New Caledonia is worth a market check. Combative (E/W)

15:30 Haydock A big time handicap awaits in this 14 furlong contest from Haydock where Ralph Beckett saddles course winner Magic Circle who looks set to go close after a winning run at York. The four year old is improving at a rapid rate and has been risen another seven pounds thanks to the handicapper. The horse is clearly an improver and a worth favourite however this looks a more competitive race and is expected to go well today. Shakopee could go well after a couple of decent efforts at both York and Doncaster so far this season however Cumani’s yard aren’t firing on all cylinders and is overlooked today. I’m siding with two runners in the race of which the first is fancied Andrew Balding runner Montaly. A previous course success indicates that the horse won’t be affected by todays conditions and arrives here off the back of a much more improved effort. It seems the race is the horses main target and from a low weight it looks set to go close. An outsider worth considering is Tim Easterby’s My Reward who holds a 100% strike rate here at Haydock. The four year old’s last three efforts have been less than ideal however as he slips down the ratings it looks to be on a much more competitive mark and 20/1 could look very overpriced come post time. Montaly (E/W) My Reward (E/W)

15:45 Kempton We head over to Kempton for the first of two televised races on the all-weather. Although he’s the youngest horse in the race I just can’t see past Robin Of Navan. It’s easy to forget that Harry Dunlop’s charge holds a win over “red-hot” St Leger favourite Idaho which, on paper, looks like the best form on offer here. De Sousa goes up against Jim Crowley in the battle to become champion jockey and I hope Silvestre can add another victory to his tally this season. Arab Spring is the mount of the aforementioned Crowley and the Sir Michael Stoute horse is the short priced favourite. The six year old is unbeaten on the all-weather but was very lacklustre last time out and although, on its best form, it should go close, he’s not worthy of such a short price. Robin Of Navan (E/W if 9/2+)

16:00 Haydock This sprint handicap contest is set to wet the appetite of sprinting fans before the big Group 1 contest but what an open race this looks set to be. The first of two selections in the race hails from Paul Midgley’s yard who are failing on all cylinders with a fantastic 27% strike rate in the past two weeks. He sends Gamesome in to this and despite not finding the winners enclosure since its maiden success it has put in some competitive placed efforts and is worth a shot here. Stepper Point is a shadow of his former self but if it returned to anything like its best would be able to demolish a race of this nature. There’s a huge question mark over wether or not the seven year old has any of its previous spark and although it’d be great to see him go close it unfortunately looks unlikely. Englishman holds a 100% strike rate here at Haydock and returns to the scene of a very convincing success. It now sits one pound less than the weight it was lumbered with that day and a fifth placed finish at Epsom last time out shows it’s ready to go close once again. Of the rest of the competitors course and distance winner Dutch Masterpeice could go well for a yard in blistering form. Gamesome (E/W) Englishman (E/W)

16:15 Kempton The penultimate race shown live on Channel 4 today sees John Gosden’s Dommersen look to maintain its unbeaten all-weather record and the likelihood is that Afjaan will not get any closer than it did last time out and has a true favourites chance. In all honesty it looks very likely that the favourite will take all the beating however I feel I may have unearthed a horse that has been drastically overlooked. A surge of money for Jim Crowley to become Champion Flat Jockey has come over the past week or so and he may have found a good ride in this race. Bastille Day is a course and distance winner who has won here three times from four starts at Kempton, all of which were over todays one mile trip. A return to an artificial surface is bound to bring on some improvement after a mediocre few races on turf and it seems that 14/1 looks far too generous from the bookmakers. It may not be the most likely winner but it’s bound to push the main protagonists close. Bastille Day (E/W)

16:30 Haydock Up until earlier in the week it looked as if Limato wasn’t likely to run in this but since trainer Henry Candy confirmed the four year old would take up his engagement the money has poured in for the favourite. The weather was a big factor and although a return to six furlongs is a plus for Candy’s runner the weather is set to be rain filled for most of the afternoon. This is bound to make a big difference and if the rain does arrive I’d doubt wether or not Limato will even run. The two horses I’m plumping for I’m hoping rain will be a positive as both Quiet Reflection and Suedois should relish a slight bit of cut in the ground. Karl Burke’s Quiet Reflection is given a handy weight allowance as a three year old and she looks to return to winning ways where she’s already won at before. A third placed finish behind Suedois and Limato at Newmarket last time out showed she could mix it with older horses and more than hold her own. She should have learnt a lot from that and has bags of potential to hopefully turn around her previous effort. Suedois may not have won this year but that doesn’t tell the whole story and isn’t very fair on David O’Meara’s runner. He has pushed some top class sprinters very close in Group races this year and is probably unlucky not to have claimed a big race victory yet. The bookmakers have been very generous with its current 12/1 price and this ultra consistent horse is likely to be up near the front come the finishing line. At a much bigger price a mention has to go to Goken who put in a great performance when finishing third in the Group 1 Kings Stand at Newmarket. If the rain falls that’ll aid this ones chances and although it isn’t one of my selections today it might do much more than its odds suggest. Gordon Lord Byron has to be respected as he absolutely relishes Haydock. He’s won this race previously but that form is possibly behind the eight year old veteran, although a place wouldn’t be too far fetched its best days have probably passed. The Tin Man and Dancing Star also represent horses with great chances. The Tin Man isn’t really tested at this level yet and hasn’t proved effective at Group 1 level and Dancing Star has to make a massive step up on what it’s done previously but is definitely open to improvement. Quiet Reflection (E/W if 9/2+) Suedois (E/W)




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