2.00pm Ascot – Black Caesar
I rode him at Newbury last season when he didn’t go too well but hopefully he will run better here. The suspicion is that the handicapper has him for the moment though, as he went up 6lb for his clear-cut win at Brighton last month. But he didn’t run badly in defeat at that track and Epsom since, and this softer ground should certainly suit him better, so he has each-way claims in a competitive handicap with conditions in his favour.
2.35pm Ascot – Taurean Star
He can be a tricky ride and when he wins, as he did for me at Yarmouth earlier in the season, he doesn’t do so by far. He hasn’t run up to his best in three starts since that success but at least he has come back down to that winning mark again. He has won twice here too, including with a bit of ease in the ground, but ideally I think he would want better ground than he is likely to get here. But he is weighted to go well at best, and his good course form is there for all to see.
3.10pm Ascot – Ultimate Avenue
You can put a line through his run at Goodwood last time as he was never happy on the track, and in fact he did well to finish as close as he did given he was nigh-on unrideable up the straight. Everyone saw how well he ran when third over 6f at Newmarket before that, and a 3lb rise for that looked fair, as the form of that race worked out very well. I certainly think he has the talent to be very competitive off 100 here, and this track and trip will suit, but the ground could be a bit of a worry. he wouldn’t want it too soft.
3.45pm Ascot – Raheen House
I was in America when he ran in the St Leger last time but I think he ran a bit better than his final position would suggest, for all that was a disappointing effort. But this is no easy task either, as he carries a 5lb penalty in what looks a decent Listed race. However, I’d like to think he is better than he showed in the Classic and if he comes back to the form of his unlucky Royal Ascot run, or more obviously his Newmarket defeat of the subsequent Doncaster Cup winner Desert Skyline, then I would hope that he has winning claims here. I think he is a horse with a lot of class and hopefully the ground will be okay for him.
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