Friday sees the first day of the Betfair weekend at the stunning Ascot Racecourse. The three day event is set to feature some superb action for punters before next week’s Glorious Goodwood.
Woodcote Stud EBF Valiant Stakes (Listed)
The main race of the six scheduled on Friday is the Woodcote Stud EBF Valiant Stakes. Ultrasonic is the current market leader at 5/2 with Coral. She was beat at Epsom earlier in the season by last year’s winner of this, Thistle Bird.
Ryan Moore’s ride has leading form claims and could win this if at her best, although a few others also warrant serious respect. Annecdote is bidding for her hat-trick and represents good value at 10/1 with Coral, although she may find this harder. Light Up My Life and Auction were both behind Jonathan Portman’s 3-year-old over track and trip in June but both have what it takes to reverse that result here.
Sweetnessandlight could be a surprise bit of value at 50/1 with Bet365 and could creep into the places if running at her very best.
John Guest Brown Jack Handicap (Class 2)
The John Guest Brown Jack Handicap is lined up to be a very interesting renewal which could prove tricky for those having a flutter.
Ed Dunlop saddles favourite Homeric who is at a best price of 3/1 with Ladbrokes. He found 2m4f too far last time, but back to 2m here can only be a positive and a repeat of the win in May could well be on the cards.
Both contenders, Mawaqeet and Mysterious Man were beaten in the Ascot Stakes and the latter finished ahead of Homeric that time. Broxbourne is another contender under Joe Fanning, with the distance causing no problems; however this may be too hard for her.
Newsmith October Club Charity Handicap (Class 2)
SENNOCKIAN STAR is the hot favourite for the Newsmith October Club Charity Handicap. Mark Johnston has a good record in this and his favourite has every chance of improving it further.
Viewpoint and Vasily are both up against it with the extra weight, although they are still more appealing than 10/1 (Ladbrokes) shot Tenure. Hannon’s entry should improve from his reappearance under Richard Hughes and should cause most problems for the 11/10 favourite.
The John Guest EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes is a wide open contest featuring many bright prospects for the near future. Heartstrings is the slight 5/1 favourite with Stan James, whilst John Gosden’s Likelihood is another with massive claims.
Psychometry could prove to be a decent bet at 5/1 with most firms. Ryan Moore is on board her in what could be a big race for the 2-year-old.
Richard Hannon’s Banaadeer is the well-fancied favourite for the Houghton Stone Nursery Handicap following his win over 5f last time. He is likely to improve, as is Mr Matthews who was only a length behind the winner at York in a better race than this last time.
The final race of the day is the John Guest Handicap which looks a great way to finish the first day at Ascot. Gabbiano ran well last time when finishing second in a better quality race than this, whilst Gladiatrix warrants serious respect if at his best.
Alternative horse racing action is available throughout the day at Thirsk and Uttoxeter, before a busy evening of racing which includes action from; Chepstow, Down Royal, Newmarket, Wexford and York.
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