The Autumn Meeting at Ascot is always a fantastic event featuring some top quality horse racing, making it a real fan favourite. The fact that it features a beer festival probably has something to do with it too!
Grosvenor Casinos Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Group 3)
Royal Empire will bid to continue the form of his life when taking on three competitive rivals in the Group 3 feature race. John Gosden’s Gatewood, Ryan Moore’s ride, Gospel Choir and decent stable mate, Secret Number, who are all 7/2 with most firms.
BetVictor are offering 7/2 on Kieren Fallon’s ride, who is penalised into carrying top weight following his win over Red Cadeaux at Newbury last month.
Gatewood had a fantastic season back in 2012 and we saw glimpses of that form last time out when he finished half a length behind Out Of Bounds at Doncaster. He has won at this grade before and a victory most definitely should not be ruled out here.
Gospel Choir is the other who warrants real respect although he will surely have to improve once more to feature here. He won well at Goodwood over this distance, however that was a much easier race and he has his work cut out.
Miljhaar and Hajras both need to run at their best to feature, however the latter looks more appealing for me. 14/1 shot Repeater needs further distance and is likely to struggle.
BMW Cornwallis Stakes (Group 3)
Hot Streak is the current market leader for the BMW Cornwallis Stakes, with BetVictor offering the most value at 4/1 for Kevin Ryan’s colt.
He ran a very positive fourth in the Group 2 Mill Reef at Newbury and a similar performance could well be enough to win this.
Extortionist is another of the favoured horses for the race, following his third in the Flying Childers at Doncaster, when Fast was behind in fourth place. He is likely to run well again and could prove too good for the rest of the field.
The most interesting entry is that of Outer Space from the Hannon yard. He makes strong appeal and represents decent value at 11/2 with William Hill. He won his only start at Sandown and could cause a surprise upset here.
John Guest Bengough Stakes (Group 3)
The John Guest Bengough Stakes is one of a number of highly competitive races scheduled for the meeting, with 18 runners set to feature. Soul and Heeraat are the joint favourites for the Group 3 contest, however both need to rekindle old form to win this.
The former was impressive last year and signs of improvement are being shown, whilst the latter needs to bounce back from a poor performance last time round.
Intransigent finished a close second to Hitchens back in April, with Soul back in fifth that time. David Barron’s 8-year-old will not like the ground though, and others look much more appealing.
Bet365 are offering the best price of 10/1 on Hoof It, who beat a number of today’s opponent’s in the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup last month. He needs to improve on his latest result to be in with a chance though.
Music Master is another who is fancied and at 10/1 with Bet365, it is tempting value.
Doc Hay and Steps are the joint favourites for the Macquarie Group Rous Stakes and both should run well, whilst Rocky Ground, Eton Rifles and Masamah all warrant respect.
Jockey Kieren Fallon is aboard Ascription in the 3.50 and he warrants mass amounts of respect even after another 11lb penalty. Big Johnny D is another who cannot be ignored after a fantastic 2013 which has seen a hat-trick of wins over 7f. He is currently 9/1 best price with BetVictor.
The final race of the day is the EBF Stallions October Stakes and Sir Michael Stoute’s Enrol is bookies’ favourite. He ran a good second at Newbury latest and should be in with a big chance here on that form. Nargys and Indignant should also run well, as should Appleby’s Ghanaian.
There is plenty of alternative racing available for those wishing to watch and bet elsewhere; with Fontwell, Gowran Park, Newmarket, Redcar and Wolverhampton all supplying decent action throughout the day and evening.
Other fantastic racing is also on offer at Longchamp, where the superb Gregorian and CIRRUS DES AIGLES can both be seen in action.
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