We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
The listed Noel Murless Stakes is the feature race at Ascot this afternoon for three-year-olds only over 1m 6f.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Platitude carries a 3lbs penalty for his recent win in this grade at Goodwood last month and Ryan Moore takes over in the plate. He will have the race run to suit that’s for sure with a number of runners in the field who like to race prominently.
Novelina has no chance whatsoever on official figures but I was so taken with her win at Musselburgh last time that I vowed to follow her until beaten. That said I didn’t think she would turn up in a listed contest and she is reluctantly overlooked in favour of Irish raider Aydoun (3.45).
It is a big weekend for Dermot Weld and the Aga Khan with Harzand going for Arc glory on ground that looks increasingly likely to be faster than he has encountered to date. Aydoun won a Listowel maiden on heavy ground by 5l on debut earlier in the month and was value for at least double that distance.
This gelded son of Mastercraftsman was backed as if defeat was out of the question and knew his job well enough as he galloped his rivals into submission. He steps up in trip on faster ground today but he looked a potential high-class stayer at Listowel and the runner up had previously shown a high level of form.
The classic generation have won the closing Gordon Carter Handicap five times in the last six years but they won’t be today as the 12-runner field does not include a three-year-old. Golden Doyen (4.55) didn’t really take to fences but won a decent handicap hurdle at Market Rasen last month and ran a good race at Doncaster over today’s trip off a 1lb higher mark back in April.
At Fontwell, I expect to see Frodon (2.50) make it two out of two over fences after impressing over the larger obstacles at Newton Abbot earlier in the month. The runner up Tempestatefloesco re-opposes on 4lbs better term but he has 8 lengths to make up and the four-year-old Frodon could be very smart.
The conditional jockey’s race over an extended three miles is a cracker with C&D winner Strumble Head likely to appreciate this figure of eight track more than the left-handed tracks he has been running over of late. His propensity to jump out to his right remains a concern but he is well-treated and Peter Bowen had a good chase winner at Bangor earlier in the week.
Archie Bellamy take off 8lbs from Follow The Swallow and this winning pointer is a big threat but, despite reservations about the form of the yard, Indiana Bay (4.35) could be well-handicapped off his current mark and he ran a great race before his stamina gave way over 4 miles at Cheltenham on Hunter Chase night back in April.
Cotillion cannot be opposed in the opening seller at Hexham having scooted clear on the flat at Hamilton on Saturday evening for Ian Williams; Toby Wheeler gets on well with the ten-year-old and he looks to have a fairly straightforward task at the weights.
Mossies Well won first time out over fences last year and looked a decent prospect for sandy Thompson but completely lost his way in two subsequent starts. Rain is forecast overnight on Thursday which would be a big help and I suggest we keep an eye out on both the weather and the market.
I am very keen on the chances of Double W’s (3.35) who was badly hampered when finishing runner up to Wade Harper at Catterick back in February and ran a terrific race in the circumstance from a 4lbs lower mark. I feel he is potentially a very good horse and one that will be rated much higher than 125 going forward.
Mad Money (4.45) has galloped his rivals into submission over fences of late and it is a slight concern that he is back on a left-handed track given his propensity to jump out to his right. He had stones in hand at Perth last time and can run off the same mark. Richard Johnson keeps the ride,
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