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The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

David Cormack picks out two for Champion’s Day

ADVERTISE is the selection in the Champions Sprint at Ascot (1.35). Apart from a well below par run on his only try over a mile in the Guineas he’s been in the first two in all his starts. The only horses to have beaten him have been Ten Sovereigns, Too Darn Hot and Calyx. Ten Sovereigns and Too Darn Hot registered career best Racing Post ratings in so-doing and Calyx was only 2lbs off his peak run.

He’s had one run on ground softer than good, winning the Commonwealth Cup here on good to soft in June (had Hello Youmzain 1¾ lengths back in third that day).   He’s suited by Ascot, trip is ideal, he’s very consistent, that run on good to soft suggests he won’t mind the ground and I have him ahead of Hello Youmzain. I think he’s a decent bet at 11/2 (generally).

Hello Youmzain is an obvious danger as he’s a bit unexposed and improving.  He has a couple of lengths to find with Advertise on that summer form at Ascot though and at the same price, I’d be happy to stay with Advertise to confirm those placings.

At bigger prices The Tin Man is always a possibility in these events while at an even bigger price, Brando was only a neck behind Advertise in the Maurice De Gheest and enters calculations.

But ADVERTISE will take a bit of beating I think and 11/2 looks fair.

For the second bet of the day I’m relying on CLON COULIS (9/1 bet365, Paddy Power) in Ascot’s closer, the Balmoral Handicap (4.40).

Lord North did us a favour in the Cambrideshire and will be popular. But he’s up 12lbs which is no mean hike in this grade and steps back to a mile. He may still have enough in hand but I think it’ll be a big enough ask to give weight to some seasoned handicappers on the likely testing surface. I think he looks short enough to be backing.

Amedeo Modigliani  is very much an unknown quantity and has been backed as though he has a major chance..  Kept in training at 4, he is lightly raced and the money could be significant. He could easily improve further here but I think he looks more than short enough now.

Clon Coulis, on the other hand, looks fairly well handicapped, dropping back to the 99 mark off which he ran a very close second to Afaak in the Hunt Cup here on soft ground at the Royal meeting in June. He’s still relatively lightly raced in this sphere and his shrewd trainer is to be respected when bringing them here. His last couple of efforts haven’t been great but the combination of a little respite from the handicapper, soft ground and the arrival of a big potential ’pay-day’ make him relatively appealing.

Plenty others have possibilities. At the bigger prices Commander Cole may still have something to offer and is interesting although ground is a question mark.

However, I think if you do think the two at the head of the market are worth playing against at the prices, and I do, CLON COULIS looks as good an alternative as any.

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