Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck is 6/1 with BetVictor for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot the highlight of next weekend’s racing. Dual Arc and recent Eclipse winner Enable is 4/6 market leader stepping back up to her optimum trip with the Royal Ascot winner Crystal Ocean 3/1.
The most impressive winner on Saturday was, arguably, Withhold, who made all in the 2m Marsh Cup at Newbury and was cut from 16s to 12/1 for the Ebor at York next month with BetVictor.
There was rain forecast at Ayr last night and the ground is likely to be on the soft side of good ahead of today’s card. Ed Dunlop’s Annexation (3.05) cost E240,000 as a 2-y-old and makes his handicap debut from a lowly mark. He is certainly bred to appreciate today’s step up in trip. Three-year-olds have taken two of the last three renewals of this 7f Handicap and Michael Dods has trained the last couple of winners – he is represented by Epaulini this afternoon and this inmate has dropped 7lbs in the weights since his handicap debut.
Retirement Beckons is often slowly away and looked to need all of the extended mile to get up at Hamilton on Friday. He does have good C&D form, however, and if he breaks on terms he will be hard to beat.
Marginal preference, however, is for Irish raider Eleuthera (3.35) who is fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time returning from a nine-month break. It should be noted, however, that he was declared to run at Chepstow on Friday but had to abort the journey because of travel problems. The each way selection has a good record fresh.
Betty Grable (4.10) has not finished out of the first two in her last five starts and I feel she can confirm recent C&D form with Rosemay who showed improved form to score at Hamilton last time. The selection is 5lbs higher than when scoring over C&D back in May, but clearly gets on well with apprentice Rhona Pindar and looks sure to run a big race.
Burn Some Dust (5.15) was taken out of a race at Catterick last week on account of the fast ground and he will appreciate the forecast overnight rain. Note Brian Ellison’s 4-y-old is entered at Thirsk on Friday and would escape a penalty if he won this afternoon given it is an apprentice race.
Hat-trick seeking Dr Robin must go close in the 3m 2f handicap Chase at Cartmel, but I hope to see Bryony Frost galvanise Winter Lion (5.00) in the half-mile run-in and I hope John O’Shea’s 9-year-old can outstay his rivals.
At Windsor Gallic shapes as if she will appreciate stepping up to 10f for the first time in the fillies’ handicap and a market move would be worth noting. The vote, however, goes to Marco Botti’s Geizy Teizy (7.50) who impressed when scoring over C&D on her seasonal reappearance and wasn’t beaten far behind Dame Melliot – Newmarket listed winner on Saturday – at Chelmsford last time.
Fly The Flag (8.20) was slowly away but finished well when a never near third at Chelmsford on debut but that experience won’t be lost on her and Kieran O’Neill keeps the ride in the 10f maiden.
There was significant market support for Bigbadboy (9.00) when he finished runner up over C&D last time and I feel he can go one better in the finale at Beverley. Trainer Clive Mulhall has yet to have a winner this season, but the hope is that his 6-y-o can build on what was an encouraging effort last time.
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