If the ground at ParisLongchamp is genuinely good to soft, as it officially described, then I’d be all over Addeybb at a general 9-2 for the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein (4.05) because he looked all over a top-notch performer on slow surfaces when fresh in the spring.
However, it is difficult to trust that description and representatives of John Gosden who have walked the track this week have clearly relayed that it is on the quick side - otherwise Cracksman would have surely stood his ground in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Paris was bathed in warm sunshine on Friday but if the BBC weather forecast is correct then rain could fall between 7pm on Saturday until about noon on Sunday. It may pay to delay having your bets on the big race and all the Group One action until it is clearer what conditions are going to be like.
In the meantime, there is plenty of decent racing for us to get our teeth into on Saturday and this is where my cash will be going.
The conditions of this Listed prize are tilted in favour of Spring Loaded, who can make the most of the weight that Mr Lupton, Muthmir and Judicial must concede.
He looked better than ever when an emphatic winner of a competitive handicap over course and distance in July, off a mark of 100, and his past two efforts when running creditably in the Stewards’ Cup and Great St Wilfred need marking up.
The grey has had a light campaign of just four runs, so should be fresher than most, and Adam Kirby is back on board for the first time since that Ascot win at the height of the summer.
Sky Bet are offering five places and, with that concession, he looks a must bet at at least make the frame.
This maiden has plenty to find on the bare ratings and there’s a chance she could be completely outclassed but I cannot resist having an interest in her at a whopping 80-1.
She was a massive eyecatcher when an unlucky loser on her handicap bow over five furlongs at Lingfield last time - finishing fast from an unpromising position and being beaten only a neck.
Admittedly that was off a mark of only 69, but she seemed to enjoy being ridden with a bit of restraint for the first time and the step up to to six furlongs promises to suit.
Fillies can flourish at this time of the year and it’s worth keeping in mind that her brother, the 102-rated sprinter Major Jumbo, was also a slow-burner before his form took off.
Regardless of how she fares, she is one to put in your Racing UK Tracker.
Rain is forecast for Ascot on Saturday afternoon and that will be no help to the fast-ground loving Limato, who heads the market.
Projection looks the one to be on, in any case, because he has similar form claims, saves his best for the track (as befits a horse owned by The Ascot Racing Club) and is versatile regards the going.
He ran a cracker in a soft-ground renewal of this race last year - being beaten only half a length by Blue Point - and confirmed his liking for Ascot when a fine fifth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in June when beaten only a couple of lengths.
The five-year-old finished behind Limato at Newmarket last time, when ridden by Tom Queally for the first time and equipped with cheekpieces, but that race did not pan out well for him. Kieran Shoemark, who knows him best, is back on board and the headgear has been ditched.
Laurens is a smashing filly in every respect and rightly vies for favouritism with French raider Wind Chimes but betting is about identifying horses who are the wrong price, or potentially the wrong price, and Billesdon Brook ticks that box here at a general 16-1.
Plenty will have dismissed her 66-1 triumph in the 1,000 Guineas as a fluke but to my eye she was much the best on the day in a truly-run race and the next three home - Laurens, Happily and Wild Illusion - all boasted Group One-winning form going into the race and have subsequently franked the form.
Billesdon Brook has subsequently failed to replicate her Guineas form in the Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes, but she was not ideally placed on either occasion and it might just be that she bounces back with a bang returning the scene of her finest hour with James Doyle on her back for the first time.
It seems difficult to believe that Big Lachie might be getting better after 38 races but I have a hunch he might be because he tanked through the race when swooping from off the pace when he landed an 18-runner contest at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting last month.
He was going to win at just about every stage and, in the circumstances, a 4lb rise does not look overly harsh.
Big Lachie had previously run well in a 19-runner affair at Ascot, plus, unlike others in the field, he will not be inconvenienced if the ground eases.
How To Bet £20 on Saturday:
1.50 Ascot: Spring Loaded £2.50 each-way at 9-2 with Sky Bet (offering five places)
2.45 Redcar: Ginvincible £2 each-way four places at 80-1 with BetVictor
3.00 Ascot: Projection £4 win at a general 4-1
3.15 Newmarket: Billesdon Brook £3 win at 18-1 with Ladbrokes
£1 Win Patent
1.50 Ascot: Spring Loaded (9-2)
3.00 Ascot: Projection (4-1)
3.15 Newmarket: Billesdon Brook (18-1)
Plus a 25p Each-Way Super Yankee, above trio plus
2.45 Redcar: Ginvincible (80-1)
4.45 Ascot: Big Lachie (11-1)