A welcome winner last week in the form of Akbar Shah and a chance, yet again, to praise Jamie Spencer on the straight course at Ascot.
Spencer deserves plenty of praise anywhere at the moment as he is riding as well as ever. I’m at Sandwon for Racing UK on Friday so will major there but the Mallard Handicap at Doncaster presents an opportunity to get involved too.
Speedo Boy keeps running well and the general 8-1 chance could be even better on easier ground than which he encountered when third at York last time.
However, last year’s winner, Time To Study, is just too tempting at 33-1. He isn’t the four-year-old he was expected to be but he’s fairly treated and we know he likes it here.
I suspect he will appreciate the slightly easier surface than he’s faced for much of the season and his jockey is a very good man to have onside around here. I get this trainer’s horses wrong for fun so another one won’t hurt.
A course and distance winner last year, he looks to want a strongly run mile and should get that here with plenty of pace on.
This year has been disappointing but he has had excuses on occasion, although certainly not for every effort.
He was further back than ideal at Chester and last time was a hot race, hotter than this. Charles Bishop returns to maintain his 100 per cent record with the horse at 7-1.
Has his first start for Stuart Williams and the general 15-2 chance is a well treated horse on the pick of his form.
He chased home Addeybb last year off 1lb higher over a mile and I fancy he’s better at 7f. This year he has been disappointing but he’s met trouble on his past two runs and been given a real chance by the handicapper.
Hood off and with tongue tie on, he is well worth backing at the prices.
This is not much of a contest and I’m not sure there’s an Icart Point lurking in the field as there was last time here over the mile.
The Last Emperor went forward that day and was done for toe and professionalism before keeping on again near the line.
I can see why connections reached for the cheekpieces and he’s well worth another go over this trip. He’s bred for it and should prove tough to beat on this fourth go of the season at 7-4 with bet365. He’s as short as 11-10 elsewhere.
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