Race Time: 2.10pm Meeting: Ascot Distance: 5f
Full Race Name: Totescoop6 Heritage Handicap (Class 2)
At least there is little or no historical bias to the draw at Ascot even over this five-furlong trip which is something – though if they decide to water last minute that could all change of course.
7/1 the field as I write gives us all a pretty massive clue about just how competitive this really is, with some decent horses entered but no real stand out entrant. Humidor (14/1) is no stranger to these races at the age of eight but is one of only two of the eighteen runners who won last time out, and even that was only by a head from Kingsgate Choice, who re-opposes on one pound better terms though we feel he can frank the form. He is more consistent and reliable than the runner up (famous last words), and should run well but at the age of eight he can’t be getting any better and surely something younger can beat him here?
Lady Gibraltar (16/1) is two years his junior and is the only other winner in the field so we need to add her to the shortlist. Two wins in her last three races tell us all she is at the top of her game, and her recent win at Haydock was actually quite eye catching but no surprise for us to tell you she has been put up in the weights and this won’t be anywhere near as easy.
Bryan Smart is a trainer who rarely gets the credit his abilities deserve but he has decent enough chances here with the lightly raced four year old Meadway (16/1) who was a good second to Pearl Acclaim at Musselburgh when sent off at odds of 16/1, a big suggestion that he badly needed the run. They both run here but with that under his belt I can see him reversing that form easily enough today, and he looks booked for a place at least to us, while he has scored four times – so is quite capable of getting his head in front when the chance arises.
Double Up (7/1) is sure to be popular after Roger Varian had a winner at Newmarket yesterday and with a two wins and a third record from just the three contests this season, why not? He would need to turn around recent form with Humidor on one pound better terms for half a length so in theory he can’t do it, but as a four year old there could yet be more to come – we will find out later won’t we.
Perfect Muse (20/1) is the last horse we really want to mention as we struggle to work out the Clive Cox trained mare who can be pretty decent or not as the case may be. She hasn’t won since September 2014 in her last four races and is held by Humidor on both Newmarket and Goodwood running, but is now five pounds better off for a length and a quarter in Sussex and four pounds better off for two lengths at Newmarket, so in theory could or even should finish in front of that rival given the rub of the green this afternoon.