A field of nine go to post for the third race of the day at Ascot on Friday. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: It would be hugely disappointing to not see HERCULEAN pass the post first for Roger Charlton and Ryan Moore, given he is a hugely exciting debutant. He is a son of Frankel whose dam won the Haydock Sprint Cup back in 2008, with his sister being none other than the smart Fair Eva. It’s all there on paper and with the yard in great form, he should make a winning start as he bids to live up to all his top two year old entries.
1 AIRMAX – Derby entry for Ralph Beckett who is a son of Maxios, half-brother to several speedy types who won at the age of 2. This looks to be the right trip on debut but others do look more interesting on pedigree, with the booking of an apprentice meaning that he’s more than likely the stable second string to Archie McKellar. Possible each way claims if strong in the market but best watched on debut.
2 ARCHIE MCKELLAR – Shaped with lots of promise on debut for Ralph Beckett, keeping on well over today’s trip to finish third, clearly needing the experience. He is entitled to come on markedly for the good introduction and the booking of Pat Dobbs is positive as he’s clearly the stable first string. He won’t need to improve much to win this with many of these only having one run and he looks sure to play a key role.
3 BODIE AND DOYLE – Cost 50,000gns as a yearling and this this already gelded son of Raven’s Pass clearly needed the run when slowly into stride and never on terms. He only made modest late headway and he needs significant progress to be threatening here under David Probert. Hard to rule him out entirely but others look far more interesting and he should just miss out on the money today.
4 HERCULEAN – Races for the top connections of Roger Charlton and Khalid Abdullah, with this son of Frankel sporting the best pedigree in the race. He is a full brother to Fair Eva who is a smart filly and their dam African Rose won the Haydock Sprint Cup back in 2008. It’s all there on paper and this looks the perfect trip for him on debut, with Ryan Moore on board to take the ride. Market support would be significant and it would be disappointing to not see him win this.
5 MAIN STREET – Bought for 90,000gns as a yearling by Newsells Park Stud and this son of Street Cry ran as though he really needed the run when slowly away at Newmarket on his debut. He was always pushed along in the rear before weakening late on and judging by his top connections, he should do better in time. Frankie Dettori takes the ride over and with John Gosden still in good form, he shouldn’t be far away.
6 MERLIN MAGIC – Son of Camelot who sets the form standard for David Elsworth, running well to finish third on debut at Ascot in July. He improved marginally on that effort to go down by a head at Newbury two weeks ago, with the winner of that race running well in Group 3 company since then. He does come up against some very unexposed rivals but if running to that standard again he looks a surefire each way candidate under De Sousa.
7 NELSON RIVER – Modest pedigree in the context of this race and this son of Mount Nelson has an apprentice booked on debut, which isn’t the best of signs. This looks a very useful contest and he’ll have to be a useful horse to break his maiden, so he’s best watched as he looks a longer term prospect.
8 PARA MIO – Half-brother to useful sorts including Daban and Thikriyaat, so he does catch the eye on paper but Seamus Durack is 0-7 with his two year olds this year and his always tend to need the run. That said, he’s operating to a 40% strike rate at present and this son of Pour Moi couldn’t be discounted for the placings if market support comes for him on the day.
9 WADILSAFA – Another son of Frankel who is a half-brother to the Group 3 winner Talaayeb and Muntazah, who was also a useful two year old. He is entered into both the Dewhurst and the Derby which immediately grabs the attention. Owen Burrows is in great form and knows how to ready them for debut, so he’s one to note on debut and should make his precense felt.