Our betting tips for the good-quality 2m handicap on Friday’s Ascot card identify some each-way value. Read our horse-by-horse preview for the full lowdown
IN SUMMARY: It’s easy to make the case for Sea Of Heaven, who is not yet fully exposed and 3lb ahead of the handicapper after his good run at Newbury a week ago. However, his tendency to take too keen a hold in the early stages is a nagging concern and, at the prices, he’s worth opposing with SEASIDE SIZZLER. William Knight’s gelding is fully exposed at the age of nine but went very close over C&D on similar ground in May and ran considerably better than the bare form suggests when ninth over 2m5f in the Queen Alexandra at the Royal meeting here. Continuum didn’t have the race run to suit when seventh over 1m6f here a fortnight ago and remains 6lb below the mark off which he won a Listed handicap at York last summer. Noble Silk is another that would have preferred a stronger pace in the 1m6f event here two weeks ago and is also considered.
1 Boite – Placed over hurdles at the Aintree festival in April and returned to the Flat with a 5l success at Goodwood (1m6f, soft) last month; today’s faster ground won’t be a problem and he ran well over C&D in the Group 3 Queen’s Vase back in 2013, but recent 8lb hike up the weights could leave him vulnerable.
2 Nakeeta – Ended last season with consecutive wins over 1m6f at Haydock and was an excellent second in the Chester Cup (2m2f, good) when back in action in May; not quite in same form on last couple of outings, though, and might find today’s ground a bit too quick.
3 Galizzi – Quickly developed into a useful hurdler for John Ferguson last year and returned to the Flat with eased-down success at Goodwood (2m, good to firm) for new stable last month; subsequent defeat on soft ground at Royal Ascot can be excused but his midfield finish at York last time was a shade disappointing.
4 All Talk N No Do – Made good progress in 2015 and gained his latest win here (1m6f, good to firm); struggled on soft ground on last month’s reappearance run but gave good account when fifth back here (1m6f, good to firm) a fortnight ago and looks ready for this crack at 2m; in the mix.
5 Slowfoot – Formerly trained in Germany; started off for Jim Best with two hurdle wins in 2015 but was then off the track for a year and has looked out of sorts in that sphere and on the Flat since returning to action; might bounce back at some stage but big leap of faith to support him at present.
6 Noble Silk – Drew a blank in 2015 and not getting any younger but would have preferred a stronger pace when sixth from off the pace here (1m6f, good to firm) on seasonal debut a fortnight ago; remains on a workable mark and might be slightly better suited by today’s longer trip.
7 Monaleen – Probably has a more realistic chance at the weights now back in a handicap, having faced some tough assignments in Listed/conditions races since the autumn; unexposed over today’s trip and will be suited by today’s ground but others are more persuasive.
8 Continuum – Found himself in the same boat as Noble Silk over 1m6f here a week ago, when ridden patiently in a slowly run event and unable to reel in the leaders; remains 6lb lower than when winning a Listed handicap at York (1m6f, good to firm) last summer and is a big player if things go his way; yet to race over 2m but has often shaped as though it will suit.
9 Seaside Sizzler – Back from absence with Polytrack win in March and went very close over C&D (good to firm) on next outing in May; 3lb higher now but ran much better than finishing position suggests when ninth over extreme trip at Royal Ascot last month and is fancied to make his present felt.
10 Sea Of Heaven – Disappointed when making seasonal debut on Tapeta last month but quickly got back on track when runner-up at Newbury (2m2f, good to firm) a week ago; runs here before 3lb rise takes effect and this 4yo has scope to make progress this season; high on the list.
11 Sisyphus – Suited by the step up to 2m when clearcut winner on seasonal debut at Musselburgh (good to firm) in April and bounced back from a lesser effort when runner-up over 1m6f back there the following month; up in class today but a rare runner here for his North Yorkshire-based trainer and not ruled out.
12 See And Be Seen – Ran quite well when midfield over C&D on seasonal debut in May but been very disappointing on all three subsequent starts, most recently when beaten about 28l at Newbury a week ago; 3lb out of the handicap today and has some searching questions to answer.
myracing Forecast Prices: 11/4 Sea Of Heaven, 6/1 Boite, 7/1 Nakeeta, 8/1 Galizzi, All Talk N No Do, Noble Silk, Seaside Sizzler, 10/1 Continuum, Sisyphus, 14/1 Monaleen, 25/1 See And Be Seen, 33 Slowfoot