3.25pm Ascot Tips & Betting Preview 05/09/2015

Race Time3.25pm MeetingAscot Distance: 1m 4f
Full Race NameAppletiser Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Class Two

One and a half miles on the predicted soft gong will take some getting this afternoon and with a three year olds only handicap we really are forced to look for those who may well be a step ahead of the handicapper or are still improving at a decent rate.  Starting afresh with half of our original suggestions scratched, and Mark Johnston has moved Polarisation here for other options which may be a bit of a clue in itself? The winner of his last two races, with one crucially over a quarter of a mile further, his stamina is not in question unlike some of his rivals today, and as he likes to make most of the running given the chance, he can also avoid any scrimmaging in behind which has to be a bonus. Put up yet again with an extra seven pounds on his back, he won’t find this as easy we are sorry to say, but he should place at a minimum though we rather hope he doesn’t win. Those in the press who delighted in attempting to write off Sir Michael Stoute this season have been made to eat their words, and as he sends Dartmouth here instead of other engagement, he would be of great interest.  As with many of these, the going could yet be an issue but his last two wins have been pretty impressive with a four length romp from Space Age at Ascot soon followed by a comfortable two length win from Antiquarium at Goodwood, and if he keeps this up he will soon be too good for the handicap circuit. Put up a frankly ridiculous thirteen pounds for that win his race options from now on are severely limited, but he does look at least Listed class to us in which case he may yet be able to give all the weight away to lesser ranked rivals this Saturday afternoon.

Looking for an outsider hasn’t been easy with so many in form rivals ready for the battle, but maybe we can get a bigger price about Duretto that could yet prove to be value? Andrew Balding is a superb trainer full stop but is even better with his middle distance runners in our view, as proved when the son of Manduro stepped up to this mile and a half at Ascot last time out – and bolted in by an easy three lengths. That was on softer going which on breeding comes as no great shock, but as it was just a minor handicap his ratings have only been put up to 85 this afternoon and we suspect that could be pretty generous if he gets his ideal conditions again here.  Wonder Laish has to be seen as an intriguing contender even if we know very little about the William Haggas trained three year old. Three runs to date have seen him place in all of them and win his maiden last time out at  Lingfield by an embarrassing fifteen lengths, but that wasn’t really much of a race and only gallop watchers and stable staff will know if a rating of 87 is acceptable for his handicap debut, though we can say it looks a bit steep on the bare bones of that form to us. One last suggestion for now, and how about Shell Bay for Richard Hannon? The winner of his last two races at Ascot and Salisbury, he has also placed enough times to suggest his supports will at least get a decent run for their money, and if his price is large enough he could be tempting for all you each way thieves out there with Cam Hardie in the saddle this afternoon.

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