3.35 Ascot tips for Saturday’s Class 2 contest. The final race on ITV4 is an eighteen runner handicap, quite the puzzle to pick apart. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: Mojito arrives here on a four-timer and although he’s nine pounds higher, he’s extremely progressive and won’t be far away. Preference is for FLAMING SPEAR, who won impressively two starts ago at York before pulling too hard at Haydock on his latest run. This race will have plenty of pace which will allow him to settle better and with his current mark not beyond him, he should take all the beating under Robert Winston.
1 FIRMAMENT – Second in this race last year for David O’Meara and has run well in defeat on all his runs this season, fifth in a tough handicap here last month. He’s on the same mark and won’t be far away again under Philip Makin.
2 JOHNNY BARNES – Won at Goodwood back in August over the seven furlongs before finding the drop to six against him at Haydock subsequently. His current mark isn’t beyond him at his best and he loves cut in the ground, so looks a strong each way contender under the freshly returned Havlin.
3 SPECULATIVE BIRD – Course and distance winner but he’s not been seen since August 2015, where he was second in Listed company. This will be a remarkable training performance by Elsworth if he can place here after over two years off the track and he can only be watched.
4 FLAMING SPEAR – Won impressively at York two starts ago in a competitive handicap and he raced too freely when well backed at Group 3 level one month ago. The strong pace here will help him settle and off only six pounds higher than his York win, he should be very tough to beat.
5 ARCANADA – Only headed towards the line off this mark at York in July, posting a lesser effort out in Turkey when last seen. If back to the form of his York run he’s not without hope, as he does have time on his side. Others are preferred on balance, though.
6 MITCHUM SWAGGER – Ground suits him and he won two starts ago at Thirsk in Conditions company, though his current mark looks stiff enough back into handicaps. Needs a career best to win this and others look far more solid.
7 BIRCHWOOD – Finished third in a Glorious Goodwood Handicap two starts ago but he was well held behind a few of these at York last month. He’s on the same mark here and is likely to come up short once again under Gerald Mosse.
8 BURNT SUGAR – Finished second in two big field handicaps in August before scoring at the Curragh in a Premier Handicap, winning comfortably. He’s now eight pounds higher which makes this tough but he has his conditions and is a strong each way contender in his current mood.
9 MAKZEEM – Suited by a strongly run race when scoring at Newmarket seven days ago, currently two pounds ahead of the handicapper. He’s likely to get a similarly run race today and holds leading claims with a repeat performance.
10 ACCIDENTAL AGENT – Won a Class 4 Handicap two starts ago before only going down by a neck at Listed level when last seen. He’s taken a massive hit at the weights as a result and cut in the ground isn’t ideal, so he has plenty to prove today.
11 MOJITO – Completed a hat-trick when scoring at York in August by a commanding margin, now nine pounds higher. That demands further progressive but he’s highly progressive and looks a key player with ground to suit.
12 LORD GLITTERS – Completed a double when scoring at Saint-Cloud in a Conditions race, his final start for the Lotoux yard. He’s an intriguing purchase by the O’Meara team, but this is a tough test on British debut. Likely best watched unless the market speaks otherwise.
13 MUTAWATHEA – This is his ideal trip but the handicapper is well in charge and he doesn’t win very often, last seen finishing a five length second at Lingfield in Class 3 company. Far more needed here and he couldn’t be put forward off the same mark.
14 STRAIGHT RIGHT – Ran a good race to finish third to Johnny Barnes at Goodwood in August, only his third run for Andrew Balding. He’s on the same mark here and should handle this softer going, so is a strong each way contender.
15 WITHERNSEA – Won at Newbury in June and he’s gone close on a number of occasions since. He was well held on his latest start at Haydock though and he remains on the same mark, with the handicapper firmly in command.
16 AMAZOUR – Got back to his best when taking a Doncaster Handicap by a short-head on his latest start, clinging on and he’s now two pounds higher. This race is much more competitive though and he looks vulnerable off this mark.
17 MJJACK – Has finished second in two valuable course and distance handicaps the last twice, only beaten half a length on his latest start. He’s only two pounds higher here and should make another bold bid with Clifford Lee claiming three pounds.
18 RAISING SAND – Has got back on track the last twice, winning over six furlongs two starts ago before a close fourth in a course and distance handicap. He kept on strongly late on and with a similar race in prospect, he has each way claims once again off the same mark.